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The Internet abounds with policies. There are policies on name allocation, policies on address allocation and policies on routes. There are also policies on use of network resources (bandwidth!), since this is the most precious resource that costs money. Your internet provider will make you aware of policies relevant to your business. A common misunderstanding about the Internet is the belief that you cannot use it for commercial traffic. This is not the case at all. What is the case is that some parts of the Internet are part of government or state organisations infrastructure (e.g. the academic parts) and are typically paid for for that use, and on a per usage basis, or simply for say year round access. Sometimes the rates negotiated for a large organisation's collective access are specifically on the basis that it doesn't sell on usage. In times gone past, commercial use was seen as potentially undermining the quality of those parts of the network, or else of undermining the justification for state subsidy for access to the net for these agencies. gif

There is also the social phenomenon that has arisen called Netiquette which includes a whole range of unwritten rules about what is and is not acceptable use and behaviour ``on the net''. Unsolicited posting of advertising is certainly regarded as verboten. On the other hand, appropriate use of non-invasive advertising (bulletin boards or WWW pages for the express purpose of) is certainly not frowned on.

Jon Crowcroft
Wed May 10 11:46:29 BST 1995