Terminology for Describing Internet Connectivity
RFC 4084

Document Type RFC - Best Current Practice (May 2005; Errata)
Also known as BCP 104
Was draft-klensin-ip-service-terms (individual in ops area)
Last updated 2014-07-18
Stream IETF
Formats plain text pdf html
Stream WG state (None)
Consensus Unknown
Document shepherd No shepherd assigned
IESG IESG state RFC 4084 (Best Current Practice)
Telechat date
Responsible AD David Kessens
Send notices to john@jck.com
Network Working Group                                         J. Klensin
Request for Comments: 4084                                      May 2005
BCP: 104
Category: Best Current Practice

            Terminology for Describing Internet Connectivity

Status of This Memo

   This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the
   Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).

Abstract

   As the Internet has evolved, many types of arrangements have been
   advertised and sold as "Internet connectivity".  Because these may
   differ significantly in the capabilities they offer, the range of
   options, and the lack of any standard terminology, the effort to
   distinguish between these services has caused considerable consumer
   confusion.  This document provides a list of terms and definitions
   that may be helpful to providers, consumers, and, potentially,
   regulators in clarifying the type and character of services being
   offered.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
       1.1.  The Problem and the Requirement  . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
       1.2.  Adoption and a Non-pejorative Terminology  . . . . . . .  2
   2.  General Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.  Filtering or Security Issues and Terminology . . . . . . . . .  5
   4.  Additional Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   5.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   6.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   7.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9

Klensin                  Best Current Practice                  [Page 1]
RFC 4084                    IP Service Terms                    May 2005

1.  Introduction

1.1.  The Problem and the Requirement

   Different ISPs and other providers offer a wide variety of products
   that are identified as "Internet" or "Internet access".  These
   products offer different types of functionality and, as a result,
   some may be appropriate for certain users and uses and not others.
   For example, a service that offers only access to the Web (in this
   context, the portion of the Internet that is accessible via the HTTP
   and HTTPS protocols) may be appropriate for someone who is
   exclusively interested in browsing and in Web-based email services.
   It will not be appropriate for someone who needs to download files or
   use email more frequently.  And it is likely to be even less
   appropriate for someone who needs to operate servers for other users,
   who needs virtual private network (VPN) capabilities or other secured
   access to a remote office, or who needs to synchronize mail for
   offline use.

   Recent and rapidly evolving changes to the Internet's email
   environment have led to additional restrictions on sending and
   retrieving email.  These restrictions, most of them developed as part
   of well intentioned attempts to prevent or fight unsolicited mail,
   may be imposed independently of the service types described below and
   are discussed separately in Section 3.

   This document describes only the functions provided or permitted by
   the service provider.  It does not and cannot specify the functions
   that pass through and are supported by various user-provided
   equipment.

   The terms SHOULD, MUST, or MAY are capitalized in this document, as
   defined in [1].

1.2.  Adoption and a Non-pejorative Terminology

   The definitions proposed here are of little value if service
   providers and vendors are not willing to adopt them.  The terms
   proposed are intended not to be pejorative, despite the belief of
   some members of the IETF community that some of these connectivity
   models are simply "broken" or "not really an Internet service".  The
   mention of a particular service or model in this document does not
   imply any endorsement of it, only recognition of something that
   exists or might exist in the marketplace.  Thus, the Best Current
   Practice described in this document is about terminology and
   information that should be supplied to the user and not about the
   types of service that should be offered.

Klensin                  Best Current Practice                  [Page 2]
RFC 4084                    IP Service Terms                    May 2005

2.  General Terminology

   This section lists the primary IP service terms.  It is hoped that
   service providers will adopt these terms, to better define the
Show full document text