Out-Law Guide 1 min. read

ISP and web host conditions - checklist

This checklist is based on UK law. It was last updated in September 2008. 

Note: In this checklist, all references to an ISP also include a web host.

  • What warranties is the ISP giving in relation to access to the internet? (e.g. service will be available 99% of the time).
  • What limitations are there on the liability of the ISP? Are they reasonable in the circumstances?
  • Has the ISP limited its liability in relation to the accuracy of the information which you may find on its web pages and on the web generally?
  • Will the ISP provide you with email accounts? 
  1. If so, how many and on what terms?
  2. Do you have to use an email account for it to continue to be operative?
  3. Will the ISP clear information from its email servers?
  4. If so, how often? Does the ISP reserve the right to terminate or suspend an email account?
  5. If so, in what circumstances?
  • Will the ISP register domain names on your behalf? If so, who will own the name?
  • What are the payment terms (if any)?
  • Will the ISP provide web hosting services? If so, are there any restrictions on the amount of space that your site can take up or the amount of bandwidth that it uses?
  • Does your ISP reserve the right to suspend access to or remove your web site from its servers? If so, on what grounds and what are the consequences?
  • Has the ISP asked you for an indemnity for intellectual property infringement and/or liability for any unlawful material appearing on your site? If so, is there any limit on your liability?
  • Does using the ISP's service constitute acceptance of its terms?
  • Has the ISP reserved to itself the right to amend its terms and conditions? If so, what notice does it have to give you?
  • What security measures has the ISP put in place?
  • Does the ISP have an authorised use policy? Typically, ISPs will seek to protect themselves against incurring liability by having an authorised use policy that contains provisions relating to:
  1. accuracy of information on the web
  2. user's obligation to back up the website
  3. limiting ISP's liability for loss of data
  4. imposing obligation on user to ensure that it:
  • Prohibits dissemination of email lists
  • Prohibits spamming (the sending of unsolicited commercial email)
  • Reserves to itself the right to remove material or suspend/delete the site
  • Reserves to itself the right to change the Authorised Use Policy.


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