Recital 29

Intermediary services span a wide range of economic activities which take place online and that develop continually to provide for transmission of information that is swift, safe and secure, and to ensure convenience of all participants of the online ecosystem. For example, ‘mere conduit’ intermediary services include generic categories of services, such as internet exchange points, wireless access points, virtual private networks, DNS services and resolvers, top-level domain name registries, registrars, certificate authorities that issue digital certificates, voice over IP and other interpersonal communication services, while generic examples of ‘caching’ intermediary services include the sole provision of content delivery networks, reverse proxies or content adaptation proxies. Such services are crucial to ensure the smooth and efficient transmission of information delivered on the internet. Examples of ‘hosting services’ include categories of services such as cloud computing, web hosting, paid referencing services or services enabling sharing information and content online, including file storage and sharing. Intermediary services may be provided in isolation, as a part of another type of intermediary service, or simultaneously with other intermediary services. Whether a specific service constitutes a ‘mere conduit’, ‘caching’ or ‘hosting’ service depends solely on its technical functionalities, which might evolve in time, and should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.