Contact:  William Love
                                                The Internet Company
                                                (617) 547-4731

                                                Paul Vizza
                                                The Electronic Newsstand
                                                (800) 40-ENEWS



CAMBRIDGE, MA (May 3, 1994) -- The Internet Company and The Electronic
Newsstand of Washington, D.C. today announced creation of a new
discussion forum on the global Internet designed to provide an
acceptable channel for companies to market products and services to
more than 25 million consumers.

The new collection of newsgroups within the Usenet News Service will
allow advertisers to distribute purely commercial marketing
information -- advertisements, pricelists and promotional offers -- to
more than 2 million Internet connected computers.  Each newsgroup will
be moderated by members of the Internet community to control the
quality of the service.

The decision to receive this commercial information is made at each
computer supporting Usenet News and by each individual member of the
global Internet community -- each site determines whether or not this
service is acceptable to their purposes, each user makes the personal
decision to read.


The initial collection of newsgroups -- under the new "market.*"
top-level topic category -- will be organized to promote
Internet-related products, services, publications, access providers
and events.  General discussion and announcements about further
enhancements to the service will be supported in separate newsgroups.

Future additions to this service will include forums to discuss and
advertise consumer, business and computer related products, services
and publications.


"This kind of service has been a long time in coming," said Jeffrey
Dearth, CEO of The Electronic Newsstand.  "Recently, there have been
many occurrences of inappropriate advertising over Usenet and
unsolicited advertising via electronic mail."

Robert Raisch, president of The Internet Company, said "This service
helps to relieve the pressure marketers feel to use poorly considered
forums for advertising.  Before now, there was no generally available
and acceptable channel for this kind of commercial information."

"While collecting electronic mail addresses of possible customers or
posting a commercial solicitation in a typical Usenet newsgroup might
seem to be a good idea at first glance, it completely ignores the fact
that people pay for the information they receive from the Internet, in
one way or another."

"The costs of marketing on the global Internet are paid for by both
the advertiser and the consumer," Raisch continues.  "Unsolicited
advertising on the global Internet is as acceptable as junk FAX is in
the real world.  In a very real sense, sending anything to someone
without their explicit permission is theft."

"It is imperative that the Internet find ways to incorporate
commercial information because it is the life's blood of business,"
says Bill Washburn, executive director of the Commercial Internet
Exchange (CIX.) "That is, commercial information pays its own way and
therefore directly supports the global Internet."


The Usenet News Service is the second most popular communications
service available on the global Internet and comprises more than
10,000 different discussion forums or newsgroups.  Available on more
than two million Internet connected computers -- as well as over the
Usenet UUCP "store and forward" network where it began -- the Usenet
News is used by researchers, educators, professionals, students and
just plain folks all over the world.  Discussion on Usenet ranges from
the newest computer technology to social and recreational topics.


Established in 1993, The Internet Company is the premier provider of
electronic publishing services on the global Internet.  A privately
held technical services firm, The Internet Company designs, develops
and manages information distribution and retrieval services for
electronic publishers.

The Internet Company helped to develop The Electronic Newsstand(tm), a
highly successful marketing venture which provides articles from more
than 80 mainstream magazines, newsletters and books, to customers on
the global Internet for no charge. (Gopher: Port:

The Internet Company also designed and manages Counterpoint
Publishing's Internet Federal Register, Commerce Business Daily, and
Code of Federal Regulations. (Email: