When will email cease to be free?

In class on Monday night, someone asked when internet companies were going start charging for email. Here may be the answer - CNN reports that Yahoo! and America Online plan to start charging businesses to send commercial e-mail messages. Of course, as the article points out, this planned move is provoking protest.

We need to think about why should email be free? Is it just because it always has been? Or are there other reasons? Note that for the moment at least, the plan is only charge to businesses. Will this last, or will all email users eventually have to pay a fee for each email they send? Would charging a fee for each email sent impact upon the use and adoption of email and the internet?

Comments

shane said…
I was actually thinking of registered email services which I read about here: http://www.tanpost.com/portal.htm

apparently it costs about 1/4 US cent per item.

Shane

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