Monday, February 06, 2006

Postage Due

Did you know it was coming? “postage” charged for guaranteed email delivery?

Yahoo and AOL are setting up shop to offer companies “preferential treatment” for email at a cost ranging from ¼ of a cent to a penny each – a move that will “create what is essentially a preferred class of e-mail is a major change in the economics of the Internet.”
Writing "Postage Is Due..." for the NYTimes, Saul Hansell continues:

Paying senders will be assured that their messages will be delivered to AOL users' main in-boxes and marked as "AOL Certified E-Mail." Unpaid messages will be subject to AOL's spam-filtering process, which diverts suspicious messages to a special spam folder. Most of these messages will also not be displayed with their original images and links.

The issue raised here is one of “Net neutrality” – the effort to maintain open access to internet use, banning companies form giving/selling preferential status to content providers. The move to watch comes tomorrow from the Senate Commerce Committee tomorrow. The concern is that rounds of corporate competition for the best and fastest avenues of reaching and securing new readers/customers with premium services may cause the price of access to rise for everyone, subsequently threatening the openness and availability of the Internet overall.

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1 comment:

Winston said...

Had to happen, and soon it will probably be ubiquitous since it seems to be the only way to get any control on spam. Legislation has no teeth since it is totally unenforceable. Technology has not yet produced an acceptable and effective filtering system. So it gets solved with dollars - our dollars - as everybody will pay for email service. Punish the masses for the sins of the few...

Then the people behind spam will just move on to some other new high-tech method of trying to bilk and scam the unsuspecting. They will not really suffer or pay the piper.