February 6, 2006

Yahoo! and AOL introduce email costs

by Brian Turner

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Yahoo! and AOL have announced that they are introducing charges to prioritise e-mail.

Emails that are paid for will be given preferential treatment – which means they are likely to bypass currently used spam filters.

Costs involved are reported to be around 0.10 – 1.00 pence per e-mail, which may prove an incentive by companies to use the new service.

However, a move to paid email is a highly controversial topic.

Email spamming remains an established industry, and critics have pointed out that the low fees may prove a lucrative investment for email spammers.

Additionally, other concerns have been raised that free e-mail will be more likely treated as spam regardless, resulting in users losing important data just because they didn’t pay for the service.

Additional fears have been raised that it may cause additional friction among Internet Service Providers (ISPs), where a financial incentive exists to allow only paid for email.

It remains to be seen what the practical effects of charging for email will become.

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