Telstra to offer rural Australia free e-mail
Thu, 15 Oct 1998 13:09:59 +1000 (EST)
On Thu, 15 Oct 1998, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> Telstra plans to offer a free e-mail service in a bid to get rural
> and unconnected Australia onto the internet.
> The telecommunications giant will today announce its easymail
> service, which offers any Telstra phone user with a PC an internet
> e-mail address and a limited, advertising subsidised e-mail facility
> for only the cost of a local call required to collect the mail.
A nice idea - in theory.
> However, there are limits. In a move to encourage users to dial in
> as often as possible, Telstra plans to limit users' mailboxes to 10
> items each. Anyone sending an e-mail to an easymail user whose box
> is full will get a "friendly" message telling them the mailbox is
> too full, said the manager of Internet Services Enablers at Telstra,
> Mr Tony Richardson.
This is ridiculous.
10 items of mail is nothing,
especially if spammers get a hold of your email address.
I can see the potential for the service, but a mailbox
capable of holding only 10 items is next to useless.
How does the system determine the importance or precedence of a
It might be alright for the occasional user to say G'day
to a friend, but it's useless for participation in
real online discussion (lists &c.) and it
is unrealistic to think that the limit will provide
an incentive for people to use the service more.
What about that "urgent" message that just "has to get there",
and gets bounced?
I already feel uncomfortable about this - if I send email to an
easymail customer, and it bounces I am certainly going to get peeved if
my message keeps being returned to me, to the
point where I'll probably just give up.
I don't think this system is thought through enough, IMHO.
> Mr Richardson said other ISPs were "bound to" describe the service,
> due for national rollout next year, as anti-competitive,
> cross-subsidised by the DialConnect 0198 service to provide a
> service no one else could match.
If Telstra can do "easymail" for a local call, why not
increase the service to be actually useful?
It wouldn't cost much more...
> Low-cost advertisements appearing as banners on the e-mail program
> were the key to the service, he said.
Yeah, I can already see in my mind what they are planning, and it
It sounds to me like Telstra is using this scam to pay lip-service
to rural customers wanting access, and using the service
to avoid certain obligations.
Rachel Polanskis Kingswood, Greater Western Sydney, Australia
"Yow! Am I having fun yet?!" - John Howard^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Zippy the Pinhead