[LINK] The ISP business

Jim Birch planetjim at gmail.com
Wed Nov 18 14:05:41 AEDT 2015

My thinking is that email services are a commodity item that is moving over
time by the standard economic forces to smaller numbers of bigger
providers.  Because it is provided "free" by the big outfits no one else is
going to be able to run it as a profitable business, except in niches.

Furthermore, anyone who can't provide good security, top-notch reactive
spam protection shouldn't be allowed to run a mail server.  Maintaining
anti-spam measures require effort and improves by having a large user base
but has a tiny marginal cost per user.  This favours bigger services.  I
haven't tried anything else for some time but my gmail service does
extremely well at protecting me from spam, scams and and drive-bys.

I see a further stability and continuity issue with using email domains
that belong to small ISPs that can be bought and sold or even fold. In
contrast, big free services like Gmail have (imho) a very high likelihood
of being around in a decade or two offering the same baseline service under
the same conditions (ie, data scraping which I accept, ymmv,) at the same
zero price without data loss.  They also allow you maintain a local copy
should you wish to take the trouble, or to extract your mail history in
bulk should desire to jump ship.

ISPs are heading in the direction of becoming NBN resellers.


On 18 November 2015 at 12:18, David Lochrin <dlochrin at d2.net.au> wrote:

> My ISP has an email-server problem which results in outbound traffic from
> users in my domain failing at some point on most weekends and staying that
> way until they get to work again on Monday morning.
> They're apparently not going to fix this.  Their suggested solutions are
> to get a Gmail or other free email account, or acquire a domain and pay
> another $11 p.m. for a _self-managed_ email service with them.  Paying a
> further $11 p.m. will give me a web server facility self-managed with the
> same utility, so it looks a bit as though they're chasing small business
> users.
> However their rationale is interesting.
> They claim the traditional ISP email service is no longer viable because
> it's evolved from simple text based messaging to a "package" service where
> users send all sorts of big attachments, and the cost of supporting a
> bundled email service is no longer warranted.  Furthermore, the cloud
> services provided by Microsoft's Windows Live are taking email in a
> direction where small ISPs simply can't compete.
> Is this sort of thinking becoming more general?  Where is the ISP business
> heading?
> David L.
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> Link at mailman.anu.edu.au
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