Critics have called it the “inbox tax”. But the founders of Google insist that the charges are essential as the global economy continues to stall.
Twelve months from today, receipt of an email sent by Google mail (or gmail) will cost approximatetly 10 cents per megabyte.
The new charges will be trialled in New Zealand, because the country is “a good laboratory for wild schemes,” said Sergey Brin.
Rumours are circulating that the funds raised will be used to incentivise postings of popular material on Google Plus, to be called the “meme bounty”.
Kim Dotcom was quick to denounce the initiative, calling it “urine in the wound of the free internet”. His new MegaMail service will be fasttracked, and he hopes to launch within two months.
The move was welcomed by Chief Technology Officer Susan Devoy, who called it “common sense”.