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Miss Betsy

Cost of Spam

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Medium to large ISP’s pay a metered rate based on the amount of e-mail that they receive. To accept potential spam and filter it increases their costs. Current measurements are showing about two spam delivery attempts for every real e-mail, so accepting all email and then filtering triples their cash costs. Refusing (blocking) e-mail from networks that allow spam is the only way to avoid those costs.

Most ISPs will use some sort of blocking to cut their costs. The faster a spam source can be identified, and the more spam blocked, the more money saved. We are talking thousands of dollars per month on this in most cases. If one ISP is not able to keep spam from coming from his server, why should a receiving ISP pay extra costs to separate the real e-mail from the spam?

In most cases, it is shown that when a real mail server is blocked, the ISP controlling it has been receiving reports about the problem for at least a week. An ISP that provides 24 hour operation should have been able to stop a spam source in less than an hour after getting a report. A responsible ISP will have measures in place to prevent spammers from taking advantage of his network and will take quick action to stop spam from being sent if he is notified that a spammer slipped by.

Eventually these costs will be reflected in the end user’s cost for email service. Who would want to pay more for email service so that they can delete half their email?

End users should be glad that they have chosen ISP’s who will keep costs (and spam) down for them. Friends and businesses whose email is blocked should be horrified that they have asked someone to receive their email along with porn, body part enlarger emails, etc. and find an alternate way to email. A person would not accept an offline package if the carrier insisted that he also accepts several dirty, greasy packages crawling with bugs, would he? A person using that carrier would not insist either, but find another carrier.

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