E-mail is now as cheap as a phone call, says Telstra, the company announcing its easymail service is now available nationally.easymail, which was piloted in Tasmania in October, is an e-mail-only service and requires that the user has access to at least a 486 PC with Windows 95 or 98, a CD-ROM drive and a 9.6Kbit/s or faster modem.
The only cost involved is that of a phone call to connect to easymail to send, receive and check for messages. The cost of providing this service, says Telstra, is off-set through advertising on the easymail interface. When customers sign up for easymail, they will be required to complete a survey to match their interests and demographics to advertising.
The service is limited in that attachments cannot be sent, but can be received if less than 250KB. There's also a hitch for customers of Optus Direct Connect and Optus digital mobile services -- dial-in access is currently not available to them, pending a formal agreement between Optus and Telstra who are currently in negotiations.
Telstra will be distributing free start-up kit CD-ROMs prior to Christmas. Pre-registration for kits is being taken now on 1800 429 444.