Email Is Almost Free

Effective January 27, 2006, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a customer service representative.

– Western Union.

Email text takes up very little storage space or network bandwidth and so is very inexpensive.

Email is by far the most inexpensive form of communication across global distances. You can send email to anyone in the world, no matter how far away, at no extra cost to you. Use of regular paper mail, telephone, or telegram (while they existed) to communicate the same information would take much longer, and be much more expensive.

Based on a very conservative (inflated) cost of $10 a gigabyte for Internet bandwidth, the table below shows that it would take 50 thousand emails to cost $1 in bandwidth transfer. That is why the many choices for email-only accounts are so inexpensive. In comparison, web surfing uses many times more bandwidth.

Bandwidth Cost Comparison