Verizon Quits Free Usenet Access Sep 30th

Part of agreement reached with Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo to “shut down major sources of online child pornography.”

Verizon is the latest ISP to discontinue newsgroup access following a “landmark agreement” reached last year with NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to “shut down major sources of online child pornography.”

Starting September 30th it will join ISPs AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Sprint in eliminating free Usenet access, specifically to the alt.bin and alt.bain newsgroup hierarchies that provide actual data files, in order to fight child pornography.

Oddly enough, Verizon makes no reference to fighting child pornography in its reason for discontinuing newsgroup service, saying instead that it has to do with reduced demand.

From Verizon:

Newsgroups were initially developed as a text-based way to share information on the Internet. Today, demand for newsgroups is much lower, since most users have switched to more exciting ways of getting and sharing information via the Web, such as social networks, email and sites such as our Verizon Central Newsroom.

Because of the reduced demand for newsgroups, on September 30, 2009, Verizon will discontinue its USENET newsgroup service. Subscribers will not be able to post or download material from the Verizon newsgroup service after this date.

It’s probably not a big deal for most because true blue newsgroup users subscribe to dedicated services like Giganews for their Usenet access.

Either way, it’s another example of ISPs offering you less while charging you the same price or more.

Stay tuned.

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[Hat Tip]

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FYI Giganews is offering several special pricing options to affected Verizon customers:
–       50% off for 3 months of Giganews’ most popular, unlimited Diamond Plan.
–       20% off for 3 months of your choice of other Giganews plans, ranging from value to premium plans

For added reference here’s a few links: