Free internet is coming to an end

by jkiley
72 replies
I think the days of free internet are coming to an end. In next few years, we will see that only "junk" will remain free and all the reasonable sites will either have yearly membership or something similar. Sites like ebay, amazon, etc will be charging some kind of fee just to look at the items that they have. Google will be charging per search that user does

What do you all think?
#coming #end #free #internet
  • Profile picture of the author ZaraK
    No, I don't think so, personally. In case you are not aware, there is already an "underground" internet and the digerati would just all move there.

    What I do think is realistic is that at some point the owners of the "pipe" (cable and telecom companies) will go to usage based fees. Particularly cable, who are not just going to roll over and say "ok" when their customers abandon cable subscriptions in favor of streaming Netflix and Hulu and the like.
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    • Profile picture of the author jeskola
      Not in that sense no...

      But i think we will pay more and more for apps for phones/tablets which will grow to replace websites as we know them and also the interfaces we use to access date and the internet. So in that sense yes we will have to pay.
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    • Originally Posted by ZaraK View Post

      No, I don't think so, personally. In case you are not aware, there is already an "underground" internet and the digerati would just all move there.

      What I do think is realistic is that at some point the owners of the "pipe" (cable and telecom companies) will go to usage based fees. Particularly cable, who are not just going to roll over and say "ok" when their customers abandon cable subscriptions in favor of streaming Netflix and Hulu and the like.
      May be they will do it one of those days, but I don't really see the point. The equipment keeps getting better and better, and we are able to transfer data very fast. I think people are going to hit their individual limit of amount of crap they can download before they will be limited by technology. Unless they are going to come out with some kind of new high def. very 3D super big video format, in which everybody is going to watch their movies in the future.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff McGehee
    Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

    Sites like ebay, amazon, etc will be charging some kind of fee just to look at the items that they have. Google will be charging per search that user does
    Why on earth would mega multi-million dollar businesses like these do what you suggest? As soon as they do this, they open the door for a competitor to step in doing the same thing for free.

    Membership sites or pay-for-access to specialized information is a viable business model. So are the standard, free to use models that have already built these companies you mention into the behemoths that they are.

    What next...walk into a retail store or the local mall only to be told you're being charged $1/minute to browse? Would you continue to shop there?
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  • Profile picture of the author Herschel-W
    No, I think it will be mostly free because charging for access will decrease their market share in customers & revenues.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kael41
    The sky is falling, the sky is falling.

    The sense of false prophet is strong in this thread.

    There is no basis to your supposition, and the fact that businessnes do have fee based services online does not equate to an all inclusive fee based model of search engine usage.
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    I think you will struggle to find a single person who shares that view. It would be commercial suicide.


    Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

    I think the days of free internet are coming to an end. In next few years, we will see that only "junk" will remain free and all the reasonable sites will either have yearly membership or something similar. Sites like ebay, amazon, etc will be charging some kind of fee just to look at the items that they have. Google will be charging per search that user does

    What do you all think?
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Where do people come up with ridiculous things like this?

      :confused::confused::confused:
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      • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
        Your statement is true EXCEPT it will not be the content providers/app providers charging consumers direct for their content/apps - it will be a complex, behind-the-scenes partnerships with access providers that will result more fees.

        For example, most DSL and mobile providers now have caps and are increasingly throttling at key times of the day.

        As apps and content become more bandwidth intensive, we will pay more to get access to that content and the access provider will be in cahoots with the app vendors.

        For example, mobile providers connect Kindle's in exchange for a piece of ebook revenue, improved access to certain video streams or gaming platforms will increasingly be offered by providers for an upcharge on standard access charges, etc...

        While it never was free to begin with - back-end pay relationships will become even more pronounced in the next few years.

        Jeff
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        • Profile picture of the author DogScout
          Originally Posted by jbsmith View Post

          Your statement is true EXCEPT it will not be the content providers/app providers charging consumers direct for their content/apps - it will be a complex, behind-the-scenes partnerships with access providers that will result more fees.

          For example, most DSL and mobile providers now have caps and are increasingly throttling at key times of the day.

          As apps and content become more bandwidth intensive, we will pay more to get access to that content and the access provider will be in cahoots with the app vendors.

          For example, mobile providers connect Kindle's in exchange for a piece of ebook revenue, improved access to certain video streams or gaming platforms will increasingly be offered by providers for an upcharge on standard access charges, etc...

          While it never was free to begin with - back-end pay relationships will become even more pronounced in the next few years.

          Jeff
          With the advent of the Grid, bandwidth will not be an issue. If anything, there will be more 'free' stuff, not less. Advertising paving the way.
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      • Profile picture of the author mojojuju
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Where do people come up with ridiculous things like this?
        I guess that all the ideas that make sense have already been thought of.
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        • Profile picture of the author JNFerree
          I seriously doubt Google will ever charge per search and no way will eBay and/or Amazon levy a fee just to go window shopping.

          I want whatever you're smoking

          What I do predict will happen (and already is to a certain extent) are sites that offer a LITE version vs. PREMIUM versions or maybe Bronze, Silver, Gold if their offering has enough panache to command a fee for pay to play scenario.

          Gartner and Forrester let's me peak at the Exec. Summary but I gotta pony up to get the REAL goodies. Same with Hoover and other Directory sites. You can get the table view, but no useful data feed unless you pull out your VISA.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alice123
          I don't think this is going to happen as it a sure way to end the internet. No one will pay to search and this would end all incentives for any one wanting to do business with the kind of scenario you suggest.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
    Between paying for DSL, hosting costs, domain registrations (100+), PPC, and a bunch of other costs, I fail to see where this gig was free to begin with.

    What universe are you living in?

    ~Bill
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    • Profile picture of the author mistermint
      Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

      Between paying for DSL, hosting costs, domain registrations (100+), PPC, and a bunch of other costs, I fail to see where this gig was free to begin with.

      What universe are you living in?

      ~Bill
      Love this comment from Bill

      In some ways I agree with the Jkiley, It wouldnt shock me to find google installing some kind of micro billing for thier services especially when PPC take an even steeper dive...just MO...
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I was wondering what would be coming to an end today

    ... every day it's something
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Originally Posted by Jeff McGehee View Post

    Why on earth would mega multi-million dollar businesses like these do what you suggest? As soon as they do this, they open the door for a competitor to step in doing the same thing for free.

    Membership sites or pay-for-access to specialized information is a viable business model. So are the standard, free to use models that have already built these companies you mention into the behemoths that they are.

    What next...walk into a retail store or the local mall only to be told you're being charged $1/minute to browse? Would you continue to shop there?

    Yeah, I cannot even comprehend why you would honestly think that would come to pass...

    Just because Rupert Murdoch wants to hide the news behind a pay site and other corporate media giants want to slap toll roads on the Internet does not mean that their actions will impact the greater Internet marketplace...

    There is absolutely no way that Amazon or Ebay are going to take a chance by trying to put a toll road on their multi-million dollar websites... They would sink faster than the Titanic!!



    Originally Posted by Kael41 View Post

    The sky is falling, the sky is falling.

    The sense of false prophet is strong in this thread.

    There is no basis to your supposition, and the fact that businessnes do have fee based services online does not equate to an all inclusive fee based model of search engine usage.
    Originally Posted by Richard Odell View Post

    And the sky is going to fall and it will be raining frogs.

    Alternately all the crap will get de-indexed by the search engines....

    The thing that fell from the sky and hit you on the head was not the veil of doom for the end of the free Internet... That was a passing pigeon...
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  • Profile picture of the author Patient-X
    This will never ever happen, there is just no need for companies such as Amazon to risk damaging their already successful business by charging a subscription fee!
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  • Profile picture of the author jamjar919
    i can't imagine google charging money per search.
    The busuiness model would collapse. Everyone would go someplace else to search
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      More content providers may begin to charge.

      Like the ones that realize AdSense doesn't pay out like it used to.

      But eCommerce sites certainly aren't going to charge people just to look at their offerings. That'd be like paying an entry fee to go to Wal-Mart.

      Of course, we may need to be wary of connectivity providers who may want to start charging website owners to have their websites carried on their service. That's less far-fetched, but not outside the realm of possibility.
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  • Profile picture of the author darthdeus
    I don't think that Amazon will start to charge for just viewing their inventory. It would discourage people from just browsing and impulsive buying, which is great part of their profit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vishal Mahadik
    This is not going to happen in anyway near future because Internet is not a private property of any particular organization or a person.

    Yes, there will be a private sites where limited access will be provided to few selected people based on the confidentiality of the data. But that is a whole different issue altogether.
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  • Profile picture of the author PanzerBanana
    If you're that worried, jump in and keep on the FCC to stick to their guns in preventing the telecoms from putting restrictions on information which they have no right too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rough Outline
    The only thing that would happen if Google etc started charging, would be more free sites would emerge and steal a large proportion of their market share or they'd simply get around it ala *gasp* "illegal downloading".
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeremiah Walsh
    Stranger things have happened... but I think that this is going a little too far.

    Paying for search results will not happen to a giant search engine such a google.

    I can see it happen with smaller specialty niche directories. But not a search engine...
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  • Profile picture of the author Kael41
    If you think about it, the "internet" has come a long way with its grass roots exposure.

    Hell, i remember back in the day unix bashing a backdoor tty connection at Yale to gain exposure to ARPANET

    ..and I was only 14 at the time Free Internet forever! lol Back then it was all bbs's, prodigy and aol a little while later and then the isp's started to take off. As long as anyone can get an i.p addy and can set up some form of apache or other kind of hosting - the net will remain free.

    How you get "into" it will always be controlled one way or another...
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  • Profile picture of the author WebPen
    Yeah I don't really see websites charging just to look around.

    That'd be like Walmart charging you money just to walk through it.

    They already know you'll probably buy something, so why charge and discourage you from going in?
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  • Profile picture of the author Biggy Fat
    Google would be the most heartless and greediest *******s on Earth if they started charging people for searches.
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    • Profile picture of the author unclepennybags
      That would be the dumbest move on their part because net neutrality is a huge reason why they make so much money and how they have grown to be as big as they are.
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    • Profile picture of the author MagicAce
      I think you are kinda crazy! Do you understand that google will lose if it goes to being a paying service? Think about it!
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    • Profile picture of the author mcmahanusa
      Originally Posted by Biggy Fat View Post

      Google would be the most heartless and greediest *******s on Earth if they started charging people for searches.
      Hmmm. And doesn't that pretty well describe them?

      Actually, I almost wish Google would do something that stupid. It would force people to use another source. And you can bet that another company would be smart enough to take advantage of the situation.
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  • Profile picture of the author smcnowland
    There's no way in hell Google will charge per search because 1) Virtually no one would pay it and 2) there would be too many free alternatives. Also, why would eBay start charging? They make plenty off auction listings and other advertisements.
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  • Profile picture of the author mnonline
    Nah...not going to happen So far i see only phone companies that did this. Based on consumer demands, they took advantage of the data plan. "Greed is good" lol....
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  • Profile picture of the author Fenshon
    Bill, you made me chuckle.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    In the sense that it is "free" now (play along here), I don't think that will go away.

    Television seems to be a fairly apt analogy. There is still free television, and there is paid television. A lot of people choose the free version, others prefer the paid version. However, the free option still exists alongside the paid version. Some may argue that it isn't as "healthy" as it once was, but it's not likely to go away any time soon.

    That's the way I see, anywho.

    All the best,
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  • Profile picture of the author gfsocial
    Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

    Sites like ebay, amazon, etc will be charging some kind of fee just to look at the items that they have.
    These sites got to where they are in the world.. specifically because they do NOT charge... Their competitors.. who are not household names.. chose to pay.. and look where they end up..

    They make way more money because they dont charge...
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

    I think the days of free internet are coming to an end. In next few years, we will see that only "junk" will remain free and all the reasonable sites will either have yearly membership or something similar. Sites like ebay, amazon, etc will be charging some kind of fee just to look at the items that they have. Google will be charging per search that user does

    What do you all think?
    I don't know where you are getting your facts and assumptions from, but if ebay and amazon charged for people just to look at their items they would lose 90+% of their business overnight! If anything, there will be a mass proliferation of free information out there due to the fact that it's getting increasingly cheaper and more accessible for everyone to have an online presence on the internet. I think you're dead wrong with your assumptions, the main reason why Google became such a juggernaut was because they offered great search capability for free - they'd never have become what they are today if they charged per search! There's no way they'd start charging today and let their free competitors (i.e. Yahoo and Bing) overtake them almost instantly (this is precisely what would happen if they were to charge on a per-search basis).
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  • Profile picture of the author jkiley
    Most of people who replied (and did't agree with me - which was pretty much everybody) are living in the past and current. They keep talking about how amazon and ebay would not have been big if they were charging.

    I am talking about future.

    Now the game is changing...you just wait and see.
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    • Profile picture of the author psresearch
      Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

      Most of people who replied (and did't agree with me - which was pretty much everybody) are living in the past and current. They keep talking about how amazon and ebay would not have been big if they were charging.

      I am talking about future.

      Now the game is changing...you just wait and see.
      Did it happen yet?
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

      Most of people who replied (and did't agree with me - which was pretty much everybody) are living in the past and current. They keep talking about how amazon and ebay would not have been big if they were charging.

      I am talking about future.

      Now the game is changing...you just wait and see.

      Obviously, you feel like you have some God-given gift for foretelling the future, and no one else has been given the gift you have been given...


      While you are waiting for the end of the world, I am going to move forward, content in knowing that I will continue to have free choice in my own little corner of the Internet...

      I know that I will continue operating under the Free model for my businesses for some time to come... And so will many of my peers...

      Also as a consumer, I will continue to have free choice... And as a consumer, if Amazon slapped a Cover Fee on their site to enter, I will seek out their competitors who let me browse for free and I will let them make a profit on my back when I buy what they are selling...
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      • Profile picture of the author jacktackett
        Originally Posted by tpw View Post

        Obviously, you feel like you have some God-given gift for foretelling the future, and no one else has been given the gift you have been given...

        How to Make a Tinfoil Hat - Video

        While you are waiting for the end of the world, I am going to move forward, content in knowing that I will continue to have free choice in my own little corner of the Internet...



        Bill, I'm surprised more people aren't wearing these hats - you'll have been warned!

        As for the OP - I've heard of the coming demise of the 'Free' Internet since 1993 - that I remember and probably even before then - basically when commercial ISPs began appearing in addition to government and university access - the original USENET folks were the loudest.

        The more things change the more they stay the same.....

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        • Profile picture of the author NicheMayhem
          You know, they have figured out that most males only think from below the waist so I think it would be good public service to produce a video showing how to create a tin foil...cup(?) as well since they now monitor male thoughts via the crotch. just a heads up...

          Lol @ the OP, just the systems alone to monitor and implement payment and billing systems into Google would be astronomical and likely take them years to recoup the costs of changing and configuring hundreds of thousands of servers. Clearly you have little understanding of how things actually work on this planet, but that is okay and we still welcome you to earth. Add in the the fact that they would finally give Bing a leg up and you might see things differently.

          As far as Amazon and Ebay completely changing their business model...why in the world would they take the risk? If anything is proven online, paid sites have issues with longevity and retaining members so no way no how would they ever even think of this, if anything they might add in more free services to better their customer experience, not the opposite.

          This was a $0.04 post.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
      Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

      Most of people who replied (and did't agree with me - which was pretty much everybody) are living in the past and current. They keep talking about how amazon and ebay would not have been big if they were charging.

      I am talking about future.

      Now the game is changing...you just wait and see.
      Were you TRYING to start up a controversial post, just for the sake of getting a discussion started? (if so, it looks like it worked)

      If you make a controversial statement in a public forum and provide no supporting evidence at all to back it up, you can't expect people to take you seriously. If you'd provided facts, figures, trend data, etc. to support your argument, you might have gotten different responses.

      In any case, looking at Alexa's topsites:

      Alexa Top 500 Global Sites

      It seems that every one of the top 20 sites is free for basic use. In Seth Godins' book "Unleashing The Idea Virus", he points makes the point the easier it is to spread an idea (or in this case, a website), the more that idea tends to spread. And making something free makes it easier to spread. That's been the trend in the past and present and is likely to continue into the future as well.

      To use a "futuristic" example: If robot house servants are released 15 years from now, do you think they'd be more popular if they cost $1,000 each or if they were free? (assuming quality, reliability, etc. were roughly the same in the free vs. paid versions)
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Kovats
    The world already feels they pay for their internet through the monthly bill they get from their ISP. When something started as free...it will be hard to convert everyone to paying members.
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  • Profile picture of the author Super Affiliate
    Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

    I think the days of free internet are coming to an end. In next few years, we will see that only "junk" will remain free and all the reasonable sites will either have yearly membership or something similar. Sites like ebay, amazon, etc will be charging some kind of fee just to look at the items that they have. Google will be charging per search that user does

    What do you all think?
    When you say stuff like what you said, you got to have some kind of reasoning why. Have you read somewhere about any kind of indication that it's going to happen? Or are you just trying to stir something up here so that you can get your sig exposed? I'm sorry if I sounded rude but I can't think of any other reason...

    Joe
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    • Profile picture of the author koolphoto
      I guess Walmart, Bestbuy and all the other brick and mortar companies are going to charge an entrance fee at the door too. Good way to get more customers.

      I don't think so.
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      • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
        Originally Posted by koolphoto View Post

        I guess Walmart, Bestbuy and all the other brick and mortar companies are going to charge an entrance fee at the door too. Good way to get more customers.

        I don't think so.
        I would note that Sam's Club and the like do indeed charge you to get in, although in the form of yearly memberships.
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  • Profile picture of the author TristanPerry
    Yep, the internet is essentially doomed.

    Please cease all your IMing and pass any sites/products (etc) you have over to me. (They are soom to be worthless, so it can't hurt.)

    Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Teravel
    Saying that mega-sites like Google, Ebay, Amazon, and the such, would even dream of doing what you speak of, would be like seeing government and religion come to an end world wide.

    There's an old saying. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
    Those sites aren't as massive and popular as they are for nothing. They make millions upon millions of dollars because they have built a business that will last for ages.
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  • Profile picture of the author d0rhk
    Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

    I think the days of free internet are coming to an end. In next few years, we will see that only "junk" will remain free and all the reasonable sites will either have yearly membership or something similar. Sites like ebay, amazon, etc will be charging some kind of fee just to look at the items that they have. Google will be charging per search that user does

    What do you all think?
    hahahhahahahah
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  • Profile picture of the author wpiercy
    A news paper boy came by my house yesterday and asked me to sign up for the paper. I told him i get my news online, and he said that "Sign On San Diego .com" is going to start charging on a subscription base. I told him that fine, I use Google.

    The only people who are thinking about charging are the people who are not utilizing their traffic properly. They are goign the way of the dinosaur.
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    • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
      Originally Posted by wpiercy View Post

      A news paper boy came by my house yesterday and asked me to sign up for the paper. I told him i get my news online, and he said that "Sign On San Diego .com" is going to start charging on a subscription base. I told him that fine, I use Google.

      The only people who are thinking about charging are the people who are not utilizing their traffic properly. They are going the way of the dinosaur.

      I agree. The online newspapers need to learn to embrace a paid advertising model -- just they way they did with print. It still works... only the medium has changed.

      - John
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  • Profile picture of the author born2drv
    I think the opposite is true....

    I see Google, MSN, etc giving free internet access via wireless access points all throughout the nation. In exchange of course, the landing page is defaulted to their search engine and their services are highlighted.
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    • Profile picture of the author mojojuju
      Originally Posted by born2drv View Post

      I think the opposite is true....

      I see Google, MSN, etc giving free internet access via wireless access points all throughout the nation. In exchange of course, the landing page is defaulted to their search engine and their services are highlighted.

      .. and also of course they would be snooping on anyone who uses their free internet access.
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      :)

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    • Profile picture of the author theentry
      Originally Posted by born2drv View Post

      I think the opposite is true....
      Yap I think the same. And while everything is free, it's harder to sell anything on the web. Yes you can use the free model to drive traffic, but it ends there.
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  • Profile picture of the author wpiercy
    They should also be loosening their restrictions on advertising to increase their rev.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
    Absolutely not. For where there is room and leverage for government propaganda, along with television, there is no sense in cutting the nose off to spite the face.

    The internet is the greatest tool to all mankind... both for good and evil. No party wants it restricted for that very reason.
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  • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
    Oh dear, we better enjoy the free lunch while it lasts
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    'If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.' Vincent Van Gogh.
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  • Profile picture of the author Prashaant
    One of the doctrines of the Internet is sharing information.... so, no... that won't happen... IMHO..
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  • Profile picture of the author funkynassau
    jkiley I dont know why you'd think that way. Once someone starts charging for something that had been free, that opens the door for a new guy to do it for free. Then people will go there.
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  • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
    where are you getting the internet free? cause I pay $60 a month
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  • Profile picture of the author alsmith1
    I think this would severely curtail their business and customer base and would not be a smart move at all, besides people would just create more sites and serve their abandoned customer base.


    Allen
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

      Google will be charging per search that user does

      What do you all think?
      That would be good ... for all the other search engines. Suicide for Google, but Bing and others would quickly fill the gaping hole.

      Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

      Most of people who replied (and did't agree with me - which was pretty much everybody) are living in the past and current. They keep talking about how amazon and ebay would not have been big if they were charging.

      I am talking about future.

      Now the game is changing...you just wait and see.
      Wait ... for how long? A year, 10 years, 100 years? Anyone can make a prediction and say "wait and see," but until you present reasonable arguments in your favor, predictions like this are "way, way out there" and won't be taken seriously by reasonable people.

      I'm afraid someone has smeared grease on your crystal ball and you've haven't noticed it.
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      Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    In my time zone this day is coming to an end. I predict the same thing will happen tomorrow.
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  • Profile picture of the author RioNomad
    no....just no lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author tamilseo
    Do you remember the time big free email providers tried charge their customers. Those who tried to charge lost their customers forever.
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  • Profile picture of the author wizozz
    Hi guys,

    There are real threats against freedom on the Internet, and I thought this thread is more about that topic.

    You can learn more at:

    Save the Internet | Join the fight for Internet Freedom

    Internet Freedom Coalition

    Electronic Frontier Foundation | Defending Freedom in the Digital World

    Net neutrality and freedom on the Internet is much more important topics than free (as in free beer) content.
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  • Profile picture of the author martin675
    Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

    I think the days of free internet are coming to an end. In next few years, we will see that only "junk" will remain free and all the reasonable sites will either have yearly membership or something similar. Sites like ebay, amazon, etc will be charging some kind of fee just to look at the items that they have. Google will be charging per search that user does

    What do you all think?
    Ya you are right The Internet has been the greatest technological achievement of the 20th century by far, and has been recognized as such by the global community. The free transfer of information, uncensored, unlimited and untainted, still seems to be a dream when you think about it. Whatever field that is mentioned- education, commerce, government, news, entertainment, politics and countless other areas- have been radically affected by the introduction of the Internet.
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