Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Idea Worth Thinking About

Remember phone number portability for cell numbers? Is it possible to accomplish the same sort of trick for email addresses?

Now that Charter looks to be about as viable as the Old Ashippun Buggy Whip and Chandlers Co it would be nifty if it was possible for me to not give up 8 years of email history when they eventually go belly-up.

If the system can figure out how to route cell calls properly independent of the carrier, can they do the same with Nigerian spam?


Ordinary Jill said...

There was a petition asking the FCC to mandate this back in October of 2007. Nothing came of it, probably for the reasons discussed here:

If you are concerned about Charter, I suggest you save all of your past emails on your own computer (using an email client like Outlook or Eudora), then get a third-party email address now (yahoo, gmail, or your own domain). You can have your Charter emails forwarded to your third-party address right away, so you won't miss anything in the interim. You can probably set your email client to send an auto-reply letting everyone know about your new email address.

Nathan said...

What do you use as an email client-Outlook Express? If so, you're fine because everything is being saved to your hard drive. Even if you change email addresses, you won't lose anything that's currently saved. Your only risk is if you keep everything permanently on the Web (as in Hotmail). Me, I'm going to start using Gmail with Gears offline synchronization. You can also add Charter to the list of accounts that Gmail checks.

John Foust said...

The other perplexity will be that Charter, if they go belly-up and hit the auction block, may be split up and sold to other companies region-by-region. Sure, the sale will probably include the hot property of all of Charter's various domain names, but forwarding all that email would be a pain. How would you prove you were the owner of a former Charter address?

I also flinch in pain at the thought of all those people out there who get their email via the Charter web page, but who don't understand the concept of web mail versus local storage... and hope that their Charter-stored email just doesn't disappear.