It was similar. But there were a few key differences, according to the conversations I had from personnel at SES.
- [email protected] only offered snippets and headlines for its free content service. In order to consume all of the content, a fee was required by the user, which allowed the specialized (and expensive) modem to fetch the content in its entirety.
- The business of [email protected] was focused on a consumer-pays model. It was not meant to be a universal information service.
- The hardware was proprietary and was required to receive the content; hardware sales were used as an incentive for dealers to promote the fee-based service.
This differs from Outernet in several ways:
A. Outernet offers a free-to-access broadcast data service. Although our content stream is a little thin at the moment, serving snippets and teasers is not how we operate. For example, starting in January we will broadcasting the entirety of Wikipedia (likely with the Offline wiki-viewer, Kiwix).
B. Our business is focused on the conventional broadcast tv/radio model. This guarantees a free service for end users.
C. Although we do intend to sell our own receivers, that’s only because we need to seed the market. We are happy to offer our software to set top box manufacturers. Additionally, we will always offer instructions on how to build a DIY O-Rx (Outernet receiver).