A page of the Internet history will maybe be turned off soon. Three major ISPs in the United States (Verizon, Sprint and Time Warner Cable) announced they will stop access to Usenet! (or access will be limited to the Big-8).
The youngest of us have probably never used a “newsreader” to access Usenet via the NNTP protocol (already available before the World Wide Web). A few years ago, it was still a classic way to find help over thousands of topics (from IT issues to fishing or cooking). Today, Usenet (the newsgroups) are accessed via Google Groups or online tools.
But Usenet is still used by the “underground”. On Usenet, you can find almost all movies, MP3 albums or application via the well-known “alt.binaries.*” branch. Even more, it’s a method of file sharing which is unknown by most of the young surfers. Less known, discreet, fast… a perfect way to exchange illegal material. That’s why Usenet is at risk at the moment. Maintaining a Usenet feed is also very expansive in bandwidth and storage for an Internet provider: 400 GBytes of data per day!