SEOUL, June 21 (Korea Bizwire) — Universities and students are baffled by Google Inc.’s abrupt decision to end free, unlimited mail and cloud storage service for college students and introduce paid subscription fees next year.
The South Korean unit of U.S. tech giant recently sent out notices to universities in the country using Google’s cloud services, announcing that it will impose a limit of 100 terabytes for each school’s storage starting in July 2022.
Google will charge US$3 for each student if the school exceeds storage limits.
Since July 2019, Google has been offering unlimited storage space for mail and cloud data to South Korean universities free of charge.
Since then, schools have ended the usage of independent servers and replaced them with Google services. Currently, some 50 universities in the country use Google platforms.
Google’s recent decision to overturn the free offer after only two years, however, has caught schools by surprise.
The storage limit of 100 terabytes (TB) is far less than what is needed among universities.
Seoul National University reported that as of May, the school’s 74,000 students and employees were using 7000 TB of online storage.
The school is now faced with the daunting task of deleting more than 98 percent of its data, or facing hefty service charges.
Korea University is using 6,410 TB, and also faces the risk of having to delete most of its data.
Google Korea responded tepidly that it will offer support for the school’s data maintenance.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)