AWS has upgraded its free tier for data transfer, from 1 GB to 100 GB per month for Internet transfer, and from 50 GB to 1 TB for CloudFront, its content delivery network.

According to AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr, “As a result of this change, millions of AWS customers around the world will no longer see charges for these two categories of data transfer,” which goes into effect on December 1 .

The free allocation will apply to services such as S3 (Simple Storage Service), web applications on EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) virtual machines, etc. There is an exclusion for AWS GovCloud and China Regions.

Further details are that the number of free HTTP and HTTPS requests to CloudFront is to be increased from 2 million to 10 million, and the offering of two million free CloudFront function calls per month is no longer limited to the first. year.

While Barr attributes the change to a “tradition of AWS price cuts,” many industry observers associate the price cut with competition from others, including Cloudflare which in September introduced R2 Storage, which implements the API. S3 from Amazon but without exit fees.

In July, Cloudflare accused AWS of excessive tariffs for data output, saying customers in North America and Europe are paying 80 times what the service costs AWS to operate.

Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince noted on Twitter, in response to the AWS news: “Well, that was quick !! I do the dance of joy! Great news for our mutual customers. And the next step towards the inevitable end of cloud exit [fees]. “

One customer commented on Hacker News: “I am using 500GB to 1TB per month on Cloudfront, which costs around $ 50 to $ 100 per month, and I was going to push that over to Cloudflare to take advantage of their savings. However, this AWS change will essentially erase my entire Cloudfront bill. I should send Cloudflare a Christmas card to say thank you.

It appears that AWS intends to block customers from heading to Cloudflare with this decision. There are caveats, however. The first is that this is a free tier, so customers using data transfer in excess of these amounts will still pay the high AWS fees. For these users, the free tier becomes a discount. Companies for which content distribution is at the heart of their business will benefit from looking elsewhere. Netflix, for example, has built its own CDN connecting to ISPs around the world.

Second, AWS has many other fees to fall back on. S3, for example, charges fees for storage and for API operations such as PUT and GET requests. Additional fees are charged for analysis, Lambda integration, etc.

Rival storage service Wasabi, which this week announced a new storage region in London, claimed the S3 fees follow a strategy of “making transaction fees so ridiculously low that customers don’t notice it. don’t care or can’t figure out how to calculate them. Then do it for all of your hundreds of thousands of customers and billions of items, and relax and watch your coffers spill over time. “( Wasabi only charges for storage and claims to be 80% cheaper than S3.)

Cloudflare is not clear on this issue of operating costs, in the context of R2, and has only stated that “R2 will zero-rate infrequent storage operations below a threshold – currently slated to be in the demand range at one. figure per second. Above this range, R2 will charge significantly less per transaction than major vendors. “

Is Prince really celebrating or will Cloudflare be worried that R2 is losing his appeal? Asked about it earlier this month, during a call for results, Prince said that if AWS were to reduce the exit fee to zero, “it would force us to continue to innovate in this space, just as it would force us to keep innovating in this space. everyone to innovate in the space. “

Prince also said interest in R2 was “off the charts”. He hopes Cloudflare will integrate with all hyperscale public cloud providers and be “the fabric that ties it all together.” ®