Telstra Corporation is an Australian Telecom. It is paying a fine of 18.5 million dollars for denying interconnection between its facilities and those of other companies. Telstra admitted the breach of its legal obligations. The Telecommunications Act, an Australian law designed to prevent just such violations, was the law broken in this case.
Listen to this blogger explain how Telstra caps You Tube at a certain level of band width. He also explains how he is trapped into Telstra’s service and can’t escape.
Guess what? Companies not only want to censor what you can see or slow down things they don’t like, they also want to put the screws to their competitors.
You would think listening to the debate in the United States, that this is all about whether there is enough band width or if we are going to let the engine of “free market” capitalism make this all so cheap we can pay our internet bills with pocket change. This case might give you a different perspective. It would appear given the opportunity that companies would discriminate against each other. Do I have to tell you what that means for your internet service? Sometimes it would be fast, sometimes it would be unaccountably slow and other times, you wouldn’t see anything at all. Is the phrase, internet service provider, an oxymoron?
The way I see it you could make a lot more money denying service. You’d blame bandwidth problems, over regulation, and anybody else that the uninformed might believe responsible.
Ethical? Lord, no!
What do you think this is, some grade school playground? This is the world of American (and Australian) business.
Religious scruples? Golden rule? That shalt not steal? Thou shalt not bear false witness? etc? Not a chance. Religion does not figure into this kind of thinking.
How about philosophy? Kant and the Categorical Imperative? You know, you must do right under every circumstance? I guess we aren’t doing that. What about John Stuart Mill and utilitarianism? Are these business practices producing the best results regardless of their initial rightness? Well, if you only consider your profit, yes. But ole John Stuart probably wouldn’t agree with you.
Corporate Social Responsibility? Caste the peasants some crumbs? Well maybe, some in the company may be church goers, you know, a place to make business connections, and they might throw something extra in the offering plate.
You might say, “James, you are just too cynical and you have unrealistic expectations, after all the business world has been freed from old philosophies, over restrictive religions, and public expectations. We live in a new era of one rule, if it doesn’t make money it is wrong, if it does make money it is right. See how simple it is, James? Get on the wagon! You know if you gave up all this moral crap, and wrote the right kind of stuff there could be a future for you. No more teaching college students, no more tapping out your pitiful thoughts at night. Talk to the right people. Play the right games. There’s money to be had. There is nothing in the world that makes a businessman feel better than a little godlike praise. After all, don’t they deserve it? These individuals drive the economy. They make the world a better place. After all, wasn’t the United States created to enable business to make money more freely? Forget about all that liberty crap. You have to make the sale. You have to get some stupid schmuck to get out there with a gun and make the world safe for profit. Relax, James, you need some therapy. Anger and outrage can get you down. You could develop heart problems or at the very least hypertension. Relax, slow down. You know, there are some web sites where they show examples of business behaving well. Write about them! You’ll feel all better!”
No, I won’t.