Does Labour even know how the internet works?

Bruce Simpson doesn’t think so:

One of the big headlines in the local tech/business media today is the claim by Labour that SkyTV is about to establish a virtual monopoly in the delivery of web-TV content.

Do these people even understand how the internet works?

Fair enough that attention be paid to how a broadcaster like Sky might establish a monopoly in the broadcast delivery of programme content, because of the high barriers to entry associated with this medium — but anyone can challenge the big players when it comes to IPTV.

In fact, when I checked last week, my YouTube channels are reaching an audience of around 50,000 people per day which is not an insignificant number in the world of NZ media.

And that’s just a nobody who makes quirky video content about model airplanes, jet engines and has the occasional rant about electric vehicles and fuel-saver scams.

With Ultra Fast Broadband the barrier to entry for radio, TV and almost every type of content that you can imagine are significantly lowered.

To reach the same number of people using terrestrial or satellite broadcasting would cost an arm and a leg — which is why dominant players find it relatively easy to create virtual monopolies and keep any competitors at arms-length.

What’s more, broadcasters such as SkyTV also have the ability to lock-up programme material in a way that means others can’t offer it. Take the SciFi channel for example…

I’d love to be able to get the SciFi channel and it’s probably one of the few bits of TV that I would be prepared to pay a subscription to receive. However, I understand that Sky have an option on that channel which precludes any other broadcaster from carrying it in NZ, even though Sky themselves refuse to do so.

That doesn’t happen in the online world.

If I want, I can distribute my video content using YouTube, Vimeo or any of the slew of similar video streaming sites. There is no exclusivity or nasty attempts to monopolise material as is the case in the broadcast world.

So yes, by all means, let’s have someone with the power to change things, take a good look at Sky’s nasty practices in respect to their abuse of a broadcasting monopoly — but don’t sweat it over their IPTV activities.

I’d listen to Bruce Simpson a long time before I’d listen tot he whining of Clare Curran.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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