In the UK, News Corp is launching a free broadband service. But in Australia, the government, in its infinite wisdom,
continues to allow Telstra to dominate Foxtel which means there is no way that it will facilitate Foxtel competing with its BigPond service.

Why can’t we achieve a level of competition similar to that in the UK here in Australia? If the government had the right policies in place Rupert Murdoch would have launched a similar service here, using Foxtel.

The media (non)reform that was just launched by the Minster is another missed opportunity in this respect, and it looks as though we will have to wait many years before we start to see the economic and social benefits of broadband
competition – benefits that are now enjoyed by most other Western countries (notably the UK).

What Murdoch’s decision means is that he sees broadband as an infrastructure issue – as an absolutely essential factor in his company’s delivery of future digital media services to its customers. His vision is clear; the investment in this infrastructure will be recouped many times over from the services that can be provided over it.

What a different vision that is from Telstra’s. It wants a government-guaranteed premium return on any investments it might choose to make in this area, while Murdoch is prepared to take the risk, without any of the guarantees, and in competition with BT.

I hope that both the government and the regulator can see what we are missing out on.

Peter Fray

Support journalism that makes things better, not worse.

Rupert Murdoch had never had a US president in his pocket before Donald Trump landed there in 2016.

This week, we explored the relationship between the two men and why Murdoch should be held to account for the making of Trump.

Where do you start with dismantling the media empire that delivered us a phenomenon like Trump?

Here’s one thing you can do: Support the journalism that makes things better, not worse.

Subscribe to Crikey today with the promo code MADEMEN and get 50% off an annual membership.

Hurry, 48 hours only.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey