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[FYI] AU: Damming the Internet stream


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Damming the Internet stream  


Fresh from his triumph ensuring that Australia has become the 
laughing stock of the digital television world, Senator Richard 
Alston now wants to do to the Internet what he is planning to do to 
datacasting: stuff it.  

Having established a censorship regime for datacasting which would 
make the communists of China blush, Alston has announced he wants to 
make sure the Internet is also not used as a de facto broadcasting 

Every other industry in the country may be having its protection 
wound back and being told to adapt to new technologies, but not the 
three commercial television networks.  

Instead, the networks have shamelessly and relentlessly used the 
threat of their power to shape public opinion, to dragoon yet another 
weak and subservient government into drafting arguably the most 
shameful piece of legislation in the history of Australian 
communications policy. Given the history of capitulation to the 
commercial networks by successive governments of all colours - 
Australia actually banned pay TV for a decade - that is a big 

And having almost succeeded in tying up datacasting in a set of rules 
that should ensure digital television becomes a commercial reality 
some time just before the Second Coming, the broadcasters now have 
their government lapdogs investigating how to stop the Internet 
broadcasters competing against them.  

Alston announced during the second reading speech for the datacasting 
bill that he had asked the Australian Broadcasting Authority - the 
same mob who made the original ill-fated recommendation to mandate 
high-definition television as a digital television service - to 
report on how to ensure the Internet broadcasters do not sidestep the 
government-entrenched broadcasting monopoly.  


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