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Australia Government Network

Rupert Murdoch Wants To Destroy Australia's National Broadband Network 327

Posted by Soulskill
from the with-his-fully-operational-battlestation dept.
pcritter writes "With the Australian Federal Election looming, Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Australia's biggest newspapers, is looking to unseat the incumbent Labor government over its centerpiece National Broadband Network policy. The media mogul sees the NBN as a threat to his media empire and has ordered newspapers to attack the project at every opportunity. The NBN seeks to bring 100Mbps Fibre-To-The-Premises internet to 93% of the country with wireless and satellite for the remainder. It currently reaches 4% of the population and is slated to complete in 2021. The conservative opposition has promised to dramatically scale back the project."
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Rupert Murdoch Wants To Destroy Australia's National Broadband Network

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  • by bartron (772079) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @08:31AM (#44469415)

    Honestly, I'm sick of technological advances being blocked because it hurts someones bottom line. Something something stock whip makers.

    If the NBN affects his business then his business is archaic and newscorp can adjust or die...preferably the latter

    • by Nichotin (794369) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @08:41AM (#44469457)
      It is both funny and tragic how these people, who can build such large conglomerates, fail to see the business opportunities that arise when 93% of the population has 100Mbit fiber...
      • by Carewolf (581105) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @08:59AM (#44469501) Homepage

        Well, he probably sees the opportunities, but also realize he is not the best person to take advantage of them, so he must destroy it to avoid his betters from getting an advantage there, since they might use that to bring light to the places his media empire currently rules.

        • I was watching a Werner Herzog documentary about trappers in the Siberian taiga and, long story short, one trapper was complaining about trappers who will trap before some kind of critter's coat was really ready, on the basis that a few coins in his pocket now is better than someone else getting full price for the pelt later if they trap it instead of him. It's universal, and it's the reason why I'm a liberal and not an anarchist; without adequate restrictions on commerce it rapidly becomes first and foremost an instrument of tyranny. Kind of like now.

          • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @10:35AM (#44469887) Journal

            The success of anarchy depends on self discipline and voluntary cooperation. It is possible that such a thing is unattainable in this physical universe, but it would be nice to make the effort. It would mean we are becoming human. What you described is not anarchy.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 04, 2013 @10:46AM (#44469947)

              We'll never have a worthwhile society until the average human is significantly more intelligent and ethical. Everyone is just too dumb and destructive on average to hope for much better right now.

            • by dmbasso (1052166)

              It would mean we are becoming human.

              There is something that I'm still not fully convinced (and therefore I welcome comments) but I don't think the terms human and humane convey the right meaning. We humans are by nature pretty fucked up, but culture and reason keeps us away from our primeval instincts (to the point most of us don't even acknowledge they're still there). You can argue that culture and reason is part of the human condition, but even so it is not enough to curb a significant part of our population. And even if it is ugly, you sh

              • The hallmark of what it means to be human and not some other species is that we are not only capable of such things, but much better at doing it than any other. It is in our nature to improve ourselves through cultural and technological innovations. What you're thinking of is much more universal; merely 'animal' or 'mammalian'—perhaps 'great ape' at best. If anything deserves the title of 'human', it should be the struggle between the two. Don't be so cynical as to deny the natural legitimacy of your
                • by dmbasso (1052166)

                  The hallmark of what it means to be human and not some other species is that we are not only capable of such things, but much better at doing it than any other. It is in our nature to improve ourselves through cultural and technological innovations. What you're thinking of is much more universal; merely 'animal' or 'mammalian'—perhaps 'great ape' at best. If anything deserves the title of 'human', it should be the struggle between the two.

                  Exactly my point.

                  Don't be so cynical as to deny the natural legitimacy of your own idealism.

                  Not at all, my point is that the common use of the term reflects only the ideal, when it should also encompass the bad aspects of being human.

                  And it is in itself an instance of group thinking. We are humans, therefore human must mean something positive only.

              • by microbox (704317)

                but culture and reason keeps us away from our primeval instincts

                It's important to realise that culture and reason are equally the product of primeval instincts. We like to flatter ourselves into thinking that emotion is somehow primitive; however, if you think about it, you are /always/ high on your feelings. We all are. For example, consider that you only know something is correct because of how you feel when you reach the conclusion. "Reason" is couched thoroughly in those primeval instincts. As an AI researcher and life-long student of the mind, that is my opinion.

          • by Howitzer86 (964585) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @11:47AM (#44470157)

            Translation: We have to control commerce before the other guy does.

            But I suppose that's what politics boils down to... each group jockeying for control over a market. You've got the early trappers who will lobby against rules on trapping so they can get an early pelt, and you've got the late trappers who will lobby for rules against early trapping so they can get a mature pelt.

            I think simply being able and willing as a government to make such rules is the problem. People learn expect that rules can be made in favor of their particular group, and that's all they lobby for - like Rupert Murdoch.

            I'd personally much rather see a natural fairness - early pelt trappers and a national broadband - than a contrived fairness: laws against them to "make things more fair".

            • If one group can set the standard of working people to death, then why isn't that also fair?

              "Your lucky to have a job"

              "We have flex time, You can work any 80 hours a week you want"

              and of course also...

              "Full time is 30 hours a week here, so if you want to survive you better expect to work 60-90 hours a week at three different jobs. Heck- we've paired up with another business to employ you 30 hours a week if you work 30 hours a week here just to make it easy for you."

              ---

              What is "fair" is ultimately up to the

              • by Howitzer86 (964585) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @10:40PM (#44473955)

                I'm not saying it can't have good intentions. One reason I'm not a libertarian is the fact that I believe that there really is a class war going on. It's only big media and big people that say it's not real.

                I also recognize that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. If you start lobbying in mass for rules intended to hurt an opposing group it can come back upon you at a time when your group is weaker. Taken to the extreme it's mass rule and mass theft. Still.... in certain instances I must admit it makes sense. We just gotta not have that constant adversarial mindset with regards to public policy.

                • A) I believe that there really is a class war going on.

                  B) We just gotta not have that constant adversarial mindset with regards to public policy.

                  Have to choose one or the other.
                  People have to hurt a lot more before they stop believing the propaganda they consume.
                  I've listened to an out of work man on the radio raging against unemployment when he self-admittedly was about to lose his house, his marriage, and everything he'd worked for.

                  I imagine if they brought of age discrimination, he'd have been against ro

          • by cffrost (885375)

            I was watching a Werner Herzog documentary about trappers in the Siberian taiga [imdb.com] and, long story short, one trapper was complaining about trappers who will trap before some kind of critter's coat was really ready, on the basis that a few coins in his pocket now is better than someone else getting full price for the pelt later if they trap it instead of him.

            Indeed, tragedy [wikipedia.org] of the meta-trap [wikipedia.org].

            It's universal, and it's the reason why I'm a liberal and not an anarchist; without adequate restrictions on commerce it rapidly becomes first and foremost an instrument of tyranny.

            I'm with you.

            Conceivably, a local game warden could enable the community to maximize their overall pelt yield — though, in this particular environment, I imagine that the pervasive threat of regulatory capture [wikipedia.org] could make the position cost-prohibitive to fill.

          • Which is a main reason why many/most pure anarchy-theorems disavow personal-property, and share many similarities to socialism.
            To at least reduce the desire to screw everyone else for your own benefit. But at mentioned in another comment, self-discipline is also necessary.

        • by Ocker3 (1232550)
          Don't forget he makes a Lot of money from Foxtel, which people wouldn't pay as much money for if they can get content from a provider like NetFlix, which they'll be able to do if the majority of the country have Fibre instead of the crap Copper lines. He's got a monopoly atm, he doesn't want competitors.
        • Well, he probably sees the opportunities, but also realize he is not the best person to take advantage of them...

          I don't think so. Murdoch might be an asswipe (except with the reservation that such an item is actually useful), but from his point of view, the NBN is a threat to his Poxtel network. There's no way he can abandon that, so he'll just swing his wrecking ball wherever it'll work. But let's face it, he's 80-something years old, and he has been solidly on the most extreme right-wing side of the fence for decades, so really there's nothing new to see here.

          He has unlimited access to advertising space, which wi

          • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @10:21AM (#44469831)

            There's almost more general competition. He controls a media empire: Television production, broadcast networks, newspapers. Maintaining an empire like that depends to some extent on barrier to entry and economy of scale considerations - no new startup channel is going to appear to compete with his own because they would be unable to afford to set up studios or license content, and even if they could they don't own huge cable networks or geostationary broadcast satellites, and even renting some capacity on his own networks costs a lot of money - there's a reason all those religious channels, shopping channels and very niche-interests live up in the 900s on the episode guide.

            The internet changes that. Anyone with a little skill and some very affordable equipment can set up like That Guy With The Glasses or SF Debris did - all the time people spend watching videos off of such websites is time they might otherwise be spending watching television.

      • But the opportunities are not for him. The opportunities are for others to take a piece or the whole of his pie. The absolute most he could hope for, after a long and expensive shift, would be to be basically in the same position he is now, but in control of a internet based conglomerate instead.

        There is no more money being made available by this, just a new chance at the same money that is already going to monopolies like RM. In fact demand, aka the wages of the working class (the ones who already spend 11

    • by khallow (566160)
      What is the "technological advance" that is being obstructed here? Looks to me like a standard fight over a government program with the side that is getting teh short end of the deal trying to cripple it by attacking some of the main backers.
      • by Ocker3 (1232550)
        If by short end of the deal you mean 'losing his monopoly on providing premium television/movie content' then I agree with you. Because you won't need a special box or line to get high-end content, Murdoch's monopoly will fall.
      • by asaul (98023)

        Some history. Until around 1991 Australian telecommunications was provided by a single government owned business - Telecom (formerly Post Master General, then later Telstra). Telstra practically owned all the in ground infrastructure including the last mile copper to practically every phone in the country. Any hint of competition was crushed with obstruction, anti-competitive wholesale practices etc. Other players came in and grew some of their own infrastructure, extra long haul fibre mostly, but sti

    • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @11:00AM (#44470005)

      Accurate and widely available information about reality is a mortal threat to your business model.

        What does that say about what you do for a living?

  • Sheesh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 04, 2013 @08:32AM (#44469429)

    I thought they did things "upside down" not "backwards" in Australia.

  • by asifyoucare (302582) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @08:39AM (#44469449)
    The link that purports to lead to a link showing that Murdoch ordered his papers to attack the project at every opportunity shows no such thing. Instead it shows that the press council expressed concern about one of Murdoch's papers' coverage of NBN. I'm no great fan of Murdoch but such exaggeration damages the submitter's case.
    • Well, from what I just read, it shows the press council got three complaints in 2011, about three articles during June and July. The complaint was that the articles were inaccurate and misleading.

      The press council agreed the articles were inaccurate and misleading, although the articles were full of verifiable facts. So now, stating facts in a news article is misleading. Using the latest published numbers is misleading. Quoting a customer, who when asked agrees with the tone of the usage of his words, is mi

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        Selectively telling the truth is one of the most time-tested effective ways to tell a lie - just spin a good narrative and leave out the parts of the truth that prove your position to be false.

        So no, "having lots of facts" does not even come close to showing that something is not inaccurate and misleading. (Discalimer: I have no idea what the truth of the matter in this instance was, just stating a general trend)

      • Well, from what I just read, it shows the press council got three complaints in 2011, about three articles during June and July.

        OK, well here's some much more recent and relevant food for thought:

        Murdoch sends trusted general 'Col Pot' to bring down Rudd over NBN [theage.com.au]

        Is that specific enough for you?

      • Quoting customers can be misleading.

        For example, there is a propaganda piece called 180 made in 2011 which has, as a central premise, the idea that people today are already forgetting who Hitler was. Soon after it opens there is a montage of interviews, as person after person is asked and claims no knowledge of the name or the events of world war 2.

        Misleading, of course - because what the producer actually did was interview many, many, many people and only show those interviews which agree with his point. F

    • by cascadingstylesheet (140919) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @10:01AM (#44469741)
      Oh c'mon, don't let boring reality get in your way! It's Murdoch! slashmind says must hate!
  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @08:43AM (#44469461)
    Scream bloody Murdoch.
  • The whole thing is likely going to collapse under its own weight anyway.

  • by bigmadwolf (1411635) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @09:01AM (#44469507)

    The timing of this post on the front page is a little too timely. The prime minister Kevin Rudd today announced the date the federal election is to be held. It will be September 7th. Me thinks the poster is quite possibly a card carrying Australian Labor Party (ALP) member.

    There seems to be a lot of scaremongering going on in regards to the Liberal National coalition's NBN policy. The ALP is promising fibre to the building in all cases except for where it is completely infeasible (e.g. remote towns out in the desert etc.). Sounds great but it will be expensive. Probably somewhere well over $50 billion. The coalition is promising fibre to the node with fibre to the building available at cost to the user for those that need it. Coalition's will be a fair bit cheaper as it won't be funding fibre to every building.

    The ALP's NBN policy page [howfastisthenbn.com.au]

    The Liberal National coalition's NBN policy page [liberal.org.au]

    Debate over which of the two policies is superior is healthy but blatant biased scaremongering is not.

    • by dbIII (701233) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @09:54AM (#44469695)
      One is a policy, another is a bit of a wish list before the policy is fully thought out. If you look hard enough there's bound to still be a podcast of the ABC radio interview with Malcolm Turnbull on the morning it was released, where the answer to nearly every question was along the lines of "we'll get to that later". If the Libs, Nats and LNP win and form a government I'd give it about a year before they have a plan. Whether it's better or worse depends on circumstances and how much pressure the Nats who want broadband in their electorates apply and what numbers they have. The preview we've seen is only going to work in areas with a lot of evenly spread telephone exchanges not far apart so is really only a Sydney solution.

      The main purpose of the NBN as far as I see it is to do an end run around Telstra who is just happy to sit on infrastructure that hasn't changed much since 1996 and not let anyone else do anything better. Most of the vast cost of the NBN is about buying off Telstra. It's about fixing a mess that was dumped on the country in a desire for short term gain with a fire sale in times when the government didn't really need the cash. If Telstra had a board of better quality than a politician's wife, a failed historian and a union busting failed farmer things may have been different, but it's about sitting on stuff and not letting anyone else in instead of competing on the basis of improvements or service.
    • Keep following the money. Government doesn't do this out of the kindness of its heart regardless of the pleasing meme wrapper around it.

      Other predictions: It will have greater overuse clogging issues (rationing creeping in) even as it costs more than private will. Don't mod me down. Just file it away and watch as history unfolds yet again. Maybe I'll be wrong. But history does not support that.

  • Murdoch's Pirates [amazon.com]. It is useful to keep in mind News Corps' very sleazy business culture.
  • by mark_reh (2015546) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @09:05AM (#44469519) Journal

    religious fanatics by pointing out that a high speed broad-band network will be primarily used to speed the delivery of pornography to children.

    • The UK has fixed that. If we had such a program in America we could ensure that at least 50% of Internet content was evangelical preaching.

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      They already have an internet filter so that argument won't work.

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        Ah, but we know full well that such filtering doesn't actually work and never has.

        What, then why do we have it? That's not the topic under discussion here, next question please.

    • Until the religious fanatics realise that it is far easier to pass a law imposing mandatory filtering on a government network than it would be to impose the same filter on a private network. I imagine "No tax money for porn!" would be a good rallying cry.

  • by DMJC (682799) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @09:30AM (#44469595)
    Of course Murdoch hates the NBN, he owns the largest Cable TV network in Australia! Who would be paying to watch shows over the cable network when they can download them over fibre? Or worse yet, pay money to netflix to stream them to their houses directly. It's a massive threat to FOXTEL.
    • by asaul (98023)

      There is nothing stopping Foxtel being offered over the NBN - what he hates is the hint of competition that it would bring compared to the current cable/satellite monopoly.

  • That's nothing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mbone (558574) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @09:33AM (#44469615)

    Here in the USA he is trying to destroy the entire country.

    • by antdude (79039)

      Didn't he already destroy USA? Look at it!

  • What does he think he is? Australian or something? Foreigners should not meddle in Australian internal politics.
  • by Tom (822) on Sunday August 04, 2013 @11:34AM (#44470109) Homepage Journal

    One part of many. Whether it's tobacco companies, the sugar industry, the media moguls - if you haven't realized that we live in the middle of a war between capitalism and humanity, you're living under a rock.

    Corporations intentionally damage us, for profit. We are sold products known to damage our health because it's profitable. We have patent and copyright laws that are batshit crazy, because corporations think this will save their monopoly rents. In the US, corporations are fighting local governments who want to provide their citizen with services that the corporations fail to offer (like broadband in the hinterlands). All over Europe, we sold the public companies that our parents and in some cases grandparents had built up and paid for with tax money to private companies, and in most cases the results were rising prices and dropping quality. There are a number of movements to buy it back - that alone should tell you how successful the whole thing was for the public.

    William Gibbson said in an interview that he stopped writing cyberpunk stories because if he had written what is reality today as fiction back then, people would've called him insane.

    These are the final days of mankind. Not in an apocalyptic sense but in the sense of the end of our reign as the supreme creatures on this planet. Our overlords will be creatures we created, but it won't be robots or Skynet, it'll be virtual entities like corporations, governments and other faceless entities that you can't kill with a shotgun. The fringe-liberals are misguided, stockpiling food and ammo won't do you any good in this war, because it's not fought that way.

  • In the meantime, always oppose all things Murdoch.

    I so look forward to that evil turd dropping dead so I can dance on his grave.

    No level of hell is too deep for this pathetic sociopath.

    He might be a mogul, but he will always suck ass like a loser.

  • Has Murdoch ever? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Gonoff (88518)

    I am curious to know if Rupert Murdoch has ever done anything good - or even tried to.

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