After the phone tap scandals in the UK Rupert Murdoch announced that he would be re-arranging the deckchairs on his flagship. He is re-naming his media and entertainment interests the Fox Entertainment Group with Murdoch as CEO.
Fox owns twenty five percent of Foxtel through joint ventures in Sky Cable Pty Ltd and is actively increasing it’s shareholding.
Foxtel owns the infrastructure to deliver “Cable” TV. It owns optic cables, Satellite and radio delivery networks.
Tony Abbot’s policy on the Internet is to use existing commercial infrastructure. His policy sounds like an inventory of Foxtel assets. The Abbott policy gives the Internet to Foxtel, and by default to Rupert Murdoch.
There was a comment made by Tony Smith (then Shadow Communications Minister) during the 2010 election that ‘Anyone who wants high speed Internet can afford one thousand dollars a year.’ One thousand dollars a year corresponded to the cost of subscribing to Foxtel.
Now for the conspiracy theory. I might as well call it a conspiracy theory because I am certain Abbott supports will.
This how it goes. Abbott wins the next election. He gives the Internet to Rupert Murdoch via Foxtel. To gain access to the Internet people have to subscribe to Foxtel. This makes free to air radio and television and independent ISP’s redundant, effectively silencing all views that are contrary to Rupert Murdoch’s wishes. Even the ABC would have to go through Foxtel.
Convergence of technology would mean that all communications passes through the Murdoch system. Effectively communications in Australia would be under the control and supervision of Rupert Murdoch. After what happened in the UK I would not want to think about the consequences of that.
Probably just another conspiracy theory, but just to make certain the Internet must remain neutral. The Internet belongs to all of us and I would like to keep it that way.