The chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Graeme Samuel, argues that if Telstra acquires the exclusive right to broadcast popular content on mobile phones then its competitors will be discouraged from investing in modern infrastructure. This is not the case.
By allowing service providers like Telstra the capacity to provide exclusive content to their customers, it encourages other networks to develop similar offers.
Optus already provides video news to their mobile customers.
Other phone and internet companies are contentedly building new infrastructure and developing new technologies to provide better, higher quality services to consumers. In the drive to attract more consumers, companies are forced to be more creative and more innovative.
Samuel argues that if Telstra is allowed to provide its customers with Australian Football League statistics and replays then this may cease. This is disingenuous at best.
To pick on one type of entertainment, popular though it may be, and then decide that it is suddenly a public good seems absurd. Exclusive sporting content is not the barrier to third-generation telecommunications competition that the ACCC thinks it is.
Leave sporting rights alone.
Nothing would encourage the competition that the ACCC is sworn to defend like letting the providers actually compete.