[LINK] Alston ticks off Microsoft and Cisco
Tue, 05 Mar 2002 18:59:26 +1100
Alston ticks off Microsoft and Cisco
By Chris Jenkins, iTnews
Tuesday, 5 March 2002
Taking a swipe at recent calls from Microsoft and Cisco for the government
to ante up on broadband infrastructure, Federal IT&T Minister Senator
Richard Alston defended the government against what he termed
"semi-apocalyptic statements by major players".
Taking particular aim at Microsoft, Alston said the software giant on the
one hand claimed broadband is still too expensive in Australia, while at
the same time saying pricing is too complex to tell what the real cost is.
"It's just a reminder that one player's market opportunity is not a
sensible basis for government intervention, let alone government funding,"
Alston said, adding the government would continue to seek market solutions
to market problems.
Alston also stressed that Australia was not being left behind in the
international broadband race, saying it didn't matter whether we were
"fourteenth or twenty-fourth in the first lap of a 10,000 kilometre race".
Alston said while taking on board the ACCC's advice to remove pricing caps
across services, he said the government remained "committed to the
continuation of pricing controls as a key equity measure".
On wireless broadband, Alston would not be drawn on licensing, saying only
that the government did not want to inhibit or marginalise services, but
had to keep in mind the rights of other spectrum users.
In a recent publicly distributed paper, Microsoft told the government it
should, among other things, pump up Australia's broadband infrastructure,
presumably to make the country more suitable for Microsoft's coming,
bandwidth hungry .Net products.
Cisco chief John Chambers, at a Sydney business lunch earlier this week
attended by Alston, lectured the government on how a "strong broadband
network was critical to Australia's competitiveness".
Controversy equalizes fools and wise men, and the fools know it.
--Oliver Wendall Holmes.