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April 01, 2010

to the SMH: thanks for publishing another letter ... kind of.

I'm grateful that the Sydney Morning Herald published my letter in response to the moronic outpourings of the Federal Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy. But the editing is a let down and shows that Herald clearly doesn't want to offend part of its base. They left out my best line!

 Here's the link to the several (all critical) letters that they published in rebuttal to Conroy's absurd statements.

Here's the text of my letter as published:

As an Australian internet media executive with many years' operating experience at home, as well as in Japan, Europe and North America, I am incredulous that Senator Conroy can ask, ''Why is the internet special?'' The very asking calls into question his qualification for the portfolio.

His ministry is responsible for broadband and the digital economy. The facts: Australia is 16th in internet subscribers per 100 inhabitants; it has expensive access on a monthly basis; it has no fibre-to-the-home; and it has a supply oligopoly (in pay TV, too).

Perhaps the senator might live in some of the places I have in order to experience real competition in price, speed and consumer choice (without censorship). I can recommend Tokyo, Paris, San Francisco and Munich.

Brett Wayn San Francisco

Here's the original, as sent, with the redacted sections in bold:

From: Brett Wayn 

Date: 31 March 2010 8:07:08 PM PDT

To: letters@smh.com.au

Subject: Letter to the editor

Sir:

As an Australian internet media executive with many years operating experience at home, as well as in Japan, Europe and now North America, I'm incredulous from afar that Senator Conroy can ask "Why is the Internet special?"  The very asking calls into question his qualification for the portfolio. His ministry is currently responsible for broadband and the digital economy in Australia. The facts: 16th in internet subscribers per 100 inhabitants (OECD, June 2009), expensive access on a monthly basis, no fibre to the home and a supply oligopoly (in Pay TV, too!) I note - from the uncensored Wikipedia entry - that Senator Conroy was apparently born in the UK and migrated to Australia. Perhaps he might live in some of the places I have in order to experience real competition in price, speed and consumer choice (without censorship.) I can personally recommend Tokyo, Paris, San Francisco and Munich. Speaking of Munich, I'm amused by the senator's ill-informed observation that filters are "100 per cent accurate." Come now Senator, isn't that like asserting that children are 100% safe in the care of priests? 

Sincerely,

Dr Brett Wayn

San Francisco, California

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