Monday, 14 September 2009

Nationalisation: it's not the answer

For a humorous example of how nationalised "industry" never works out well, check this out:

A South African information technology company on Wednesday proved it was faster for them to transmit data with a carrier pigeon than to send it using Telkom , the country's leading internet service provider.

I think that's a bit of a misdirection. I'm not an expert, but I was under the impression that Telkom was the sole provider of internet infrastructure in SA. I think ISP's in SA simply sell "value-add" services on top of Telkom's infrastructure. There is no local loop unbundling, or any real competition at the infrastructure end of things.

Internet speed and connectivity in Africa's largest economy are poor because of a bandwidth shortage. It is also expensive.

It is more expensive and slower than in Somalia, for fuck's sake! Somalia! Just fucking think about that! The Somalis have such a fucked society that "since there is no reliable law and order and a functional court system, bills are paid and contracts are enforced by relying on the traditional clan based system." And their telecomms industry is still fucking better than a state monopoly in one of Africa's better-run economies. (Well, much fucking better run than ours, anyway. South Africans seem to regard their "chancellor" equivalent as a fucking hero, just think about that for a minute!)

Local news agency SAPA reported the 11-month-old pigeon, Winston, took one hour and eight minutes to fly the 80 km (50 miles) from Unlimited IT's offices near Pietermaritzburg to the coastal city of Durban with a data card was strapped to his leg.

Including downloading, the transfer took two hours, six minutes and 57 seconds -- the time it took for only four percent of the data to be transferred using a Telkom line.

How fucked is that? And doesn't it sound just like the good old days of BT-only?


Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

I'm sorry, but your download has failed after it was eaten by a hawk!


microdave said...

Probably less chance of that happening, than our "government" loosing the damn thing....

SaltedSlug said...

I had always just naturally assumed that Somalia had no telecomms at all, let alone better than anywhere else.
Still, as the old saying goes, never underestimate the bandwidth of a station-wagon full of backup tapes.

Thomas Byrne said...

And when the Somalians discover porn, they will put down their weapons and there will be peace...

SteveShark said...

Yes, but a broadband connection doesn't shit on your head and pester you for crumbs.

SaltedSlug said...

Yes, but a broadband connection doesn't shit on your head and pester you for crumbs.

Unless you use Orange, that is.

Joe Public said...

"For a humorous example of how nationalised "industry" never works out"

I take issue with you on this one Obo.

British Gas was a benevolent monopoly that cared about fuel efficieny & the good-of-the-country.

1. It was the 1st Company to encourage its customers to use less of its product (by freely advising about Enegy Efficieny)

2. It foresaw the problem of wasting good, clean gas in Power Stations by politically lobbying against selling to them.

OFGAS in its infinate wisdom f@cked-up and thought it knew best.

Anonymous said...

so was this what that mash story was all about? I did wonder.