The Future of Australian Television – Taxation, Licensing, Advertising or Criminalization?


Given the attention of Governments to file sharing, it would
appear that the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) was obviously caused by you
sharing a copy of Lily Allens “Fuck you very


We have Ministers flying all over the world to discuss how
to criminalize 15 year old kids who can’t yet vote.

These same kids don’t bother reading political manifestos, or
if they do, have no idea how the restrictions being discussed on their
personnel freedoms will impact them in the future.


What the world does not need is an unworkable trade
agreement facilitating third party interference with the choices of any one
country’s citizens.


What it does need is a system that recognises the validity
of claims for payment by artists, authors, publishers and distributors and
renumerate them according to their contribution to the creation of the content.


In the UK,
the BBC has had the benefit for years of Television Licensing fees. This has
enabled the UK
to become one of the eminent producers of quality content.

In fact, it could be argued successfully that UK TV licensing fees have created the only real competitor to Hollywood
and the American TV networks.


I recently viewed a BBC show called Wild Down Under. One of the
best representations and photography that I have ever seen of outback Australia. Into one hour, the BBC packed what it took me over 15 years of weekend adventuring to view firsthand.


How is it that an English company can outdo Australians at
pictorially representing our own country?


There is but one answer. Experience and talent created by content creation funding. Paid for
by the annual £142.50 household UK
Television license fee.

Twenty-six million Brits paying an annual license fee adds
up to an impressive £ 3,804,075,789  (or  $6,805,659,118
AUD) Quite a nice windfall for any production company.


That works out to  $ (AUD) 110.84 per man woman and child in the UK.

In comparison, the Australian ABC funding

$ (AUD) 1,070,900,000 (Gov 800+ M, other sources 200+ M) works out  to
only  $ (AUD) 50.61 per citizen.


That extra sixty bucks a
year would help produce an awful lot of viewable high class content.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the Internet highway is being redesigned
into an Internet super highway (Trademark Al Gore image. See References) or in Australian parlance, the NBN.


Mind you, the proposed ACTA legislation will make most fun
things illegal, so there is some doubt about the eventual profitability of the
service. i.e.: if one is unable to use the internet for what it was designed
for – sharing content, (and reading newspapers for free) then what good will it


The parallel is winning a brand new Ferrari and being told
that there is no way you can drive it on the freeway at full speed.


You might as well buy a two stroke Trabi, and paint it red.


To Create your own
Customized Trabant, click on the image.



Let’s talk about highways and motorways for the moment.
Travelling time between the southern suburbs of Sydney
(Liverpool) and the city used to take about an hour.

Then along came the M5. For $1.50 you could drive between Liverpool
and the airport at speeds of up to 110 kilometres per hour with no traffic lights.


Now with peak congestion, the trip takes only two hours and twenty minutes. (As per my experience last week when I left the house at 5:50 am to ensure that I would be in town by 8:30. I made it to College Street via the Williams Street offramp with only ten minutes to spare.)

The difference?


Three things, land prices in the outlying areas rose because
of the motorway;

a company now receives the toll for the privilege of being
allowed to queue up on the morning city bound carpark;

and public transport by comparison looks REALLY good. (It only takes an hour from Liverpool by train to Museum station and for less than the return tolls.)

The M7 was then developed as a ring road to benefit outlying
areas of Sydney.


The cost to drive on the M7 from (let’s say Blacktown)
to Sydney and back again?


M7 $ 6.67 M2 $4.95 Lane Cove Tunnel  $2.73 Harbour Tunnel $4.00 = $18.35 each way
or $183.50 per week.


Even the RTA know they have a problem with Tolls.

and selecting Plan your trip and calculate tolls
will allow you to Select for example Sunnyholt road as your entry and Beecroft
road as your exit. A nice little 10 Km drive. Nope, the official RTA route
wants you to drive 94 kilometres. (So much for Government databases.)




So it would appear the NSW Government have totally stuffed
up the economy of anyone living in the western suburbs who works in the city.

(The only good thing I can say is that those responsible have retired from politics.)

But the Toll companies are getting rich.


With the average weekly travel cost now about two hundred
per week, who the hell can afford to buy music or rent DVD’s?


Certainly not the greater population of Sydney.
So scratch 5 million from Australia’s
population for the purposes of music and movie purchases. They're too busy paying tolls to buy any music.

So here we have an example of Government, Lobbyists and Companies
allowing the economy to be damaged for the benefit of private interests.


Never a good long term economic plan.


But enough about motorways, let’s get back to the National Broadband


It is proposed that eventually we will have fibre to every
home (FTTH) in Australia
at a cost of around $4456 per home.


This fibre will allow the population to turn off their
televisions, disregard their newspaper deliveries and receive all of their
content via interactive means.


If we calculate the available bandwidth per consumer (by the
time the FTTH is delivered in about eight years time) on the basis of Moores
, Australians will have available approximately 640 MB per second of access
to Australian content.


If we utilize Standard Definition television resolution, (with
one hour of programming being 400 MB) then the average TV viewer requires 11.2
GB per week. In a previous article I suggested that the obvious solution to the
file sharing problem was to propose a per Gigabyte viewing tax of one cent per


This of course could be ameliorated via advertising.


So for those that are well heeled, one cent per Gigabyte
would be a pittance that few would object too to be able to be masters of their
own viewing choices.


i.e.: Imagine being able to download all the Star Trek
movies and episodes in a few minutes to be able to watch whenever you wanted too,
without having to wait for “To be continued…..”


For those to whom this taxation impost was an anathema, the
choice to accept voluntary advertising would still allow them to participate in
the future download spree but assist in retaining the economy’s necessary
consumer retail programming.


Benefits to Government

Benefits to Consumers

Benefits to Content Creators.

Benefit to Australian Content Creators

No longer the meat in the sandwich between the people and
the Content Creators.


Guaranteed payment for the NBN without relying on xharging high access fees.


Payment for all content

Enhanced Funding for local content creation.


I can hear the doubt, but lets do the numbers.


9.2 million homes in Australia. (Future number)

2.3 persons in each home.

Standard Definition TV picture @ 400 MB per hour.

11.2 GB per week per person (based on 4 hours and 11 minutes
of TV viewing time)

1 cent per gigabyte.


Total weekly Broadband license (Tax) $ 2,369,920,000  (Assuming each
person in the home has separate screens. As we do in the Koltai household.)


Annual Total? $ 123,235,840,000.00

(Boy – wouldnt that fix the budget deficit?)

To Do List:


Develop an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) that scrapes all
content from all sources.

Develop a set-top box that sits between the LCD/Plasma
screen and the media storage device.

Develop a tracking regime as to what content was viewed by
whom when.

Organise advertising companies to fund the development of
the set-top box.

Pass legislation that mandates a set-top box media device with
one cent per Gigabyte billing (with appropriate exemptions for pensioners and advertising


And…. Develop a methodology for tracking royalty payments to
ensure they actually get paid to the creators and not just those with the most
lawyers on board.


C’mon Australia,
let’s solve the financial crisis, create a huge pile of jobs, eliminate criminalization
of our younger population and obtain better content all in one go.


What say you? Let's not make the same mistake with our content that we made with the NSW motorways.

Allowing private corporations to dictate Government policy leads to financial suicide or at the very least financial hardship, for our future citizens.

Senator Conroy, Prime Minister Rudd, I call on you and the Australian Labour Party to follow the innovative leadership initiative created by the announcement of the NBN and to implement a sensible, meaningful solution to the file sharing problem and not blindly follow the direction of the American lead, driven by corporate greed and led by individuals whom are scared of technological advancement.

ACTA will not put any money into the pockets of Australian corporations, or benefit Australian citizens.

This proposal will create jobs, ensure the content creators are reimbursed for their content on a user pays basis with a substantial amount left over for the further funding of the ABC and the NBN.

Hat tip to Jan Whittaker for the ABC Piracy Reference.



Is the Trabi, East
's Clunker, On the Comeback?

Time Magazine Aug. 25, 2009,8599,1918271,00.html


100Mbps broadband – who needs it?

BBC 10 February 2009


Road rorts taking their toll on weary motorists

Daily Telegraph October
13, 2009

Paying motorway tolls


Toll charges on Sydney
toll roads

Time of day tolling


End of
Moore's Law?
Wrong question

CNET February 18,


Internet piracy

ABC 1 November,

Al Gore and the Information Superhighway®

In depth paper by Richard Wiggins.



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