Sex, lies and Internet video-conferencing
THE Internet is like sex. Everyone is talking about it. Everyone wants it. But no one wants to pay for it. And when you do get it, is it as good as you expected? Are you satisfied? And are you doing it safely?
Hey, don't get distracted, concentrate for a minute - after all, we are talking about networking. Are you practising safe networking? And are you happy with the state of your network's Internet connectivity. Don't get screwed on-line. Read on.
The Internet is an easy sale. Like sex, it appeals to everyone. Everyone is going to get it at some stage, ie, everyone is going to get connected, eventually. The only questions are: when? And with whom?
Yes, the Internet industry is very, very sexy. Just look at the stock market. Internet related companies are capitalising as you read this sentence. Each IPO does better than the next. With all this hype, it is easy to get caught up in bad Internetworking. I have seen some scary prospects on this planet of late and it is only going to get worse before it gets better. Forget about the on-line sex, forget about the lies and the hype and forget about cleaning up in telephony or video-conferencing, and get with the program. Sex is for Penthouse and Playboy. Hype is for the asset strippers and corporate raiders. And telephony is for the telephone giants. Yes, I am afraid to tell you that there are no gaps in the market waiting for you to exploit. They have all been taken long ago. But don't despair - there are many new opportunities that can be explored with respect to WWW site development, Intranet deployment, firewall construction and much, much more. Thank you computer science.
Internet service provision in its purest form entails computer networking, database integration, firewall construction, HTML authoring, graphic design, custom software development, training and a host of other exciting fields that are waiting for you, and everyone, to exploit. But these avenues require innovation, creativity, and hard work. I learnt early in life that there is no easy money in this world. The Internet world is no exception. So stop dreaming of how you are going to clean up launching cheaper telephone calls. And start fantasising of a beautiful new world. An on-line world that is waiting to get built. So, grab your hi-tech tools and come and construct.
Sounds amazing, doesn't it? Well, it should be, but it is not as simple as you think. Not only does this technology keep you on your toes like never before (remember, we are talking about the on-line world here - if we invent it in SA, they can see it abroad and vice versa), but the bullies of the world want in. And they want in big. In charming, progressive South Africa, the powers that be want the whole shebang. Yes, they want lock, stock and bandwidth.
Strange when you think about this: I am Telkom's best salesman. In fact, all of us in the Internet industry are Telkom's best. Why are they trying to fire us? We are doing such a good job. All that they need to do is sit back on their big fat plantations and process the orders. Instead they care to spend their money (I think I got that right . . . whose money is it?) on advertising, and printing public statements about their position, and generally fighting the private sector ISPs in a futile effort to control something that is intended to be, and was designed for, the public domain. The Internet Protocol is at stake here. And the losers will be the residents of South Africa if Telkom gets its way. This industry was built on passion, instinct and above all, playful young new workers who actually loves what they are doing. I recall reading numerous times how Telkom is going to bring the Internet to the masses and how rural areas will get on-line. Time out. Time out. These people needed housing first. And telephones. No one out in the bush owns a laptop. Come on - get real. And if they want to hook up the homeless, then let them. I am all for progress, but why do they want to shut down the ISPs to do so? Something does not sound right here. Mr Financial Director of Telkom, if you are reading this please consider that: we are pioneering and innovating. We have put this country on the map from an IT perspective. Why are you trying to stop this? And besides - here is the kicker - instead of spending money fighting the ISPs, instead of spending money advertising, and instead of spending money on whatever the hell it is you seem to spend so much of it on, stop it! And reap the benefits of the ISPs' hard work! I am sure if you did your arithmetic you would see that you are scoring BIG off the ISPs. Why stop them?
Sorry, I am all over the place today. We started off talking about sex. So let's end off on the same note. Avoid getting screwed. If you want good service then pray. If you want young, dynamic, passionate souls to look after your electronic futures on-line then pray. Pray that someone who reads this may think again before they embark on what has got to be the most ridiculous and un-competitive manoeuvre ever seen in the history of the First World. But then again, hey, who am I kidding, I waited ages to get my home phone installed. Maybe this isn't the First World after all. Oh well, perhaps Telkom's new Internet drive will solve all my problems.