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Why telecom engineers don’t know telecoms

Written by Nico Black

Digital Strategist and early-stage investor, Nico is also an AdTech enthusiast. He has over a decade of digital marketing experience and has been investing in tech companies since 2006.

December 17, 2007

My father, a journalist, always warned me against going into that line of work. After last months experience, when i published an article on TheCom.co.il, i am inclined to agree. His point dealt mainly with the unsatisfying paycheck, but my complaint is linked to the “democratization” of the web.

I believe that Rousseau spoke with horror about the tyranny of the masses. The modern manifestation of this tyranny is expressed through “talk backs”. The term refers to comments that one can leave at the end of any blog, article or any other user generated content.

My article, based on several months of research charted the historical distribution of telecommunications in Israel and potential concerns that lay ahead. These concerns are more than a figment of my imagination and have been voiced by the previous managing director of the Ministry of Communications (MoC).

Non the less i found myself under attack by someone who obviously knew telecoms, but was low on understanding the legal framework in which they operate. In Israel, telecommunication planning is under the jurisdiction of the national, regional and municipal planning bodies. These bodies, once all powerful under the socialist state, now act in a regulatory capacity based on aesthetic directives on the municipal level. In a nutshell, they don’t want cities to be ugly because of too many antennae or the sidewalks being dug up too many times for new cables.

Since the 1980s, Israel and the world have been under the growing influence of Neo Liberal ideology. This doctrine demands a retreat of the state from directing the economy. The ramifications are an information technology (IT) landscape dominated by corporate interest, rather than the public one. But wait! What does this have to do with new modulations, radio frequencies, bandwidth or cellular radiation!? Nothing, is my answer, and everything. IT is such a broad topic that it is actualy criminal, in my mind, to leave it to electrical engineers and business people. Thus, philosophically, i can answer my virtual assailant proudly saying: there is also truth in law, geography, philosophy and debate. He just stuck with slander.

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