Most of us would like to think our ISPs are run by people who 'get' the online world. Yesterday during a discussion on the future of the NBN and 100Mbps fibre in Australia, Exetel Chief John Linton decided to make a direct comment that people who want higher speed broadband, like gamers,
have no lives are not part of the half of Australians who have a life.
It came up as the panel of industry figures (including notable voices like Greens Senator Scott Ludlam) discussed what value there could possibly be from a push upward to 100Mbps fibre as part of the government's National Broadband Network plans. Linton argued there was no benefit to a step away from what ADSL2+ can deliver.
Just in case you think I've stretched his words, he specifically called out gamers as part of the "almost no one" who wants 100Mbps.
And then directly followed the word 'gamers' with his statement "who have no lives".
UPDATE: OK, folks, here's the verbatim quote. my quotes are imperfect above, as John Linton himself has pointed out below. Here's the actual words:
The number of people who want 100 megabits are [pause]almost none today and aren't going to be very many in five years time... Probably 40-50% of people today will never want to use a piece of fibre at its huge expense compared to using a free wireless signal...
There's probably well in excess of three million people using wireless, mainly for different applications at the moment.
And they're certainly not gamers playing, or those other things. They're the other half of Australia that has a life [pause]rather than a half life.
I missed the pithy throwaway at the end of his comment, which shows he knows the name of a popular game to add a little more zing to his jibe. So I'm sorry, Linton did not use the quote "gamers have no life", he said that gamers are not part of the half of Australians who have a life...
Exetel is a popular ISP amongst savvy users who want no frills broadband. And that means more than a handful of gamers. I'll say it, myself included. And now those customers get a peek at the attitude of this ISP in what they think of people who game online.
Linton also told Senator Ludlam the Greens can rot in hell if they support a split of Telstra.
He also said that he'd promised his wife he wouldn't call
anyone a c*nt Kevin Rudd "Krudd" (I misheard this throw away - Sorry John) while on the panel. And he didn't. At least, not using that specific word.
So, you know, he at least had SOME level of self control.