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The Curse of Vision: Reflecting on the Privatization of Telecommunications

The Curse of Vision: Reflecting on the Privatization of Telecommunications


June 15, 2024


I recently wrote about the curse of having a vision and how it often leads to suffering. Last evening, on June 13, 2024, I experienced one of these moments of clarity and frustration. The current Minister of Telecommunications declared that the privatization of the state-owned telecommunications company in 2019 was a crime, particularly highlighting the sale of the infrastructure, which included seven crucial undersea cables.

However, the former minister, who was instrumental in the privatization, had a different view. She accused the current minister of playing politics and defended the decision, stating that it was a necessary move for UTS (United Telecommunications Services) to find a strategic partner. From the outset, I have been vocal about my belief that privatizing such vital infrastructure, crucial for the future economies of Industry 4.0 and 5.0, was a grave mistake.

Interestingly, countries like England have laws explicitly prohibiting the privatization of these types of companies. In contrast, our government chose to sell 100% of UTS's shares, a move that some speculate was to protect UTS's records, which were heavily involved in enabling e-gaming, from scrutiny by institutions like the Algemene Rekenkamer (General Audit Chamber).

Five years later, we are finally waking up to the reality that we have sold off crucial assets, infrastructure, and foundations necessary for our economy's future and people's well-being. This situation exemplifies the curse of having a vision: seeing the potential pitfalls and long-term consequences yet being unable to prevent them.

Miguel Goede

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C. Belfor
C. Belfor
Jun 15

The foresight in my 2001 Master of Business thesis on the crucial importance of a robust information and communication infrastructure is commendable.

As I rightly pointed out, such infrastructure serves as the backbone of a digital society, enabling progress in several sectors, including education, healthcare and commerce.

The emphasis on national management and ownership of this infrastructure emphasizes the strategic role it plays in a country's sovereignty and economic resilience.

The ensuing twenty years have seen a massive expansion of digital infrastructure worldwide, validating the perspectives I explored in my thesis. This infrastructure has become even more important as we navigate the complexities of the digital age, where data security, accessibility, and the digital divide present ongoing challenges.

My work…

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