Online services are open to all

George Pitcher thinks that the telcos and cable companies are the key proprietors in e-commerce: “Success of Net home shopping lies in the hands of regulators” (MW May 20). Sorry George, but I think that you really missed the mark here.

These companies are commodity suppliers. Sure, they have ambitions to move up the food chain, but desire and success are two different things.

Owning the wires only gives you an advantage if you can impose a proprietary closed solution on the market. But with online services, anything giving less than full access to the Internet won’t fly.

And once it’s open, everyone’s in, not just the network provider.

Even marketing monsters like Microsoft and AOL failed to impose their standards. So what chance do the telcos and cable operators have of achieving the same? None.

Like a lot of these revolutions, change is happening from the bottom up.

We’re shipping over a hundred new online shops a month, but who’s heard of us?

Chris Barling

Managing director

Actinic Software




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