TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Telus Bows to Pressure, Ends Phone Porn Downloads

Telus Bows to Pressure, Ends Phone Porn Downloads

Wojtek Dabrowski, Reuters (
Wed, 21 Feb 2007 15:36:00 -0600

By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO (Reuters) - Telus Corp., Canada's No. 2 telephone company, has
decided to stop offering pornography for downloading to mobile phones
after complaints from hundreds of customers and criticism from
Catholic church officials.

"It was the type of feedback and the sincerity of it that caused us to
reflect on the service and ultimately to withdraw it," Telus spokesman
Jim Johannsson said in an interview.

Telus was the first North American carrier to offer adult content for
direct cellphone downloads, although hard-core pornography is readily
available for download from countless Web sites and for viewing on
adult channels offered by scores of cable-TV companies.

Since January, users have been able to download images for C$3 and
videos for C$4 from Telus after having their age verified by a
third-party service. Nudity was offered, but no sex, Johannsson said.

Earlier this month, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver took
aim at Telus's decision to offer adult content. Its official
newspaper, the B.C. Catholic, quoted Vancouver Archbishop Raymond
Roussin as saying the company's plan was "disappointing and

The archbishop cited growing awareness of addiction to pornography
over the Internet as well as the "abuse that this perpetuates of
vulnerable persons."

"We haven't spoken to them directly on this," Johannsson said of the
archdiocese. "Certainly we heard their concerns, but at the same time,
we heard concerns from many, many consumers ... over the past few

Those who wish to use cellphones to download pornography will still be
able to gain access to adult Web sites via their Internet-enabled

"Our withdrawal of the service doesn't restrict access to the open
Internet in any way," Johannsson said.

Telus was surprised about how few people understood that today's
cellphones are Web-enabled, he said, adding "not a lot folks are aware
of how much power they've got clipped to their beltloops."

Telus shares were down 15 Canadian cents, to C$58.23, on the Toronto
Stock Exchange.

($1=$1.16 Canadian)

Copyright 2007, Reuters News.

NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at . Hundreds of new
articles daily. And, discuss this and other topics in our forum at (or)

For more news and headlines, please go to:

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Michael Kanellos: "The Solar Powered Cell Phone"
Go to Previous message: Gudrun Schultz: "Telus Decides to Cancel Porn Service After Many Complaints"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page