Debate, Sandefjord broadband | The heirloom silver becomes sentimental value

Debate, Sandefjord broadband | The heirloom silver becomes sentimental value
Debate, Sandefjord broadband | The heirloom silver becomes sentimental value

Opinions This is a debate post. The post expresses the writer’s views.

By all means, competition is healthy and good, especially for customers. Monopoly is never good. Not good in the long term either, possibly fine for a period when you can make good money for the owners, but it can also kill the price perception (read: expensive) among the customers in the long run. I am one of those who think broadband has been too expensive for far too long.

At the time, I was contacted by Sandefjord broadband, which clearly feared Telenor’s rapid entry, because I was offered 4 months of free customer service if I signed up for a 12-month contract. Even then, my first thoughts and question marks came about whether this is the right management of people’s tax money.

I saved NOK 300 a month

A few weeks ago came the next urgent reminder that municipal ownership of Sandefjord Bredbånd is probably not correct. Then I got a salesperson from Telenor at the door. The seller could tell that I lived very close to a 5G antenna and could therefore get offers for broadband and TV through the 5G network. These are tough times financially these days and I said the truth, ONLY a more reasonable price will make me replace Sandefjord Bredbånd. I got that, around NOK 300 cheaper per month.

The third, and most urgent reminder that there should be a sale of Sandefjord Bredbånd, was when SV recently had a reader’s letter in Sandefjords Blad not to sell the broadband provider. I think SV assesses the future value of Sandefjord Bredbånd too optimistically and is wrong in this matter.

Not a municipal task

The fact that, according to SV, Sandefjord Bredbånd was hailed 20 years ago does not mean that it is still correct to hail municipal ownership today. Technological development is now so fast in most areas that it is best to leave the continued development to a free market, not a municipal company.

The fact that Sandefjord Bredbånd itself tried to lock in customers as equivalent to the “previous” technological solution that Telenor thought was going to launch says a lot. Telenor is now betting instead on the “next” technology, 5G. Development in this area is going so fast technologically, and that is great in many ways, but hardly enough of a municipal area to participate in?

How long do we have to wait?

As previously mentioned, politics is the management of money. Telenor is going to invest heavily here in the city now, and Mayor Gleditsch has previously stated that you can get NOK 1.1 billion for a sale of Sandefjord Bredbånd. Here I think you are too optimistic in your faith. Now that Sandefjord Bredbånd is in reality no longer in a monopoly situation, the value of the company will of course also be diluted.

How long do you have to wait before the sale and the value is realised? When the company is worth 800 million, 600 million, 500 million? The longer you wait, the less the value, I fear. This does not seem to be good management of municipal, or people’s, money. That is why some parties’ thoughts about an investigation are completely nonsense, it will only delay the process more and not least the financial loss will be greater.

Uncertain 35 million

According to Charlotte Jahren Øverbye and Ivar Ramberg in SV, it is stupid to sell, partly because NOK 35 million has been put into the municipal budget from surplus in Sandefjord Bredbånd.

Two things to comment on this. Given the competitive situation that is about to arise, it is not certain that 35 million in annual profit from Sandefjord Bredbånd can be guaranteed for many years to come. What you can do instead, with money from a possible sale, is to invest this money in a good way, which will soon be able to give NOK 35 million, or more, in annual returns.

Doubtful calculation

In SV’s reader’s letter, it is written that calculations made by outside experts estimate that the supply to the municipality will increase to up to NOK 60 million per year. I am very doubtful about this calculation, given the competitive situation that is about to develop in the broadband market. Telenor will undoubtedly take over many customers from Sandefjord Bredbånd.

As mentioned, technological development is very fast these days, who knows, maybe a third player will suddenly appear on the market, with solutions we cannot even imagine today? Should one then really continue to “manage” people’s money in this market through a municipal company? Is this really a municipal task?

A time for everything

The job Sandefjord Bredbånd has done through the establishment of a large broadband network here in the city has been good, for business and the private market. At the same time, it must be correct and important to understand when the time is right for the municipality to withdraw from such markets, and leave further development to the private market. The time is ripe for this now.

Local ownership is important for SV. That is all well and good, but there is no private company in this country that does not want a good relationship with customers, the public, business or public authorities. It is in the company’s own interest to have a good relationship with the local area, anything else would be irresponsible on behalf of shareholders and owners, as well as its own customer relations.

Sell ​​sell sell!

If the municipality does not speed up the sale of Sandefjord Bredbånd now, I fear the heritage silver will turn to gray stone, the decision is well overdue, sell sell sell! The next step will of course be the management of the money from the sale, which must also be done as correctly as possible.

Sandefjord Venstre was the first among the politicians to want the sale of Sandefjord Bredbånd, and will stand for the sale as soon as possible, out of consideration for the good of the community.

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: Debate Sandefjord broadband heirloom silver sentimental


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