So the Royal Mail has been sold off and lots of people have made an overnight profit of about £300 on the £750 of shares they bought. Despite being ten times oversubscribed, we are told it was not sold off too cheaply. The evidence would appear to suggest otherwise.
Whether or not the Royal Mail proves to be a success over the longer term remains to be seen. One thing that is certain however, is that the Royal Mail will still have to deliver letters to every house in the UK, for one universal price. As someone from the North East of Scotland, I understand the importance of ensuring communities do not become cut off.
Last week I was at a meeting in rural North Yorkshire and the conversation turned to the quality of internet connection people currently experience. A significant number of the people in the room said they had no connection at all. With digital communication increasingly replacing traditional methods, it amazes me that even after BT finish the rollout of rural broadband, only 90% of people will have internet access.
A subsidy of £1.2billion was offered to encourage this rollout but it has failed to achieve its aims. The consequences of these failings may appear to be relatively minor in the short term. However, over the longer term, it may lead to people being forced to leave these rural areas or receive no “mail”. By this point monopolies will be established and so commercial operators will have no interest in investing vast sums in infrastructure, on projects they know would be earnings dilutive.
BHP are the largest firm of independent accountants in Yorkshire. A perk of our job is we get to see many wonderful parts of this great county. I just hope that we don’t find these places being cast adrift by technological advances they cannot access. Let’s hope the quote below from Captain Kirk does not ring true.
“Spock, where the hell’s the power you promised?”