Friday, September 20, 2013

Post Office privatisation : should we care ?

The post from counciler Williams here and Alex running a seamless PR machine (again) makes me wonder should we care about the future of the Post Office ?

We are very fortunate our posties (Seems to be a scottish term) are the other end of the spectrum from Postman Plod in quality of Service, though Benny did leave the job to become an undertaker.

I don't hold a view either way as I have no grasp as to the shape of the future ecosystem in which the Post Office (private or otherwise) will operate in when the Universal Service Obligation expires in 2019.
  • To what extent will letters become irrelvant and replaced by email ?
  • What proportion of the bussiness will be parcel delivery?
  • Will there be universal lookup for email addresses for individuals or addresses
  • How far will decent reliable broadband roll out get in rural areas to allow reliable email access
The one thing we can be probably be reasonably confident of  is that any adverse consequences will have a disprporionate adverse effect  on rural areas.

How many peoiple are going to send me a xmas card if it costs double what it costs me to send them one?

Will bills still be sent out by post if I only get delivery once a week? Will pay within 7 days or face a fine still be legally enforcable?

I don't have a good picture of the world of communications in 2019, but I know it will be very different from today. Articulating a view of the shape of communications in 7 years time should be
central to any campaign..... this is why the Post Office is important today and what it will be important in the future. As an investor I would struggle to articulate a business case for the Post Office going forward, but that is the whole point of state ownership to make sure those services which have economic and social benefit, but can't be run for a profit, are provided.

The one principle that propably will hold is that the changes will only improve the lot of those who embrace them and this who don't (or can't) will be adversly effected.

One the plus side it may reduce the amount of junk mail those of us in rural areas get sent.

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