How not to have all your eggs in one basket
JT has a Jersey monopoly – which means that it can neither merge with any of the other operators nor can it be sold in its present form. If it is to be sold CICRA will probably require that it be split.
To begin with, it would not be a good idea to sell Jersey Telecoms in its current form. JT effectively consists of two parts – the infrastructure division and the consumer division. The infrastructure division is a valuable government asset and is an integral part of improving productivity and encouraging diversification.
However in its present form, and with its current mode of working, JT is effectively preventing the full development of Digital Jersey.
The concept of connecting all Jersey with fiber is excellent. There are queries that it is perhaps not being done as efficiently as it should be. The connection between the general cable and the specific houses has been more difficult than estimated. This is compounded by the fact that the routers are placed in the most convenient place for the JT fitters and are not placed in the best position for good reception for the entire house. There are further inefficiencies in that JT customers are being given priority.
These are minor quibbles compared to the big picture. I have a 50Mb line. I get just under 50Mb download but less than 1Mb upload. This is nothing like enough for a modern business. WE need to start thinking in Terabytes.
The ideal solution would be to split the company and to bring the other operators into the proposed infrastructure company. This company would run all the infrastructure of the Island. 5G will shortly be upon us and if we maintain the 3 supplier structure we could need up to 9 times as many mobile towers.
At the same time we could float the consumer company on the CI Stock Exchange and raise some much needed funds.
The original concept of a partial sale to Airtel was in the right direction but it hadn’t been thought through. This solution would be a win–win for everyone – including the public.
We also need to organise a linkup to one of the EU fast cables between Europe and North America and that would be the icing on the cake. It would make the Island a real Digital hub.