The coming broadband revolution in newsagencies

We have been having discussion with News Corp (HWT) about their latest requirements for the home delivery subscription transfer of data.

The main issue is dial-up. Although our clients were among the first to install broadband, I can remember a Optus technician ringing me up with a comment “Hey this is the first newsagency we have done!”, the reality is we still have a few newsagents on dial-up. Their main reason for not changing to broadband I suspect is partly the cost. A dial-up cost about $10/month now plus a few telephone calls while going to broadband often needs a new computer and modem plus a plan of about $40/month. Over a few years that would add up to a few thousand dollars. The other is the bother as it needs some mucking around on something which appears now to be working fine for them.

However, the result of these discussions are that News Corp is now saying that all home delivery newsagents in Victoria must get broadband because it is “always on”. That means they do not have to worry about whether a newsagency remembers to send the subscription data. It will just happen automatically.

As this decision, I am sure will soon spread to all states. Soon all newsagencies will be on broadband. This will have a dramatic impact in newsagencies as it means that all newsagents' email will always be on. Once that happens, we will experience a dramatic change in business practices in our industry. I know one large pizza chain in Australia claimed that when it demanded that all its suppliers have broadband, their administrative costs was reduced by third. I suspect a similar effect in newsagency suppliers will occur. Which is going to make as a distribution channel newsagencies much more competitive although I suppose a cynic could argue how much is it costing newsagents not to have broadband as almost everyone else does now!