Stofa to lose 40,000 homes as Aarhus’ AFAA switches providers

Danish cable operator Stofa, owned by utility company Norlys, is set to lose 40,000 homes in Denmark’s second largest city, Aarhus, as a result of a decision by its local antenna association partner Antenneforeningen Aarhus (AFAA) to take over the local network and award the contract to supply services to alternative providers.

Following a recent arbitration case between Stofa and AFAA, the latter exercised a pre-emption right in the pair’s 44-year old contract to acquire the network, which will be transferred to its ownership as of December 1.

Stofa said it had made “several different offers” to continue to provide TV and internet services to Aarhus homes, but had been rebuffed. As a result, all existing customer contracts will be terminated at the start of December.

“We have done everything to ensure that customers are not affected by AFAA’s takeover of the network. AFAA has not wanted to allow us to continue as one of several providers for broadband, and therefore customers are now put in a situation where they risk being left without TV and internet per 1 December. We truly regret this,” said Lise Bering, commercial director at Stofa.

“We have collaborated with AFAA to provide TV and internet to the association’s members for a very long number of years, and we feel a great responsibility towards the customers. It therefore greatly upsets us that AFAA has terminated the cooperation, and this is a case that we neither wanted nor initiated. But without an agreement with AFAA, we can do nothing but terminate the customers.”

AFAA’s new operating subsidiary Vios has instead decided to enable homes on the network to sign up to the services of alternative provider Fastspeed, as well as the option to take services from Vios itself. Vios said that other services would be offered to the 90,000 homes passed by the network over time.

While Fastspeed with offer broadband services to Aarhus residents, Vios will offer broadband and two TV option – a single basic package delivered to the TV and YouSee Play, the mix-and-match TV offering that combines linear TV and streaming services from Denmark’s largest provider.

“We are delighted and proud to now be able to offer Fastspeed to our members. The mission of Vios is to ensure the best selection of services and products at competitive prices. It is our members’ needs that are in focus,” said Vios CEO Michael Jakobsen.

“We are genuinely excited to now be able to offer Fastspeed broadband to most of Aarhus and the surrounding area, so that there will now be a real freedom of choice for the many Aarhusians who have so far in practice been locked to their previous broadband and TV provider. At the same time, we are proud that Vios has chosen to enter into a close collaboration with us, and we have made the price super sharp, compared to what can be offered via other networks around the country. We are ready!” said Jens Raith, CEO of Fastspeed.

Tags: Denmark, Norlys, Stofa

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