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UK Telecom Companies Suggest Scottish Independence May Affect Costs

17/09/2014 by Stuart Wilson


The UK's largest telecoms companies have put forward a joint letter to voice their concerns over the possible implications of a "yes" vote in the Scottish independence referendum.

Writing in an open letter, BT Group, TalkTalk Group, Telefonica UK (O2), Vodafone UK, EE and Three UK have suggested that the modifications to the network that would have to be made as a result of Scotland going it alone could result in "increased industry costs".

The companies also seek clarification on how any new government formed in Scotland would regulate the telecoms sector. In the letter, they ask if there would be any changes to the current European Union regulatory framework, or if they would continue to operate across the border with common infrastructure under a single set of rules.

They also ask how the government of an independent Scotland would approach the radio spectrum, which is currently licensed on a UK-wide basis. They say without this, mobile networks cannot operate. 

The letter also points to Scotland's "demanding topography and relatively low population density" as factors which could result in inflated prices for industries such as retail and banking.

The companies do say, however, whatever the outcome, that they will "continue to work hard to deliver the best possible services" for all their customers. They add that the decision will also have no effect on their commitment to "providing and investing in high-quality, affordable services" to all of their customers in the UK, and they remain "fully committed" to their customers, employers and operations in Scotland.


UK, Telecoms & Internet, Scotland, scottish independence

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