There are many questions that continue to be asked about Scotland regarding their potential secession from the United Kingdom, plenty of them without a definitive answer, and almost all turning hypothetical if the result is a ‘No’ on 18 September, but the major telecommunications companies of the region have banded together to try and explain what their reaction will be in the instance of Scottish independence.
The answer is essentially one that ‘Yes’ campaigners will not want to hear, in that services will become more expensive. This is according to the chief executives of BT, EE, TalkTalk, Telefonica (owners of O2), Three, and Vodafone, who recently released an open letter discussing the possible situation and highlighting the ‘risk’ to consumers in Scotland should they become a fully-independent nation.
Their joint letter cites the need to assess a number of possible ‘strategic and operational factors’ regarding separation, with potential consequences such as network modification and slower rollout of high-speed broadband likely to occur given a new national status for Scotland.
The letter noted: “Specifically, we would need to know how a Scottish telecoms industry would be regulated. Would there be continuity with the current European Union regulatory framework so that we would continue to operate across the border with common infrastructure under a single set of rules? What approach would the government of an independent Scotland take to the radio spectrum – currently licensed on a UK-wide basis – without which mobile networks cannot operate? We may also need to modify our networks to reflect the reality of an independent Scotland; and we may need to consider whether to modify the services offered in Scotland, given its relatively demanding topography and relatively low population density. Any of these factors could lead to increased industry costs.”
Whilst the UK’s telecommunications industry claim they will remain ‘fully committed’ to Scottish services regardless of any outcome in the vote, there is no doubt that ‘Yes’ would make life at home a little more difficult as far as phone/internet service is concerned… what will be needed in such an instance is a strong national leader to take charge of the situation: