An open letter on telecommunications considerations in the Scottish independence referendum
As individual companies and as an industry, we are committed to providing and investing in high-quality, affordable services to all of our customers in the UK. We are clear that this commitment will be completely unaffected by the outcome of the referendum on Scottish independence, which is entirely a decision for the Scottish people. Whatever the result, we remain fully committed to our customers, employees and operations in Scotland.
Should the majority of the people of Scotland vote for independence, there are a number of strategic and operational factors which would need to be resolved for our businesses.
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.
Finally, we reiterate that, whatever the outcome, we pledge we will continue to work hard to deliver the best possible services for all our customers and remain committed to our employees and operations in Scotland.
Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive Officer, BT Group
Dido Harding, Chief Executive Officer, TalkTalk Group
Ronan Dunne, Chief Executive Officer, Telefonica UK (O2)
Jeroen Hoencamp, Chief Executive Officer, Vodafone UK
Olaf Swantee, Chief Executive Officer, EE
David Dyson, Chief Executive Officer, Three UK
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