Scotland votes no: BT welcomes outcome after price worries

BT has promised to react as necessary to any new political developments

BT has welcomed the news that Scotland has voted against independence and promised to continue its investment in the nation.

BT had headed up a consortium of telecoms giants including EE, Vodafone and TalkTalk, which warned prices could rise in Scotland if the nation voted for independence. It also questioned how a new regulatory regime would work.

However, in light of the no vote winning out, BT has said it will continue to work in Scotland as planned, and will engage with any political changes in the country as they develop.

“BT is committed to Scotland for the long term. We will continue to work with the Scottish and UK governments to deliver world-class digital infrastructure and communications services,” it said.

“We will now monitor developments regarding any further devolution of responsibilities to Holyrood and will seek to work closely with both governments to secure the best long-term outcomes for our customers, our people, our shareholders and our business.”

EE also sounded its relief at the outcome and promised to work with both government as necessary.

“EE will continue to work closely across the Westminster and Scottish governments to create an environment that supports mobile connectivity across the UK, and we remain committed to our employees, network and customers in Scotland.”

The open letter issued earlier this week by the telecoms companies underlined the concern that changes in the nation would have a dramatic impact on the telecoms sector.

“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?” the letter read.

“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?

The operators also said that any changes would likely require them to modify the management of their networks and how services are delivered in the country, with a veiled hint that this could lead to price rises.

“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,” the consortium wrote.

However, in light of the no vote these concerns can now be forgotten about. Earlier this year BT brought fibre broadband ashore in the Outer Hebrides as part of the rollout of broadband across the UK.

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19 September 2014 | 9:39 am – Source: v3.co.uk

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