On the 23rd June 2016 the UK voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. The decision may have a minimal effect on the direction of the UK telecoms industry or may upon our exit cause disruption to rates and returns.
Nonetheless, over the medium term a portion of the different conceivable kinds of Brexit (e.g. EEA, EFTA, FTA, WTO-only) would permit the UK to conceivably take an alternate way to deal with whatever remains of Europe in connection to telecoms regulations, and may conclude with the UK not embracing changes being considered as part of the EU's survey of the Digital Single Market.
For telecoms particularly the EIU predicts regulation and roaming charges will be key areas, taking note of that it's extremely complex to calculate how the numerous arrangements, agreements and pan-European regulations will be resolved in the event of Brexit. Having said that, it would seem that telecoms may be saved from the worst during this period of uncertainty currently and in the imminent future.
Independent of the EU Referendum, Ofcom had as of now started a vital audit of computerised correspondences and the administrators will now need to consider the goals of that survey in light of the conceivable Brexit terms.
In practice the British exit (Brexit) date is unknown at this stage.
- There might be greater flexibility for Ofcom to deviate from the current EU telecoms regulatory framework.
- Ofcom may no longer be bound by any initiatives arising out of the European Commission's Digital Single Market programme. For example, Ofcom could take its own decisions - entirely independent from other European National Regulatory Authorities - on whether or not "over-the-top" services and/or online platforms should be subject to any form of telecoms regulation.
- Forbearance here could potentially enable the UK to gain a competitive advantage over counterparts in Europe.
- Ofcom could decide to step away from the net neutrality provisions in the Connected Continent Regulation.
- Further consolidation could become more difficult where such deals are reviewed at a purely national UK level. For example, Ofcom Chief Executive Sharon White has been particularly critical of so-called "four-to-three" mergers at a UK level.
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