If Scotland did become a separate country, what would that mean?
From a simple engineering point of view, we would not expect much to change. I am sure BT would continue to offer services in Scotland, or set up a separate company to do so, and would still provide the same sort of backhaul to allow us to offer services. The engineering is likely to be simple - good!
But trading with a different county has a lot of possible implications.
- We may have to be VAT registered in that country, and collect and pay VAT to their VAT office.
- We may have to pay corporation tax to that county.
- We may have to do currency exchange on payments.
- We may have to pay surcharges on international bank payments even if in same currency.
- The legal implications if someone did not pay, and how we would sue them, could get a lot more complex.
- We may have to be part of that countries ADR scheme.
- We may have to deal with their telecoms regulator.
- Shipping routers may cost a lot more and may involve customs.
Obviously we can't say for sure what would happen - nobody knows the details, assuming Scotland even votes for a split, but it sounds like hassle to me.
So I wonder how many ISPs and other service businesses based in England would simply cut off Scotland, just because of simple commercial common sense.
One also wonders on impact for the likes of BT. The currently have a universal service obligation so the considerable extra costs of serving some Scottish islands are aggregated over the whole business. With no OFCOM, they may be able to charge Scots the actual cost of serving those communities. That may, of course, mean we have to pay a lot more for tails in Scotland too.