Broadband News

What does #brexit mean for broadband?

In the early hours of this morning, we woke up to the news that Britain* has voted to leave the European Union.

We made a conscious decision not to comment on this issue prior to the results as we felt that broadband would not be a key decision issue, and here's why.

Whilst the EU has a significant input into how markets work and how state aid in case of broadband is made possible, the importance of broadband for the UK economy does not change whether or not we chose to remain or leave the EU. It's far more likely that the success of the general economy (including investment in broadband suppliers/infrastructure) will affect the UK broadband market than the direct involvement in broadband rollout. We may see transitional difficulties on rollouts of state-funded projects but at this stage it's too early to say if they will have a positive, neutral or negative impact in addressing broadband slow-spots and hotspots. EU targets may become irrelevant but the economy as a whole will drive the demand for faster services.

Travellers may see more costs as the EU mobile roaming charges are due to be abolished, although we suspect the momentum for this is already under way and unlikely to have a significant impact.

No immediate change being planned to any schemes and we have a complex and lengthy negotiation ahead on the terms of the Brexit and any participation we have in the European Economic Area (EEA) and how that relates to broadband infrastructure, negotiations that may not even start until a new Prime Minister takes over in a few months and a formal notice of Article 50 to leave the EU being invoked.

* England and Wales to be precise; Scotland and Northern Ireland individually voted to remain which may in itself cause some complexity given the political climate.


Being an octogenerian I was surprised by the result and the fact that it seems to be the oldies who voted to leave whilst youngsters voted to remain.

One can only hope that people have made the right choice - personally I voted in back in 1975 and the same this time.

  • nadger
  • over 2 years ago

* The UK, to be precise. There was one referendum question, which was whether the United Kingdom remained in the EU or not. If you decided to limit your comment to broadband and not any other aspect of the vote, I really don't see why you need to include that comment. London also voted to remain. So did Oxfordshire, where I live, for that matter. By breaking the vote down arbitrarily, you are going off-topic into general politics.

  • jrawle
  • over 2 years ago

On the positive side - getting rid of lots of red tape.
On the negative side - just about everything else.

  • chilting
  • over 2 years ago

The problem with leaving the EU is that you can not negotiate the terms of leaving before making a final decision. If if we want to trade with Europe we may well end up paying what we do now or even more and then having no say in anything:


  • Michael_Chare
  • over 2 years ago

I never realized that there were so many simpletons in Britain

  • jamccreton
  • over 2 years ago

3.16 million have now signed the petition for a 2nd referendum with a higher bar. Possibly one of the biggest influences the Internet/broadband has had in the UK.

  • Michael_Chare
  • over 2 years ago

Michael. Amusing thing is the petition was written before the vote by someone who thought Remain was going to win and wanted a second attempt to leave!

  • jumpmum
  • over 2 years ago

@jumpmum :-)

  • Michael_Chare
  • over 2 years ago

I think that many of us voted to leave simply to spite politicians.

Comparing Osborne's scare about an emergency budget in the run up to today's 'Strong Britain' and no need for a budget sums up both their idea of honesty and our gullibility for voting for them....

They are all the same.....

  • fox-uk
  • over 2 years ago

There now seems to be a lot of Brexit regret about the place.
Never mind.
Boris, Farrage and the rest of the Establishment and their swivel-eyed ideologues have got what they wanted.

  • wittgenfrog
  • over 2 years ago

I voted leave for many reasons but basically how two face the EU has been over the last 40 years, very little of what either side said was really relevant or the whole truth, it was all sound bites and headline grabbing

but where we will see a difference in the internet will be thing like PECR, DPA, RIPA as we will not have the EU dictating what needs to be in

but that can work both ways,

with the snoopers charter no longer being held back by EU legislation will it become even more privacy invading?

there are bits of the DPA which need reforming but again we can't while in the EU

  • bluecar1
  • over 2 years ago

There is one reason older people voted to leave, and it will become apparent to the young eventually, the EU was originally the COMMON MARKET which we voted to go into in 1974. Over 40+ years this has become the European Union and has drained money out the UK while stopping the UK trading with emerging markets in the far east

  • wildthing666
  • over 2 years ago

The comments have surely strayed from the point of the article which is what the implications of Brexit are for the future of broadband, not why people voted the way they did.

My feeling is that there are not many short-term implications but the longer term one is that Ofcom would no longer be constrained by being subservient to the EU commission. I suspect BT (and maybe VM) are extremely nervous of the implications of that.

  • TheEulerID
  • over 2 years ago

(Only, it hasn't strayed. It never even got started).

On topic, what do you mean by BT and VM being worried by our not being subservient to the EU commission, in a couple of years or so? To what extent does the Commission protect them? (Genuine ignorance on my part, not a contentious question).

  • uniquename
  • over 2 years ago

Well with the EU about to collapse and us likely having to foot the bill if we had remained, that money is now potentially available for broadband. I hope to see deregulation in the future further lowering costs/expanding coverage.

  • DrMikeHuntHurtz
  • over 2 years ago

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