Our new CEO, Adrian Barnard gives us his thoughts on the Brexit referendum. It’s focus is towards the telecoms industry but we still thought it may be of interest since convergence is driving the macro trends. Adrian writes: –
“Come the 23rd of June I guarantee two things firstly, the UK public will be EU -fatigued secondly our UK telecoms Market won’t change much (whatever the result).
In the authors commercial lifetime our glorious Industry much has changed. The players who shape the market – Ofcom, MNO’s, International corporates & BT (doff your caps readers) have danced in tune for some time. Prior to Ofcom’s creation the UK’s clear regulatory framework meant we led the world, privatisation & continued deregulation had worked, competition was growing, our industry flourished & consumers and businesses enjoyed some of the keenest telephony pricing in the world, competition was working.
Today our industry’s growth is all sideways i.e. Convergence Today our Glorious Industry is not even worthy of its own regulatory body yet the number of well remunerated ‘Comms’ regulators is higher than ever.
A piece of populist EU legislation, roaming charges might be newsworthy (however late it is) but will it be influential in helping the IN cause raise votes? London is not the EU centre of Tech finance & creativity because Frau Schmidt calls home cheaply whilst visiting the Tower. Start-ups abound because a favourable tax-regime encourages investment & the influence of the City & its Global role are a reality.
Viewed solely through Comms lens the Brexit question is moot. In our Glorious Industry the nations Comms market is commoditised & revenue/price erosion a reality. Locality is less relevant, the Cloud a harbinger of further consolidation. The cost of the nation’s core Comms services is rising (lack of competition) & suppliers merging.
Whomever can show me increasing completion & equality of access will get my vote. And if whomever wins can deliver a stimulated Comms market place with access to services available closest to consumers then UK PLC will win – that’s the priority. Change is inevitable dear reader, growth is optional. Perhaps the referendum will remind us all of this fact.”