As a business owner and active member of the local business networking community, Deep Blue’s Managing Director Ross Knapman recently wrote to local MP Alec Shelbrooke about the prospective take over of EE by BT, a copy of this letter can be found below:
I am writing to you as a constituent from Wetherby and a local Business owner who believes in supporting other local businesses with reliable yet affordable communication systems.
When helping our customers to decide on which provider offers the best service for their budget, the greater choice they have matters, therefore the recent decision to allow BT (fixed line provider) to merge with Everything Everywhere (EE Owners of the largest mobile network) gives me great cause for concern.
As your Government is committed to supporting SMEs, would Parliament consider looking more closely at the risks and impacts on what was and should remain, a competitive UK industry, preferably based on today’s market and not using the outdated 2003 Communications Act?
If the merger goes ahead with no protective measures to ensure all communication providers have an equal opportunity, won’t it lead to near monopoly situations, for example in the emergency sector where BT already handles all 999 calls and EE have recently been awarded the position of sole network provider for the Emergency Services Network?
Also as a member of FCS I would like to appraise you of their willingness to meet MPs in Westminster or in their constituency, FCS have been active in pre-merger discussions with Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority.
As you will be well aware Wetherby is a thriving market town with a lot of local businesses that actively support one another and I feel that communications is a vital, although often somewhat under estimated, component in the support structure and as such everyone should have a varied and competitive marketplace from which to make their choice.