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A 'yes' vote in the Scottish independence referendum could lead to increased broadband costs for consumers and businesses, service providers have warned.

In an open letter, the respective Chief Executives of BT, TalkTalk, O2, Vodafone, EE and Three said they would continue to operate in Scotland, should the country decide to leave the UK.

The broadband providers added that their commitment to operating north of the border will be "completely unaffected" by the outcome of the vote.

However, they claimed "a number of strategic and operational factors" would need to be resolved for their businesses.

The CEOs said they would need to know how a Scottish telecoms industry will be regulated - whether or not the current European Union regulatory framework would still apply.

This would determine whether broadband providers could continue to operate across the border with common infrastructure under a single set of rules.

Broadband providers would also need to know the approach Holyrood will take on radio spectrum, which is currently licensed on a UK-wide basis.

Spectrum is required in order to deliver 3G and 4G mobile broadband services to end-users in both urban and rural locations.

The broadband chiefs said it may be necessary to modify networks to reflect the reality of an independent Scotland - and this is potentially why costs may increase.

They warned that services may have to be modified in Scotland to reflect the "relatively demanding topography and relatively low population density".

"Any of these factors could lead to increased industry costs," the CEOs stated.

"We reiterate that, whatever the outcome, we pledge we will continue to work hard to deliver the best possible services for all our customers and remain committed to our employees and operations in Scotland."

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