Category Archives: postindependence

Scottish phone numbers after independence

Originally uploaded by zigazou76

Once Scotland becomes independent, it would be natural to get its own international dialling code instead of the British +44.

My guess is that Scotland would get +424 – it’s similar to +44, it’s available, and it’s in the European block.

This change wouldn’t happen immediately — the Czech Republic and Slovakia got their own codes in 1997, four years after independence.

There’s of course nothing that would prevent Scotland from stopping there, resulting in phone numbers such as +424 (0)141 639 9718. However, this would be unnecessarily long.

There are only two three-digit area codes in Scotland, (0)141 (Glasgow) and (0)131 (Edinburgh); these could easily be mapped to one-digit codes instead, such as (0)4 and (0)3.

Similarly, the four-digit codes could be mapped to two-digit ones, e.g., (0)24 instead of (0)1224 (Aberdeen). (See all the current area codes here.)

After shortening the area codes, all Scottish phone numbers would effectively have only eight digits in total, so perhaps the area codes could be permanently fused with the phone numbers, just like it happened in Denmark a few decades ago.

A few examples:

Area Current 1st stage 2nd stage
Glasgow, 0141 +44 (0)141 639 9718 +424 (0)4 639 9718 +424 4639 9718
Edinburgh, 0131 +44 (0)131 348 5200 +424 (0)3 348 5200 +424 3348 5200
Aberdeen, 01224 +44 (0)1224 272 000 +424 (0)24 272 000 +424 2427 2000
Isle of Arran, 01770 +44 (0)1770 600 341 +424 (0)17 600 341 +424 1760 0341

Internet country code for Scotland

Countries in the grass
Originally uploaded by Darwells

If Scotland wins her independence one day, it will be necessary to assign a ccTLD (country-code top-level domain) instead of .uk. A ccTLD always consists of exactly two lower-case letters without any accents.

However, there are so many countries in the world that there aren’t many options left.

The most natural one would be .sc, I guess, but that’s the Seychelles. .sl? No, that’s Sierra Leone. .so? .st? .sa? .sn? .sd? Nope, that’s Somalia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Sudan, respectively.

Hmmm, so what about basing it on the Gaelic name for Scotland, Alba? Well, .al is Albania, and .as (for Alba/Scotland) is American Samoa, but .ab is actually free, so I guess that would be the most obvious ccTLD.