The price rises at the retail level for telephone line rental have been circulating around for many months now, but these rises are flying in the face of the basic wholesale charges, which to meet regulatory requirements are set to largely reduce in April 2013 just as they did in April 2012.
|Product||Existing Price||Revised price||% change||Monthly equivalent|
|WLR New Supply||£50.44||£47.11||-6.6%|
|WLR Line Transfer||£3.29||£3.39||+3.0%|
|WLR Basic Rental p.a.||£98.81||£94.75||-4.1%||£7.90|
|LLU MPF New Supply||£51.16||£45.53||-11%|
|LLU MPF Singleton Migration||£33.54||£30.82||-8.1%|
|LLU MPF Rental p.a.||£87.41||£85.04||-2.7%||£7.09|
|LLU SMPF New Supply/Singleton Migration||£33.54||£30.82||-8.1%|
|LLU SMPF Rental p.a.||£11.92||£10.40||-12.8%||£0.87|
|GEA-FTTC/P Basic Connection||£80||£92||+15%|
All prices exclude VAT @ 20%
Of the two products going up in the price the only significant one is the GEA-FTTC/P connection fee from £80 to £92, but many providers already spread this out over the minimum contract term meaning the rise will probably not be seen at the retail level, or hidden away due to a variety of promotions that run at the wholesale level.
The big difference in the wholesale price of line rental (WLR) and the common retail price of £15 is made up things like VAT, cost of billing and popular options like the evening and weekend free calls. Once noteable thing in the last year is that even Virgin Media put up the price of its voice line rental and this is not dependant on Openreach at all, suggesting that the price rises at the retail level are down to things like the cost of billing and the many offers of free line transfer/activation.
The changes still mean that full LLU (MPF) (as used by TalkTalk and Sky) remains the cheapest way to provide a combined copper telephone and broadband service at £7.09 per month, versus £8.77 for WLR + SMPF, though the difference has diminished by 26 pence a month with the latest round of price cuts.
For those looking at the SMPF price of £0.87 and are wondering why ADSL and ADSL2+ costs so much more, this is because the SMPF and MPF rental costs are just for the bare copper line, and the retail provider needs to buy a service from a company (or install its own) that runs the MSAN/DSLAM in the local exchange and transport this data from the exchange to the Internet.