The retail telephone line rental price has resolutely increased over the last few years even when the wholesale cost has decreased, so with the announcement of price rises for 2014/2015 we can expect even larger increases in costs at the retail level.
The Ofcom Fixed Access Market Review is not expected to be published until July 2014 but Openreach is pre-empting this based on the proposed charges that were announced back in 2013. As we noted back in 2013, the big change is that full LLU rental will increase to be broadly in line with WLR pricing, and this is likely to hurt TalkTalk and Sky and their customers the most.
|Existing Price per year||Revised Price||Monthly Change|
|WLR Basic Rental (excluding VAT)||£93.32||£96.17||+£0.24|
|LLU MPF rental (excluding VAT)||£83.92||£96.37||+£1.04|
The price rises are set to take effect from 1st April 2014 and are described as taking place so Openreach can 'our customers certainty on pricing during the period between the current charge control ending'. There is a promise that if the Ofcom charge ceiling is lower that prices will be reduced and communications provider will receive a rebate in August 2014 - though the chances of a consumer seeing any of that rebate is near to zero.
Update Friday 21st February Ofcom has released copies of the confidential exchange between themselves and BT regarding the pricing for the Openreach WLR/LLU products for the months where there are no price controls. In theory it was possible for Openreach to charge whatever they like during that 3 month window where no controls exist.