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Line rental and broadband price rises on the way to BT Retail
Friday 29 April 2016 11:08:56 by Andrew Ferguson

Where BT Retail goes others usually follow so for those looking to escape the latest round of retail price rises from BT Retail you need to pick carefully or just accept that you will be exercising your right to exact a contract early due to a price rise several times a year.

The majority of the latest round of price rises take effect on 3rd July 2016 and the list of key changes is:

  • Line rental going up to £18.99/month from £17.99/month
  • Line rental saver rises to £205.08 (equivalent of £17.09/month
  • Call set up fee rises to 19p
  • Weekday calls will be 11p/minute
  • BT Kids, Kids Extra and Music rising to £4/month
  • Standard price for Unlimited ADSL2+ will be £20/month
  • Standard price for Unlimited Infinity 1 will be £26/month
  • Standard price for Unlimited Infinity 2 will be £32.50/month
  • Standard price for Unlimited Infinity 3 will be £45/month
  • Standard price for Unlimited Infinity 4 will be £52/month
  • BT Total Entertainment will be £16/month

The announcement comes at the same time as the last round of BT Reward Cards finished, and offer prices have been re-jigged with a series of price offers available until the 5th May 2016.

For existing BT customers those who will be affected by the price rises should get the appropriate notification and even if in a minimum term contract and are affected can leave without penalty, but in a broadband market where set-up fees often apply moving may not always save money. One tactic that can work for some customers is to negotiate a deal once their contract comes to an end.

The price rises are not the result of any wholesale price rises, but one presumes things like employing more call centre staff may be adding to the costs and the continuing popularity of streaming video which means core network capacity is continually upgraded may be behind some of the broadband cost rises. Another less popular reason may be that rather than a BT Sport Lite pack the broadband packages appear to have access to BT Sport channels 1,2, Europe and ESPN again.

With sixteen years of experience we believe it is safe to say that what we will see in the rest of 2016 is other providers increasing their line rental, with most electing to undercut BT Retail slightly. For those hoping Ofcom will put an end to the annual rises, remember most major complaints have been that BT Retail is too cheap compared to the wholesale costs.

With the entry level unlimited superfast service from BT retail costing £44.99 per month once all the offers expire, then is plenty of scope for vertically integrated operators to undercut while also rolling out their network. It does not soften the price rises, but some 15 years ago everyone got very excited when Pipex reduced its 0.5 Mbps ADSL pricing to £30 per month (line rental was around £10/month extra but you had a freedom to choose any provider for that).

Update 7:15pm There are some other changes on the way and these changes for some people may just be enough to offset the price rises. Existing Infinity 1 customers should see their package upgraded to the up to 52 Mbps download service as provided to new customers, though only those hitting the artificial up to 38 Mbps limit now will benefit. BT Cloud storage is increasing existing 5GB users should get a new 50GB allowance and those with the old 50GB (e.g. Infinity 2 users) will see a jump to 500GB, the unlimited Infinity 1 package is being listed as having a 100GB online storage option now. For those on the entry level usage capped broadband packages there is also changes, 10GB monthly allowances will rise to 12GB, 20GB to 25GB and 40GB to 45GB. Also customers will be able to get BT NetProtect for free. Finally perhaps in response to the constant moans about broadband and phone repair times, BT Retail is opting for a higher level of service from its suppliers in other parts of the BT Group, which should mean if a fault needs an engineer attending they should be sent 24 hours quicker than previously - oddly one of the BT Retail competitors reduced the care level it has on its services recently.

Comments

Posted by Oldjim 7 months ago
of course the cost of Anytime Calls will increase to £8.50 per month
Posted by tommy45 7 months ago
Where do they get it was too cheap from ,their standard pricing has never been too cheap, But their offers are what need to be curbed as it's these give-aways what are in part the underlying reason for their annual price rip off's especially on line rental and calls,(and rip off call connection fees), the other reason is the loss leader BT sport
Posted by tommy45 7 months ago
Also regarding other ISP's following suit,like the sheep the bigger ISP's are, no doubt Sky TT and plusnet will increase their prices, but as for some of the smaller providers probably not
Posted by phead 7 months ago
Well I was going to go with Infinity 1, but I guess not now.

"BT Consumer’s chief executive, John Petter, said that the hikes would allow the company to pay for faster repairs, more and better timed Premier League games and faster internet."

I don't want your crappy football!, this is getting as bad a sky with the cross subsidy to pay for the stupid premium league rights.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 7 months ago
@tommy45 The rather lengthy margin squeeze complaints by firms like TalkTalk, where they were making the case they cannot do a profitable VDSL2 service and still undercut BT Retail at the time.
Posted by rtho782 7 months ago
Excellent, I'm moving home soon and in minimum term on both my FTTC lines. I'd love the option to cancel them both, as I'll be getting Virgin and will end up in an 18m term again on both due to moving.

This annual price rise game makes a joke of minimum terms, which is quite useful for consumers.
Posted by 21again 7 months ago
Surprised the increases weren't larger :P

Wonder when the PN increases will occur ..... October this year?
Posted by balb0wa1973 7 months ago
Im on 16mb down 768k up on fttc, where is my pricing plan?? 52mb down is a pipe dream to me.

ROLL ON GFAST !!!! Wont hold my breath.
Posted by kijoma 7 months ago
Other ISP's will no doubt follow suit with the price equalising. Unless of course they are truly independent ones who do not rely on BT wholesale and provide VoIP based services. They won't be affected at all.

We expect a notable increase in phone customers , what with no line rental and 1p calls :)
Posted by kijoma 7 months ago
LOL "BT Consumer’s chief executive, John Petter, said that the hikes would allow the company to pay for faster repairs" . So openreach's over £2Bn in state aid didn't help here? Or was too much of it spent overlaying Fibre in areas with pre-existing super fast services? I can understand maintaining barely used infrastructure must be a real pain.
Posted by _Resonance_ 7 months ago
Anyone got an idea of when Infinity 1 customers will get upgraded to 52Mb?
Posted by mklinger 7 months ago
Those that can't get superfast broadband will not see an improvement in internet speeds !
Posted by BuckleZ 7 months ago
_Resonance_ if you recontract you can get right away, well 24hours
Posted by DrMikeHuntHurtz 7 months ago
If I had FTTC I wouldn't mind but since I don't.... **** you BT!
Posted by _Resonance_ 7 months ago
@BuckleZ Don't want to do that. I'm on an offer, £11 for unlimited Infinity 1 until October. Thinking about that will my price stay they same or go up by the same amount as everyone else?
Posted by gt94sss2 7 months ago
I believe the mass upgrades will start next week but it may take some time for everyone who qualifies to be upgraded
Posted by gt94sss2 7 months ago
This will tell you how your price will change: https://www.bt.com/static/wa/account/pricechanges/login/login.html?s_cid=con_FURL_myprices
Posted by jchevali 7 months ago
Absurd. Price should be going down, not up. Public wifi should be free. Hope Google wifi comes one day and gives BT the boot.
Posted by _Resonance_ 7 months ago
@gt94sss2 Thanks. Going up by £1.45
Posted by CarlThomas 7 months ago
I'm curious jchevali, given that we're all using the Internet more and more and it does genuinely cost companies more to cater for higher usage why should prices be going down?

Public WiFi can only be free in the same manner the NHS is free. Someone has to pay for it at some level; usually either taxpayers or the customers of a company, so who do you have in mind paying for it?

Something for nothing pretty much doesn't exist. There's nearly always someone in the chain paying and if it's 'free' just means it isn't you.
Posted by mrooke 7 months ago
Being mugged again and nothing we can do about it.

We now have call set up fees, access charges per minute and a per minute charge for the call, for all non inclusive calls. Used to be just a minimum charge per call, plus the per minute charge.

In Poland, I pay £19.50 / month for line rental, unlimited calls within Europe to landlines and an upto 80Mbps unlimited internet service.
Posted by CarlThomas 7 months ago
Indeed mrooke.

The average salary in Poland is also less than 1/3rd that in the UK, so in terms of purchasing power parity that's closer to £60 a month here.
Posted by binary 7 months ago
Whilst I understand that the market largely follows what BT does, those who genuinely object to the BT Sport venture should vote with their feet and switch to an alternative provider.
Posted by binary 7 months ago
@gt94sss2
That's a really useful link, thanks.
Posted by mrooke 7 months ago
Due to economies of scale, ie. almost everyone has line rental in the UK and this should dictate that the cost is less than it is. The cost here has rocketed from around £11 month in 2008 to £19 month in 2016, about 72%, way way above inflation.

In Poland, I'd guess less than half have land lines, they have a wired ethernet service or use mobile data, which again, is much cheaper than here.
Posted by Deezel 7 months ago
Well simple answer just ditch the robbing bar stewards ,from what i've been reading they are going to loose a lot of customers with their rip off prices
£11.40 per month i pay snd according to my phone supplier they are not going to increase rental,plus there's none of that rip off call connection charge .
Posted by mrooke 7 months ago
That is what I'd like to do Deezel but the only option available, is Virgin broadband with no other service. When you look into that, you'll see it's priced in a way that makes it only slightly cheaper than the combined broadband with line rental.
Posted by zhango 7 months ago
I joined BT last Sep to get unlimited Infinity 1 for £10/month for 12 months which was a good deal and it works well. That cost will increase from July 3 by £2.20 + £1 extra for line rental. In Sep I do not intend paying £26/month for this product (or whatever the retentions dept offer me) so will probably move to Sky Fibre Unlimited which is currently £10/month for 12 months. Surely instead of complaining we can just follow the offers?
Posted by 21again 7 months ago
With regard to line rental and calls it's maybe time to check out resellers like Aquiss, Vivaciti, Uno and Pulse8 to name but four.

Not sure the best way to find out how good the service they provide is?
Posted by Bob_s2 7 months ago
The small providers will have to pass on these increases. Most usually hold back a while hoping to get people switching to them

There are indications in my view that BT are taking advantage of their vertical integration to load costs on to the line rental which has seen large increases for a number of years. There seems to be no real justification for such large increases

In my view BT Openreach needs to be separated from the main BT group by making it a separate wholly owned BT company that way you get proper separation of costs.
Posted by Bob_s2 7 months ago
If Line rental had gone up broadly in line with inflation instead of a near 89% increase it would have bee no more than 20%. BT seem to be exploiting their near monopoly positon in the local loop. OFCOM really need to look at this
Posted by gt94sss2 7 months ago
@Bob_s2: you are wrong in thinking that smaller providers will have to pass on these increases. The Openreach wholesale price for line rental is regulated by Ofcom and has been coming down.

The price charged to the public by the likes of BT, Sky, Talktalk etc has been going up regardless of this for their own reasons (higher profits, keeping broadband prices down, covering other costs etc. - but it has nothing to do with Openreach.

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/6772-openreach-line-rental-charges-continue-to-diverge-from-retail-price.html covers this.
Posted by meldrew 7 months ago
This looks looks very much to me like knowing that everyone need a phone line for the internet so we will make them pay for it like the energy companies standing charge. By comparison Scottish Power are a charity!! Light users are not only paying for football that they do not want but for everyone else's IPTV downloads too.
Posted by tommy45 7 months ago
Just been checking on a similar topice on that bias/over censored forum ending in the word Spy, and i noticed lots of replies from people who arn't happy with BT's hikes have disappeared for no good reason, other than the moderator doen't agree, or has some hidden vested interest in BT retail?
Posted by Bob_s2 7 months ago
What would be the real costs of switching the UK to a full Fibre network? Remember there will be a lot of cost offsets. Only one network to maintain instead of having to maintain the legacy copper network. A lot of copper that can be recovered and sold and more room in the ducting
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 7 months ago
Copper recovery at best is around £5 billion but cannot be recovered until an alternate service i.e. the new FTTH is in place and to meet USO means a battery pack at every home and EVERY home actually connected. That would swamp the cost recovery from the Cu.

Also lots of interest outside of BT Group for keeping Cu in the ground in the short to medium term.
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