Price rises and price cuts
TalkTalk made a lot of noise about price rises from BT Openreach in relation to the fully unbundled product it uses, and it seems the actual changes due to this are to take effect from 1st April 2009.
TalkTalk line rental will increase in price from £10.50 a month to £11.25, the call connection charge where applicable will rise to 8p and daytime calls costs are up to 4.5p per minute (source: ISPreview.co.uk). Broadband users in addition will see a penalty introduced for exceeding the 40GB usage allowance. TalkTalk have a 40GB extra allowance that can be purchased for £4, so the sensible thing is to buy the boost before your allowance runs out.
The average usage from a TalkTalk broadband customer is around 2.5GB a month with traffic management used to limit the impact of peer to peer traffic, but as video streaming has become more popular this average may have risen a lot, perhaps to 5 to 7GB per month. So the number affected by the penalty is likely to be small, and under the Broadband code of practice we expect TalkTalk to warn people before the threshold is crossed.
Virgin Media and its cable broadband products are unaffected by the changes in prices from BT Openreach, but it is rejigging its broadband packages from 1st May 2009 according to Broadband Genie, the M package which is no longer marketed will increase by £2 a month, the L will drop by £4 a month and XL will drop by £1 a month. How this fits into the plan to upgrade M (2Mbps) customers to L (10Mbps) from May 2009 is unclear. One thing to watch out for is that those who want paper bills will see an extra £1.25 per month on their bill, those billed online will avoid this charge. The previous charge for itemised billing will be dropped.
For broadband providers using shared LLU, which is the majority who offer LLU services, the price rises are fairly minimal and can probably be absorbed. For people who've moved their telephone line rental away from BT to firms like Plusnet, Sky, Madasafish, Post Office and others using the Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) product there is a possibility of a 50p per month rise to cover the Openreach price rises.