Just like clockwork BT Retail has announced that millions of customers across the United Kingdom will see their broadband prices rise by up to 6.5% (though BT’s current offers will not be impacted) and Line Rental jump from £15.45 a month to £15.99 (3.5%) from 4th January 2014. The cost of calls will also rise by around 6%.
The move follows a similar increase in phone line rental from £14.60 to £15.45 per month that occurred on 5th January 2013 (here), while the cost of their annual pre-paid Line Rental Saver solution recently jumped from £129 to £141 (up 9%) in June 2013 (here).
A BT Spokeswoman said (Belfast Telegraph):
“BT will be updating some of its prices from January 2014, following a summer in which we slashed the price of our entry level broadband for new customers by up to 12%.
We are writing to our customers to let them know about these changes and to make it clear how they can save money via various deals. These price changes are not linked to the launch of BT Sport. We revise our prices every year in what is an intensely competitive market and whilst some go up, others come down.
Our customers have seen their calls bills fall by 14% on average in the last five years as a result of us slashing the price of inclusive calls plans. We want customers to move on to those plans as they can save money. Hopefully these changes will encourage that.”
Naturally BT also has to be mindful of its shareholders and dividend payments, which will come as no comfort to all those who increasingly feel as if the only reason to have a fixed line telephone service is to keep their broadband service alive.
Speaking of which, only 29.8% of respondents to a recent ISPreview.co.uk survey said that they still used a fixed line for most of their voice calls and 64.3% said they’d disconnect the service if it wasn’t needed for broadband (here). A nice dose of competition from the latest 4G and future 5G based mobile broadband solutions might be a good thing.
Apparently BT will also be increasing the “termination fees” on customers that want to exit mid-contract by up to 30%.