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UPD2 BT Raise Broadband and Phone Prices – Holiday to Bury Bad News

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 (6:53 am) - Score 2,881

The consumer division of BT has used the bank holiday weekend, when many people will be taking time out away from home, to confirm that millions of their broadband and phone customers across the United Kingdom will again suffer the now traditional price rise from December 2014.

As usual BT sets the benchmark for annual price rises, with all of the other major ISPs tending to following suit at a later date. Unsurprisingly this year is no different and the level of increase also appears to be broadly in line with previous years, which is par for the course when needing to be mindful of shareholders and dividend payments. On the other hand it makes some services, such as unavoidable phone line rental, seem increasingly unattractive.

So what’s new this time around? Firstly BT’s standard Phone Line Rental charge will rise by 6.25% from £15.99 per month to reach £16.99. The cost of calls will also rise by around 6.44% and broadband prices will go up by a similar amount, although prices for existing bundles should be honoured.

John Petter, CEO of BT Consumer, said:

BT is sensitive to the tough economic times and we’ve taken care to make sure that low-income customers avoid price increases. We’ve added extra money-saving options for low-income customers and for customers who only want a phone line for calls.

Although some prices have gone up, we want to help our customers to find the best value BT option with Right Plan. We are introducing extra ways for customers to maximise their savings, such as the UK’s cheapest line and broadband bundle for low-income customers and Home Phone Saver for customers who just want a great value standalone telephone package.”

In addition, BT recently confirmed (here) that the cost of their BTSport TV service for non-BT broadband customers would rise from £12 to £13.50 per month from 1st October 2014.

History of BT Phone Line Rental Rises
2011 = £13.90
2012 = £14.60
2013 = £15.45
2014 = £15.99
2015 (Dec 2014) = £16.99

Meanwhile the underlying wholesale cost of line rental has remained fairly flat for several years, with many related services costing around £8 to £10 +vat per month (remember ISPs also need to add the cost of their calling services, a profit margin and VAT on top). Never the less that gap between wholesale and retail has significantly widened, with many suggesting that hiking line rental is the alternative way of covering discounts in other areas (e.g. broadband).

UPDATE 25th August 2014

Just added a short paragraph at the bottom to put the wholesale and additional ISP costs into a bit of perspective versus retail pricing.

In addition, BT informed ISPreview.co.uk on Saturday that they would also be introducing some new products “which will allow customers to save money” (see direct from the horses mouth below):

Home Phone Saver:

We have listened to feedback from customers, particularly elderly ones who don’t want to take a deal that includes broadband and so are launching Home Phone Saver, a great value standalone telephone package. It costs just £19.99 a month, which is a saving of £11.95 a month, and the price is fixed until January 2017 with a 12 month contract. It offers a line, Anytime calls, free Caller Display, Anonymous Call Reject and Choose to Refuse in order to help manage nuisance calls and no extra charge for paying by cash or cheque. We will be contacting all the relevant customers to draw their attention to it.

BT Basic + Broadband:

The cost of BT Basic (our phone service for low-income [customers on state benefits]) is not changing and remains at £5.10 a month with a call allowance. We are launching a new broadband offer for these customers meaning low-income customers who also want broadband can get a market-leading deal from BT without losing their cut price line rental. BT Basic + Broadband will cost £9.95 a month and is the UK’s cheapest line and broadband bundle ensuring that customers on qualifying benefits get the best prices.

UPDATE 2nd September 2014

Completely forgot to mention how BT later confirmed that their pre-paid Line Rental Saver option would also increase from £159.84 to £169.90 on 01/12/2014 (i.e. equivalent to £14.15 per month). Also the set-up-fee for landline calls will increase from 15p to 15.97p and the call price per minute for landline calls will increase from 9p to 9.58p.

Leave a Comment
95 Responses
  1. Avatar X66yh says:

    Excellent news.
    More revenue for BT means that is is more likely that my cabinet serving some 220 residences which is excluded from BDUK may one day actually be upgraded to FTTC by them.

    1. Avatar Sledgehammer says:

      Maybe by 2020 ?

    2. Avatar DanielM says:

      I think not lol.

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Unless this is an Openreach price rise Openreach won’t see any money from this and its them that would decide to enable your cabinet

    4. Avatar fastman2 says:

      commercial programme complete , unless you fund it yourselved or it is covered in next round of BDUK, assuming you in a BDUK contract area

  2. Avatar Steve says:

    Ridiculous increases when inflation is running at about a 1/3 of that amount of increase. I am please that we shall soon be connected to B4RN Fibre to the house (currently digging it into the village via community effort) but then we shall have 1000 MB up and down speed BB, plus can swap our phone line from poor service BT to the B4RN – and the cost for both 1000 MB BB and phone? £25.00 PCM plus VAT. Nice one, and thanks B4RN and our community efforts. Steve in Borwick.

  3. Avatar NilSatisOptimum says:

    X66yh- Bless the quaint optimism in a share holding company!

  4. Avatar finaldest says:

    BT monopoly in full swing. Time to split BT and Openreach.

    I guess any price competition in the broadband market must be compensated by line rental increases.

    Hopefully Alt Nets will begin to move in and offer real fiber because as line rental increases the cost of FTTH becomes more attractive. The line rental costs must be affecting ISP’s profit margins to the point that there is no money to be made in broadband delivery.

    1. @finaldest There are no increases at the Openreach/Wholesale level (if anything minor adjustments that saves a little money).

      This increase is purely a BT Retail increase, which as you say, helps pay for all the discounting and below wholesale prices that have appeared on the broadband retail side of things.

      Whilst I am not a supporter of the present BT Group structure, this is not a monopoly situation as SP providers can buy from other wholesale routes.

    2. Avatar dave says:

      only BT and virgin media will be making a good profit off their broadband. All the companies that use BT’s network will be making hardly anything. I really hope that Google and other companies start rolling out lots of FTTP, there is tons of money to be made it just requires a large upfront investment from ISP’s.

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Not getting it yet are you? This is not an Openreach/Wholesale price increase. BT could do this even if Openreach was split out, its nothing to do with Openreach, just as recent TalkTalk line rental increases are also nothing to do with Openreach

    4. @FibreFred Well i’m glad someone understands 😛

      Should we ask BT Retail if they have considered buying from TalkTalk wholesale, after all I am sure if you spoke to BT Retail on the phone, they will blame wholesale increase 😉

    5. Avatar finaldest says:

      “As usual BT sets the benchmark for annual price rises, with all of the other major ISPs tending to following suit.”

      Whether the increase is wholesale or not the result is the same.

    6. Avatar adslmax says:

      @ dave – I agree 100% I want other companies to roll out FTTP and I think Google Fiber will come to UK soon. Sooner or later, get rid of greedy fat cats BT, Sky and Virgin Media

  5. Avatar ShadyCreek says:

    It’s almost as though they are intentionally cannibalising the use of landlines, and forcing the shift to mobile. Line rental aside, the cost of calls is already high and you’ve got to be someone that’s home pretty much most of the time to get any real value out of the inclusive plans.

    As an Infinity customer with inclusive weekend calls, this is the only time I ever pick up the landline to make a call. Outside of those times the cost is already too high to even consider not using the mobile.

  6. A great tweet from Thinkbroadband, which backs up my earlier post that wholesale pricing has actually dropped (hopefully this clears up the doubt and Internet nonsense 😉


    1. Avatar adslmax says:

      I don’t believe any words in this. If they kept telling the wholesales pricing is start to drop – you tell me why is broadband & line rental still increasing? TELL ME WHY??????

    2. Avatar adslmax says:

      I do hope one day BT Group, BT Retail, BT Wholesale, BT Openreach will be axed, the sooner the better!

      Bring on, Google Fiber FTTH, Hyperoptic FTTH, CityFibre, B4RN Fiber and other etc and get rid of greed fat cat BT, Virgin Media and Sky.

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Adslmax it’s not hard to work out.

      Look at the facts

      Openreach isn’t charging Bt wholesale any more than it did previously so it doesn’t cost anymore to maintain the line

      Bt wholesale haven’t increased their prices either so again it’s not costing them anything extra , the users of the lines , Bt retail , sky , talktalk etc are hiking their prices , but why ? As we’ve seen the line isn’t actually costing more than it did previously so why then ? The only viable explanation is that none of them want to be seen to increase broadband prices much or at all , so they stick it on line rental instead

      Broadband prices are so low in the uk, they have cut prices too far and are now paying for it and trying to recover via other means

  7. Avatar four_eyes says:

    rip off BT its not worth the money now never mind putting the price up .They are one of the worst companies we want rid of and the openreach clowns

    1. Avatar fastman2 says:

      is you issue that your cab is not viable

  8. Avatar john says:

    The BT Network is a shambles wish I had nothing to do with this company at all just one big joke .

  9. Avatar Raindrops says:

    So looks like we are all now supposed to not only fund their useless FTTC they now want their customers to fund the rubbish they dub BT Sport. Its still free though folks LOL

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      If you buy a BT retail offering sure… gotta be paid for somehow, I don’t doubt that some of this increase will go toward paying for BT Sport.

      Yes it is free, free like the Virgin Media network upgrades 😉

    2. Avatar fastman2 says:

      there are in excess of 540 Service providers in the Uk supported by openreach, sure you can find one your happy with

    3. Avatar Raindrops says:

      I thought those 540 service providers were supported via BT Wholesale. Which of these 540 buy from Openreach direct and not BT Wholesale? Just 5 will do.

      I was not even aware Openreach become a “service provider” rather than maintainer of the first (not last) as its refered to mile of the infrastructure.

      Or was it just another generic reply quoting from the Openreach about us gobbly gook?

    4. Avatar FibreFred says:

      What if your problem with Openreach or Wholesale? Their prices haven’t gone up, they’ve come down.

      Your issue is with BT Retail, shop around.

    5. Avatar Raindrops says:

      I never said i had any issue with BT Wholesale or Openreach. Well apart from as a tax payer having to fund Openreach, my other issue i freely admit is a BT Retail problem and their increased charges to fund the dreadful BT Sport.

  10. Avatar fastman2 says:

    f wich around 60+ of those offer FTTC services

    1. Avatar fastman2 says:

      raindrops more misinformtion ,openreach support the CPs some of those wil have a direct relationship with Openreach some of thse will cdme in via wholesale

    2. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Feel free to name which service providers buy from Openreach. Id be interested to know which providers i can purchase from which to not buy from BT Wholesale.

  11. Avatar fastman2 says:

    if a cvab is not commercial and not in a BDUK area , or will not ger benefit from BDUk there is a opportunity for a community to enter into a commercia relationship with openreach to provde open access infrastructure in their locality, (see Openreach FAQ’s)

    1. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Why would they want to go to them when they have failed them in the first case?

  12. Avatar fastman2 says:

    in response to your quesions you woud be surprised, there are a number of public dmain case studies where that has taken place (and majrity of those who have done that not have in excess of 40 m/bs

    1. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Which community projects have funded Openreach?

  13. Avatar fastman2 says:

    google and find out

    1. Avatar Raindrops says:

      So none then

    2. Avatar fastman2 says:

      this is a Business one – funded by Managing agent


    3. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Not a community project is it?

  14. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

    For those of us who don’t care about a landline and just want a dumb, fast pipe connecting to the Internet to pull content of our choosing down on this current environment sucks.

    I will be using this opportunity to ditch my second line, which is BT Retail / Infinity FTTC.

    I am genuinely envious of the United States; they may only have the option of the cable company or the telco in many cases but at least they have that option – I have the choice of many different repainted versions of the exact same thing, which isn’t really any choice at all.

    Is it really that long ago I was waiting for my area to go live for FTTPoD; I had the install fee ready to rumble and had a quote for ongoing charges?

    BT can do what they want; being the incumbent comes with a ton of advantages, and having the financial clout to advertise yourselves senseless is one of them, alongside of course being your own largest customer and able to use that to justify deciding the direction of products.

    Other operators will of course increase line rental while holding broadband prices largely steady – it’s the only way they can afford to pay for the increasing bandwidth demands of the population.

    While we have a regulatory and taxation system that actively deters infrastructure competition nothing will change. Between the major players who own the vast majority of the market it’s a line rental cartel.

    Either way BT Retail is going. On one level it sucks I’ll be on slower than I had 3 years ago however I will not pay £16.99/month for a line I don’t use. Whether I can afford it or not isn’t the point, it’s a rip off.

    I can’t claim I’m paying top dollar, I’m not, but I’m paying more than enough for mediocre services years behind the competition for the simple reason that the kind of competition Ed Richards and Ofcom expect us to be worshipful to them for just hasn’t worked.

    1. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Im seriously considering a wireless provider in my area as my next ISP from early next year. A couple of people in my town have gone that route and while its only 25Mb its consistent and works. Its also so much cheaper than having to pay landline rental + Internet fees to BT. Id have Virgin in a snap if it were available to me, Faster, cheaper, better and far more future proof than any FTTC tat.

      Every other provider at the moment unless you go mobile or are lucky enough to have something like B4RN or similar small schemes are held to ransom by the BT copper line tax.

      I do not want their rubbish only shows half the sport BT TV channels, paying for them indirectly because BT forked out silly money on rubbish half season coverage and sports nobody watches like moto GP, that along with having to fund BT as a tax payer is enough, no more of their scamming for me. Ill be gone from their rubbish over priced services and horrid overseas so called support next year.

    2. Avatar TheFacts says:

      Why does something you rent on an eg. 12 month contract need to be future proof?

    3. Avatar DTMark says:

      “While we have a regulatory and taxation system that actively deters infrastructure competition nothing will change.”


    4. Avatar Raindrops says:

      “Why does something you rent on an eg. 12 month contract need to be future proof?”

      BT Retail contracts are rolling contracts and they are not 12 Months for FTTC they are 18 Months.

  15. Avatar Chris Conder says:

    That is what happens when a monopoly rules the roost. Government still won’t admit its all a superfarce. Bring on the altnets and lets get some competition going. Cities would still be on dial up if it wasn’t for Virgin. We need more men of fibre. Moral and optic.

    1. Avatar Bo Selecta says:

      Is that cities like Aberdeen and Inverness Chris? Cities where Virgin doesn’t have a presence for around 70 and 140 miles, by road, respectively?

      You do speak some rubbish.

  16. Avatar fastman2 says:

    raindrops actually around 20 – so google and find out !!!!

    1. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Feel free to name the 20 “community” funded projects. Only Openreach funded project for “fibre” i know of are either large scale government things like the BDUK or smaller scale council funded projects, both government rather than “community” funded. B4RN is an example of community funding.

    2. Avatar fastman2 says:

      raindrops – none of then are council funded (they may uses the parish council/ as legwl entity but they are private funded thats the rules ,

    3. Avatar Raindrops says:

      And yet we still wait for you to provide any evidence of this. Using a local authority for the legal part is utter nonsense. B4RN and Rutland have done community rollouts with no council overlords.

      Again feel free to name the 20 community funded projects from Openreach. You can’t because there are none. They are all government backed in one shape or another.

    4. Avatar fastman2 says:

      communities use parish counci as corporate ciitizen for village or use local trust or set own company or use managing agents as did this village (


      This is a case study on Hampshire cc web site

    5. Avatar Raindrops says:

      LOL even worse then BT take money twice with your first example….

    6. Avatar Raindrops says:

      The first example also when you look into it more appears to have had some council backing (Full funds were never raised from what i can tell). It is also given how much BT have spent in that county and how much funding it has had is frankly disgusting they would want any community member to pay yet more money to enable any of it.

      The second example is funny in itself as BT claimed that area was not commercially viable but suddenly for a cost of £11,000 managed to do it because once again someone else would had if they did not (in this case gigaclear) So clearly unless for that area of the country its a lot cheaper to roll out BT undercut the competition and cut their own nose to get that contract. It also had council involvement. Specifically a councillor negotiating it all, all entirely above board like all councillors and MPs are im sure LOL

      Out of the “20” projects you mention id had thought you would had presented better than this, to paint BT in a positive light.

      Any further info on these broadband “providers” that do not come via BT wholesale but direct via openreach? Im sure many would be interested in them, should be cheaper with one party and its cut removed from the equation.

    7. Avatar fastman2 says:

      raindrps, not sure how you think money twice , no uplift in commercial (BT Money) rotherwich nor in BDUK – so no government money (as not in intervetnion area) so they worked to get a solution (majority now have in excess of 40 m/bbs,

    8. Avatar fastman2 says:

      raindrops , bth of those were private funded and i should know !!!!

    9. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      Not sure fastman posting here on a Sunday significantly affects his ability to do the day job, and to be honest he was not ‘central’ to the issues in question.

      Those were a combination of out of date databases and automated decision making based on those databases. When the databases were brought more up to date and a more critical eye cast on the situation things cleared up.

      Being harsh I suspect they would’ve been cleared up quicker if people hadn’t been using Liv Garfield / Openreach as a callcentre and sounding post because their cabinet with hardly anything connected to it hadn’t been connected, or to check the minutae of the enabling process wanting hourly updates.

      My ‘campaign’ was stuck with a tide of utter effluent going into the same place so I had to do something to get head above the stream of effluent and draw attention to what was a genuine issue.

      Anyway back to today’s annoyance – that an area of the UK with 0.8% of the population has >40% of Openreach’s entire FTTP rollout and wondering just why Openreach are so proud of this when for me the overarching message is that private sector competition has failed abysmally.

    10. Avatar Raindrops says:

      The first project has had only £3.8 million investment from BT to reach between 80% and 90% and £10.5 million from government, without reaching for the calculator thats around 2.8 times more funding from the authorities than it is BT.

      The second phase to reach between 90% and 95% is due to have at least another £9.2 million with no figure announced by BT.

      That brings it up to at least £19.2 million of government funds to do 15% of that county. Im at a loss in how you can claim £19.2 million is only enough to do 80%- 95%. That council and BT also claims the area concerned was not in the final 10%, so i assume and lets be generous they mean the last 5% as thats the only percent that has no funding. Though how they can skip the last 5% is anyones guess considering the second project you linked to BT can suddenly provide for only £11,000 rather than almost 2.5x that they charged the first project.

      My only conclusion is it was not community funded and it was more a case of BT taking what they could for both projects to claw back some money. Not a case of funds not being there or possible to do within the budgets already laid out.

      Also do not understand why BT projects have council involvement when others do not, is that a case of BT would prefer to talk to a government department as they smell money like a shark smells blood? Other projects have not had to go through the council. You can claim its “community” funding ill claim its just another day of regular back room shady government and BT dealings. Even more so when the second project can miraculously be done for a bargain £11,000 when they are facing competition rather than the £20,000-£40,000 other cabinet projects have cost when there is no competition. If something smells off it normally is.

    11. Avatar Raindrops says:

      ^^^ Correction that total is at least £19.7 Million.

    12. Avatar fastman2 says:

      Raindrops for the the avoidance of doubt and just to 100% clear these are direct contracts between the communities and penreach – they are outside of the BDUK programme and thy are completely private funded by the communities inyovled the communitty needs to either generate / use a egal entity and often the parish council acts as that entiry (entity only) for the community

      howq it works


    13. Avatar fastman2 says:

      FYI community made the decision after a fair and just process including presentations by both parties in a public forum

    14. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Err no

      11/13 Environment: 1. Village Broadband: the Chairman noted that, ahead of the survey carried out in early December, the broadband working group had not made any recommendation to villagers, but allowed that villagers should vote for which of the two solutions (BT Openreach or Gigaclear) they wanted depending upon their personal circumstances. The 90 respondents had in fact split 50/50 for BT Openreach and for Gigaclear. After meeting once more with the potential suppliers, the working group had selected BT Openreach as the safest option, and the Council unanimously agreed with this recommendation. Contributions from villagers towards the £11K cost had been sought, and many received. The first payment to BT Openreach had been made on time. £8K of the required £11K has been received, so there is a little way to go to raise the full amount required; further encouragement of contributions is to be addressed. The Chairman warmly thanked Mr Keith Chapple for his great contribution to the issue.

      1) The VILLAGERS did NOT decide it was a split (oh what a suprise nothing shady or shocking there) vote so the broadband group including council members decided. Im sure entirely fairly of course LMAO

      2) The FULL £11,000 just like in the first mentioned project had NOT been reached before BT miraculously agreed to take the project on.

      Buried Council notes a wonderful thing!

    15. Avatar fastman2 says:

      thats why its %05 in advance & 50% at the end !!!! conttact and inital payment triggers the work — you only have to ask

    16. Avatar Raindrops says:

      You mean thats the way it works for BT when doing deals.

  17. Avatar fastman2 says:

    igntition is it just you that wanted the FOD or is there a a few you close together

    1. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      I got a bit of demand in the area going and asked about a tactical deployment of FTTP, with subsidy.

      Never mind. It’s not the install fee that bothers me, it’s the ongoing costs doubling that caused the pain.

    2. Avatar fastman2 says:

      suggest you drop me a line as per our discussion at hunslet 92

    3. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      Thank you for the offer.

    4. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Good to see you trying to fight for fibre in your neck of the woods ignitionnet even though it is an ongoing battle with Openreach. You have to be admired for continuing to do so for around 2 years. I doubt many would have had the patience to mess about with them that long.

    5. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Wow… your into creating all new shades of brown for that tongue of yours.

    6. Avatar Raindrops says:

      You would know all about shades of brown you talk constantly out of your brown hole.

    7. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      There are still parts of this community with no prospect of SFBB.

      I am in conversation with MP, councillors and Virgin Media to try and address these issues having been stonewalled by Openreach recently.

      If Openreach become more receptive again it’s churlish to throw it back at them.

      Nothing personal involved here, purely wanting our community to get the best possible results. I don’t take stonewalling from Openreach personally, I don’t take knock backs from Virgin personally. Instead I ask both what it would take to make things happen and set about doing it.

      Talking of which Virgin do still owe me a gap funding quote…

    8. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Well done to you on keeping up the fight to get your area decent broadband. Hopefully some of the BT staff here can assist you it would be time better spent by them and a worthy sound bite for a change.
      Good luck with Virgin and any other organisations you contact also. At least after two long years you have proof your area is economically viable which is a start and something that can no longer be denied.

    9. Avatar fastman2 says:

      ignition though those other were supposed to done under BDUK

    10. Avatar fastman2 says:

      ignitionet is just trying to do the best fr his community as any community lead would dd (we know who each other are )

    11. Avatar Raindrops says:

      No doubt he would not have had a battle for 2 years to get to the stage he has if yourself and other BT employees spent more time working on rollouts and community demands than you did on here.

  18. Avatar DTMark says:

    People still use landlines?


    Posted from my “superfast” “fibre-optic” 4G broadband connection.

    1. Avatar James Harrison says:

      Quite happy with mine. Not the BT one, mind you, that’s getting switched off finally next month…

      (Posted from my superfast fibreoptic Active PtP FTTP (1Gbps symmetrical) connection :-))

  19. Avatar adslmax says:

    STOP PRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cheapest line rental £120 a year if pay upfront (£10 a month) – go to post office and move your phone line to them!

    1. Avatar adslmax says:

      Post Office can do home phone only and keep your current broadband with ISP.

  20. Avatar Bob says:

    There is certainly a failure of any real completion in the Broadband market. Outside of the cabled areas it amounts to little more than ISP’s reselling the BT product,. There are rumours though that VM have started building out their network in the Cambridge area. Whether this is true who knows VM have several times talked of building out and infilling but it has never really happened

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Apart from the massive llu coverage 🙂

    2. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Except LLUs have to pay BT so nope thats not really competition for BT.

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Obviously it is competition to BT retail

    4. Avatar Raindrops says:

      BT Retail ill agree it could be argued LLUs are competition to (though that also is dependant on if the service is SMPF or MPF one still requires BT Retail line rental, which is one of the bug bears people have)

      LLUs are not competition to BT Openreach and BT Wholesale. Unless you are a provider that provides a product over anything but BT telephone wires you are still at the mercy of Openreach and Wholesale. Ultimately LLU or not its money in the BT group pocket.

      Personally i believe that a full LLU supplier (IE MPF) should own a end users line outright once they have paid what its worth is in fees to BT (IE NO MORE of the LLU provider having to pay BT). You do not buy a car on a payment plan and once the full value has been paid still not own the car.

      Its not BT in particular i have an issue with despite what you may think. I despise some of their business practices BUT i understand that get away with things because they are allowed to. Half of it is slack rules and regulations. Much in the same way you have an issue or disagree with Virgin not being classified as having significant market power.

      Personally i think regulations with regards to the telecommunications industry need a massive shake up. You said one thing i agree with to an extent in an earlier post in this story, that being “Broadband prices are so low in the uk, they have cut prices too far and are now paying for it and trying to recover via other means”. That straight away shows the industry as a whole needs a look at. All this price cutting and “voucher” deals (BT and sainsbury spring to mind along with Sky and M&S) along with special XXX price for XXX months (again a BT but also a Virgin thing) all need better regulation. Its like a bunch of vultures fighting over scraps.

      If we are all going to be forced to have to rent a telephone line, personally i think they should regulated that down to costing basically nothing and then have broadband prices reflect what service you take.

      For example as you mention prices and i agree prices are too low for some broadband services. BT Retail as an example (and not to bash them direct others are up to the same game) have a 17Mb Unlimited product which costs £21 per month but then a 38Mb product only £23. The difference in pricing should be larger especially when some can not have what in comparison is a bargain for the 38Mb product.

      Its even worse when you look at the “SPECIAL” for X months price the 17Mb costs MORE for the first 3 months compared to the 38Mb product (£10.50 Vs £10). Stuff like that is what has ripped the guts out of the broadband market and led to this lark of ALL OF EM (Including LLUs and Virgin) constantly uping the line rental to make profit rather than fair prices for the different tiers of broadband service.

    5. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I can see why people have a problem with the line rental increase if the core cost hasn’t gone up, totally understand that

      But I don’t understand those that have an issue with the concept of line rental.

      xDSL requires a line, if your provider doesn’t own a line they have to rent one and they pass on that cost to you.

      I don’t understand why people think they can get a DSL product without paying for the line it uses

    6. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Agree to a point but the line rental has became too high. You are forced into paying it and worse still its at a fixed price no matter if you use a phone or not. My issue is not having to pay line rental its the way it is implemented.

      For people that do not require a phone service it should be cheaper. It is quite easy to disable voice services on a line (BT do this initially if you forget to pay a bill as i found out many years ago, a day later when i realised it was one quick payment of the bill and five minutes later line is reactivated, i imagine they only fully disconnect if you do not pay within a week or so, and thats when you have to pay to be reconnected).

      I do not see why that can not be done and allow people to buy just xdsl services with a reduced premium for the line rental side.

      Virgin basically do this with their products though the pricing is still strange you can indeed buy internet only from them and it works out cheaper than internet + phone service from them. No doubt line rental is still part of the cost but its at a reduced rate. The same happens for smaller providers like gigaclear, you can choose to have or not have voice services. Those that want a line that can use voice pay more those that dont pay less per month.

      Things have got out of control, you can not even go on BT Retails site and just buy Broadband any more they want you to take your phone service if you are with someone else to them (whether you use a phone or not). Thats not a bash at BT either many providers are trying the same thing now. Sky were doing that even before they went the full LLU route.

      Line rental is where the money is being made rather than broadband and to me that is wrong. I totally for instance fail to understand why for the first x months a FTTC service should be cheaper than a ADSL service. Like any service prices should match the tier of product/service you want. ADSL should be cheaper, special offers or not.

      Call charges are another thing that irk me, again not just BT, but why do providers keep on increasing those? Even if you buy a calls package like unlimited calls (which it isnt) you often have to redial after the first hour or thereabouts to avoid charges for the call (so much for unlimited again). Again poor regulation and something that needs sorting.

      Perhaps part of the issue is for the last 5-10 or so years Ofcom have been too busy poking their noses in to the broadband side of things telling BT and others such as LLUs what they can and can not do and what charges each of them can sell and buy for whilst forgetting all about the component that often makes up near to 25-50% of the cost of having broadband in your home which is the line rental. Maybe its time they went back to looking at things like line rental charges, call costs and implementing regulation where people can buy broadband only rather than having to pay to have a voice service on the line (having voice on the line im sure is part of the line rental i do not see how they can argue it is not).

      There is no reason i can see apart from greed why you can not just have a XDSL service over your phone line (no matter who is the provider). Sure part of the cost should still be line rental (like Virgin the cost is only reduced by a certain percent on broadband only services). If you want less service from the line it should cost less. At the moment its almost like we can all buy a slice of what BT see as the future but we still have to pay for a product of the past. Its ridiculous my land line can actually work out more expensive than my mobile per month.

    7. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Naked DSL is something else really, a different complaint.

      I cannot imagine line rental being massively cheaper if the voice element was removed, after all its “just” jumpering in the exchange.

      Maybe a few £ per month off if that? That your ISP would ignore anyway and still charge you what they want!

    8. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      LLU is competition at wholesale and retail level only. They are still only selling the same thing – ADSL2+ – just at different price points and with different value add.

      For all intents and purposes to the consumer there are perilously few differences, we aren’t talking an active fibre loop where BT offer 300Mb while someone else having unbundled the loop offers 1Gb.

      LLU is not a panacea of competition at anything besides retail level as far as the consumer goes, and retail level competition has actually been anathema to development of technology. Its main achievement has been to addict people to cheap, lowest common denominator broadband services and ensure they are happy forking out £60 a month for 500 channels of excrement and £15 line rental while jumping up and down at having to pay a tenner a month for broadband.

      I would actually say LLU has destroyed the parts of the market I’m interested in. We’d have been far better off with the Japanese model.

    9. Avatar Raindrops says:

      @Fibrefred Im curious now do you know, if you are lucky enough to live in a BT FTTP area (IE infinity options 3 and 4) do you have to have a voice service over your fibre line? Or is one even offered?

      If so and there is an option what is the difference in price between having voice services on that fibre line and not having them. Also if there is no voice service available then what percent of that charge for FTTP broadband is rental of the fibre line?

      Oh and finally the important bit how much is FTTP from BT Retail per month?

      Line rental obviously should be paid, but it should reflect what the line is supplying the customer. Ofcom IMO need to get a clue and look at pricing across the board both broadband and voice/line rental. From all providers. You pay a premium so to speak if you have just internet from Virgin but it is there as an option and costs less than phone + Internet. I do not see why BT or any provider supplying over BT wires should be any different.

    10. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Don’t give anyone ideas 🙂

      If BT followed Virgin’s model you’d end up paying more line rental for just internet only!

    11. Avatar Raindrops says:

      I do not see how, taking the basic 50Mb from Virgin as an example it costs (excluding the special for x month prices as follows)…

      50Mb Broadband + Phone
      £15.50 Internet and £15.99 for phone line total is thus £31.49

      50Mb Broadband Only
      £26.50 for the Internet a £4.99 saving by not having the phone side of things.

      I see no reason why BT could not do similar, Example

      Unlimited BT Infinity 1 38Mb is currently
      £23.00 Internet and £15.99 for phone line total is thus £38.99

      Why can they not just do a 38Mb Internet package, knock £4.99 off that total price above just like Virgin and flog it for £34.

      Could it be because they do not think that price of £34 would be competitive? If so does that not already indicate their internet pricing is too high not too low?

      personally looking at the prices in this example and ignoring special for x months offers i think Virgin have the more balanced pricing, i still hate them pulling the same stunt all the big boys seem to do now of xxx price for xxx months to entice the dimwitted though.

      A £5 saving on line rental (which is basically what it boils down to with the virgin example) is IMO reasonable and works quite well if you have your pricing set right for broadband + Phone as well as with no phone from the start.

  21. Avatar Darren says:


    Won’t long now untill this..

    Line Rental: £50
    Broadband: £Free

    Regulator should force all ISPs to charge line rental at cost.

    1. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      Already done – TalkTalk. Line rental + calls payable, broadband a freebie.


  22. Avatar Darren says:


    About time it was stopped.

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