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UK ISP TalkTalk Hikes Pre-Paid Phone Line Rental Prices Again

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 (7:45 pm) - Score 1,894

New and re-contracting customers of TalkTalk who wish to benefit from the ISPs annual pre-paid line rental discount (aka – Value Line Rental) will be unhappy to learn that they’ve quietly hiked their prices and this time it’s a fairly dramatic adjustment.

In a general notice to promoters, TalkTalk has advised that the annual cost of their Value Line Rental product will be hiked to £172.20, which is the equivalent of £14.35 per month and compares with the previous equivalent of just £11.75 (total £141). This huge rise puts it only a short distance off TalkTalk’s standard monthly charge of £15.95 and thus somewhat limits the attractiveness of the offer.

Unfortunately the rise, which follows hot on the heels of Virgin Media’s standalone broadband increase, won’t be the last because we’re fast approaching “that time of year” again when BT typically kicks off another round of line rental and call charge changes.

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31 Responses
  1. Avatar adslmax says:

    They all the same! Line Rental Saver is DEAD IN THE SEA! No real benefit on it anymore. BT are to blame for this!

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      What even tho BT line rental is cheaper 🙂

    2. Which part of BT exactly is at fault?

    3. Avatar adslmax says:

      U knew it Martin Pitt, I don’t have to spell it out for u. BT are clearly to blame to put line rental increasing because of BT Sports! Worse case I don’t have BT Sports and not interesting, shouldn’t be line rental increasing.

    4. adslmax, what has TalkTalk increases got to do with BT Sport? My friend, your badly informed at times.

  2. Avatar Colin says:

    I think we are paying the cost for BT sport.

    Unless you have cable we have no choice, but to pay BT line rental. It’s about time that Ofcom standardise the cost of line rental or they force BT to spinoff openreach, so it’s nolonger connected to BT whatsoever.

    1. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      How did you come to that conclusion? The LLU line rental level is set by Ofcom and is fairly stable. There’s absolutely no way in which Talk Talk have to recover the cost of BT Sport. All Talk Talk are doing is (like many SPs) racking up the price of line rental in order to keep the headline cost of broadband down. Even allowing for VAT, SPs are now marking up the wholesale cost of a line by 100% or more.

      It’s about time Service Providers were prevented from headlining misleading prices for broadband services which omit the costs of line rental. It should be the whole package cost that is headlined not stupidly low numbers.

  3. Avatar Comic Assassin says:

    Agreed this line retal charge to BT is BS and Ofcom need to get some Balls and deal with it! Same BS as the BBC!!!

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      So are talktalk also paying for Bt sport via there price rise?

    2. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      Talk Talk rent the line from Openreach at Ofcom regulated prices and there is nothing in the wholesale costs that TT (or any other SP) is paying that has anything to do with this price hike.

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Totally correct Steve, this isn’t an increase to reflect a BT price hike, those charges have not gone up, in fact I believe they’ve come down.

      So… I don’t see how a TT line rental increase pays for BT Sport 🙂

  4. I am really surprised that posters are surprised about this.

    This is the basic economic reality that broadband prices were driven down and now company balance sheets need adjusting. The adjustment is coming from the landline rental side, rather than forcing broadband prices back up. The lesser of the 2 evils…less people get annoyed if line rental prices goes up.

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Yup and talk talk led the charge on cheaper broadband so as you say they are increasing prices elsewhere

    2. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      As you say. It’s simply SPs loading price increases onto line rental in order to keep headline broadband prices low when, in practice, they are inseparable. There is a need for regulatory action, but that’s to prevent the emphasis on misleading pricesin advertising and marketing material.

  5. Avatar Comic Assassin says:

    Lol not suprised at it more suprised that the old BT monopoly system is still in play years after being forced to break up, and BT was the driving force of no FTTC unless you get line rental with us, now it’s not so bad with other ISPs doing it just on FTTC if you require. What does the line rental go to? Does anyone know?

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Aren’t you missing the point here, this is a Talk Talk line rental increase

  6. Avatar DTMark says:

    Isn’t there a danger here that people who neither want nor need a landline for broadband elect to do away with it altogether?

    Which might suit providers fine if they’re looking to get rid of such customers.

    Except that I’d thought that call revenue remained important – perhaps not?

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Yes there’s a danger but right now the alternatives for most people don’t exist. Granted some areas have Virgin’s cable and a few are lucky enough to get FTTH/P or wireless, but otherwise the only other comparable choice is 3G or 4G mobile and its usage allowances aren’t really up to the job for most people.

  7. Avatar Owl. says:

    We the consumer need to stop being held to ransom with line rental..How many people just have to pay to get broadband and never use it for calls.

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      How will you use broadband without a line? (unless wireless 🙂 )

    2. Avatar Unknown101 says:

      These comments make me laugh – yeah let’s not pay line rental and just pay for broadband….which needs to come down what line?

      Line rental is to pay many things such as the upkeep of every phoneline, electricity costs of running exchanges, cost of line plant etc. Blame ofcom for copper still being in the ground and the requirement for line rental.

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Even if you went for FTTP I’m sure they’d be some sort of rental, whether that’s bundled into the monthly charge or broken out , some sort of rental/maintenance will be needed

  8. Avatar adslmax says:

    The real truth……Openreach didnt want to tell you this…….FTTC does work even if the line is dead or not using it. Openreach want you to stay on the phone line for their profits. They just flob us all off with a laughing on their backside knowing FTTC does work without a phone line!

    No ones ever believe me! But, I knew how it work! Because I had FTTC installed and the phone line isn’t activated until a week later. So, you tell me Openreach how on earth FTTC working without a phone line as the line is DEAD for a week? Why do we need phone line for? Because Openreach want PROFITS!

    1. Avatar Unknown101 says:

      Guessing either your line is overcoming the laws of physics and the D side wasn’t connected upto the DSLAM and you were still receiving broadband or your just completely retarded and the line was connected to the DSLAM and the e side wasn’t jumpered up or your line wasn’t jumpered up in the exchange to the exchange equipment hence no dialing tone on your line – I’m guessing it was the second one. YES your broadband will still work with only the D side connected to the DSLAM and your equipment in the house it’s obvious but the line rental is still there for the upkeep of the D side network as well as the E side!

    2. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      Openreach do not, repeat do not, provide the phone service. What they provide is the means to carry voice to the hand-off point at the exchange (whether by the copper pair, or more rarely, by voice-over-fibre). Openreach get no extra revenue whether or not the voice service is actually used.

      As to who provides the voice service (and does get wholesale revenue), that depends on the SP. If it’s BT Retail then that service is provided by BT Wholesale (as it is for some SPs). However, the big LLU operators will have their own voice service equipment (or contract by another provider).

      Even then, the BT Wholesale call revenue is far from simple as there are numerous services which can be used which bypass the main Wholesale switching network and go via gateways (note, this is only true for BT Retail – other SPs can block such services).

      Of course retail operators mark up wholesale prices. However, in general, voice services are not a big money earner these days; at least to landlines. Witness the number of fixed price deals that give unlimited access to normal landline numbers in the UK.

      The days when voice revenues subsidised the fixed costs of providing the physical line are long gone, for two reasons. Firstly because or the regulatory regime and, secondly, because voice margins are very slim with lots of fixed price (mobile and landline) packages. SPs do, of course, include voice as part of the line rental package, but not because it actually costs anything, but because voice revenue offsets some of the SP’s costs. In general it costs very little to provide the capability for voice.

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:


      “No ones ever believe me!”

      I’m not surprised, because its not true. Openreach provide wires!

  9. Avatar adslmax says:

    Why can’t BT bring out cheaper line rental cost if it only use for FTTC only (no incoming or outgoing calls except for emergency only) in this way it will be much cheaper!

    It’s a waste of money on line rental if never make any outgoing calls or incoming calls. (we have to use line rental cos of FTTC or ADSL / ADSL2 / ADSL2+)

    1. Avatar adslmax says:

      I do hope the next few years later Ofcom might change this. No need for a line for FTTC. Line rental can be option out!

    2. Avatar Unknown101 says:

      Oh god you’ll never listen. IT IS THE SP’S WHO ARE CHARGING FOR THE VOICE NOT OPENREACH. Openreach provide the pair of wires from the exchange to your house/business – this is what your line rental is for.

    3. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      The only change I’d make to your statement is that the line rental is whatever the SP cares to use with that money which, of course, includes the Openreach charge which is £84.26, or £7.02 per month (excluding VAT). If the SP is renting voice termination too (which LLU operators with their own voice will not), then that rises slightly to £7.70 per month (BT Retail will, of course, use that product). The difference between that and what the SP charges will be made up of VAT, whatever costs the SP incurs and any profit margin.

      The OR price list is here


      Given that the costs of providing a line or providing one with voice are negligible, then nobody should expect much of a difference. There is also something called “Sub-loop unbundling” which can be used by SPs with their own street cabinets, but as virtually no operators can do that cost-effectively, it’s not that relevant.

  10. Avatar john says:

    line rental is just another bill or tax for a phone that never gets used.

    but we need it for there so called lousy fibre shite. ( just profit )

    rip off Britain as always.

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