Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

MSE Survey Claims Most UK Adults See Little Need for Land Lines

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 (3:21 pm) - Score 657
telephone warning uk

The often confusing debate over the future of land lines has taken another twist after a new online survey of 26,182 adults revealed that 10% don’t have a “home phone” and 53% claim to never or rarely use their “land line“, even though most do still need it for broadband.

Interestingly the survey, which was conducted by MoneySavingExpert, notes that age plays an important role in all this. For example, the proportion of respondents aged under 35 who don’t have a “home phone” rises to 33% and then drops to just 2% for those aged over 65.

Similarly only 26% of those aged over 65 claim to “never or rarely use” their land line, but this rises to 57% for people aged under 35. The results are unsurprising because younger people tend to embrace mobile phones and new technologies more rapidly than the older generations.

Martin Lewis, MSE Founder, said:

“Far too many people are held hostage by telecoms companies, forced to pay for a landline that they don’t want just so they can have home broadband. Even the few providers that do ‘broadband only’ services are more expensive than the bundled deals – so many now have broadband, pay for a line, but don’t bother to plug the phone in.

This is a poor state of affairs for a country trying to lead in the information superhighway. Hopefully during these discussions with the Culture Minister, broadband companies will sit up, listen and realise it’s time people were allowed a broadband-only service, and ensure that by doing so they save money.”

At this point we need to inject a little clarification because the land line debate often gets mixed up between the voice component of a line and the physical line itself, which usually results in newspapers or politicians incorrectly claiming that home broadband subscribers could save up to £20 per month by getting rid of line rental or something along those lines.

The reality is, no matter what you do with the line rental charge (i.e. include it with the home broadband price or pay for it separately), the home broadband service itself still needs to come into your property via a physical cable of some sort (unless you go mobile, wireless or satellite) and maintaining that line will always attract a cost.

In that sense it’s perhaps more accurate to say that many people no longer need the voice component of their physical line, which doesn’t cost very much anyway. The new advertising rules should at least result in an end to ISPs pushing a separate line rental charge (Openrerach’s (BT) national UK network), yet you’ll still pay for the physical line but now the broadband price will simply become bigger to compensate.

Going forwards we expect the voice component of line rental to become increasingly optional, particularly with the move towards VoIP and SOGEA. However one way or another, the physical line is an inseparable part of traditional home broadband connectivity, be that line made of copper, coax or fibre optic.. a cost will always apply. You can get rid of it completely of course, but then there’s nothing left to deliver the broadband.

Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. Avatar Steve Jones

    In reality the voice element costs virtually nothing to provide. It just supplies a (decreasing) element of income that offsets the whole cost. Indeed there’s a very good case that a broadband only line will end up costing a very similar amount to a broadband landline call inclusive package.

  2. Avatar Mike

    The blame lies squarely on the government for stopping BT replacing the entire network with fibre.

  3. Avatar sentup.custard

    It’s a “land” line not a “phone” line. What is it with these thick people that they can’t understand that unless you do what I do, use 4G mobile broadband, you need a landline and you’ll have to pay for it – whether or not you also use the phone is irrelevant!

    • Avatar Andrius

      So why don’t other EU countries have separate land line charge? Everything is included into broadband price which is actually smaller than broadband+landline in UK.

  4. Avatar Dragon

    Yes but fttc doesn’t need the copper between the cab and the exchange also if less people want voice BT could potentially start switching equipment off by consolidation of the remaining users and thus increase their spares availablity to help maintain the kit for people who do still use it

    Also reducing their power bill

    Typed on a phone

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Which is all good and makes total sense.

      But that isn’t what this is about its about people thinking that dropping voice means:

      a big drop in the monthly bill
      And (for some) not having to pay for that wire but still somehow get a dsl service

      I’ve said it before and will say it again dropping voice will save a few quid max a month and will be nullified by the next line rental increase so enjoy your 12 months max of a decreased bill.

  5. Avatar tonyp

    So UHDTV to be delivered by wireless or 4G? That is a lot of spectrum usage methinks.

    I think the average (non-tech) user does not understand or care about how stuff is delivered so long as it works. Wireless is magic!

  6. Avatar dragoneast

    Alas for many people an illusory offer to make or save money is an irresistible temptation. It’s why scamming is so effective and works, every time.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £19.95 (*22.00)
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPER20
  • NOW TV £22.00 (*40.00)
    Avg. Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • SSE £22.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • xln telecom £22.74 (*47.94)
    Avg. Speed 66Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £22.95
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2693)
  2. FTTP (2536)
  3. FTTC (1740)
  4. Building Digital UK (1682)
  5. Politics (1576)
  6. Openreach (1539)
  7. Business (1358)
  8. FTTH (1280)
  9. Statistics (1189)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1159)
  11. Fibre Optic (1034)
  12. 4G (1000)
  13. Ofcom Regulation (986)
  14. Wireless Internet (985)
  15. Virgin Media (962)
  16. EE (668)
  17. Sky Broadband (649)
  18. TalkTalk (633)
  19. Vodafone (625)
  20. 5G (462)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact