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Customers of UK Broadband ISP BT See Small 1.3% Price Rise

Friday, February 14th, 2020 (2:23 pm) - Score 3,812
bt broadband logo 2019 official

As expected UK ISP BT has now begun reminding customers of their various consumer fixed line broadband, phone and mobile services that they should expect a small 1.3% increase in the price they pay from March 2020, which has been matched to the CPI level of inflation (Consumer Prices Index).

The change to match future price rises to inflation, which mirrors what primary mobile network operators have been doing for years, was officially announced a year ago (here) and is now being implemented. Some reports have expressed this as a price “hike“, but that’s perhaps unfair since the annual rise is significantly below the c.9 monthly hikes of around 5-6% that we previously saw from BT.

The adoption of a predictable inflationary increase also means that Ofcom’s rule for tackling mid-contract price hikes cannot be used to escape your contract early. Indeed the 1.3% increase is actually pretty good since that just so happens to represent one of the lowest points for CPI in the whole year (e.g. 1.3% in January 2020 vs 2.1% in July 2019).

However there are some exceptions or delays to this increase, which BT explains below. Likewise other products, such as pay TV and BT Sport, will receive their annual price rises later in the year (not announced today).

BT’s Price Rise Statement

Each year we have an annual price rise. If you’re a new customer or re-contracting mobile, broadband or landline, you’ll see new terms and conditions that tell you that your prices will increase by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation each year.

Mobile and broadband customers who signed up or re-contracted on or after 17 January 2020 will receive their first CPI price rise in March 2021. Mobile and broadband customers who signed up or re-contracted between 11 January 2019 and 16 January 2020, will receive their first CPI price rise in March 2020.

Landline customers, if you have a phone or call plan or calling features, these will increase by CPI from March 2020 in line with your current terms.

Each year we will adjust the amount you pay per month for your plan(s) according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation. This rate is announced in January each year and we will adjust your bill by this amount in March of the same year. The CPI rate announced in January 2020 is 1.3 per cent, so your monthly payments from March 2020 will increase by 1.3 per cent.

This reflects the increase in the costs to run and invest in the network and service that we provide.

As BT hints above, prices also tend to rise because operators are adding all sorts of new services, developing new systems and consumers are also gobbling significantly more data every year. Suffice to say that service improvements cost money and the customer will always end up paying. ISPs are also under pressure to adopt lots of new rules, such as having to cater for the new automatic compensation and end-of-contract notification systems.

The fact that customers affected by this won’t be able to leave their existing contract penalty free, since Ofcom’s mid-contract rule won’t apply to inflationary increases like this, doesn’t prevent people from contacting BT to moan and haggled for a better price (Retentions – Tips for Cutting Your Broadband Bill). Likewise if you’re out of contract then you could always consider switching to a different provider. Long story short, this is actually a big improvement on BT’s old approach.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
11 Responses
  1. Plusnet says:

    Plusnet will not rise price as it already fixed price during contract.

    1. Martin Pitt - Aquiss says:

      Thanks Max for this insight, but this is not about Plusnet.

    2. Cc says:

      @Martin; are you actually a rep for Aquiss?

    3. CarlT says:

      Neither will TalkTalk or Zen, however if you’re a BT customer not really an issue for you. This is 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think Max is just pointing it out as BT now own Plusnet aswell.

  3. James says:

    “Increased costs to run and invest in the network and service we provide”… No sign of investment here I am, unless hoarding copper counts as an investment! Can those of us still on ADSL hope for a discount rather than an increase?

    1. CarlT says:

      Your ISP are nothing to do with that you remain on full copper unfortunately.

  4. Stephen Wakeman says:

    The odd part is, unlike Zen and TalkTalk, PlusNet is an arm of BT. I suspect, therefore, it’s a matter of time before they adopt this type of increase like their parent company.

  5. CheshirePete says:

    I’m surprised about your comment regarding BT Sport as it is advised
    as rising from Feb 20th 2020. That’s a hefty 50% more via the App as they are currently selling it for +£10 not +£15. Is this price rise just for existing customer? If I add it before the 20th will it still go up? Or if I wait till the 20th are new packages now at £15/£20 extra!? The below
    Is at bottom of screen when you browse for new Broadband deals which I’m currently doing!

    BT Sport

    On 21 February 2020 the standard price of BT Sport is changing, BT Sport on BT TV will be £15 a month, BT Sport App will be £15 a month and BT Sport on Sky TV will be £20 a month.

  6. Jim G says:

    Interesting that BT are using CPI with a price increase of 1.3%

    My mobile contact is with EE, received my price rise increase a few weeks ago. EE are using RPI with an increase of 2.2%

    Erm, don’t BT own EE. It means that EE are increasing their prices nearly double the amount of the BT price increase!

    Just an observation

  7. Bill Lewis says:

    -Hmm seems like Kijoma should increase it’s prices as it hasn’t since 2005 🙂

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