Rise in landline prices is being looked at by Ofcom

12 February 2016

telephone operator With fewer people actually needing a landline in 2016, Ofcom are monitoring the price rises of phone lines, which have gone up 13%.

Those who only have a landline phone, it has been suggested, are subsidising the cost of the broadband roll out across the UK. If Ofcom find foul play, they'll have to take action.

The regulators report showed that the average standard landline price had gone from £15.70 in 2013 to £17.77 last year. While a lot of people have offset this by getting better broadband deals, what about those with no internet connection?

The number of people without an internet connection is larger than you might think - 10% of homes have only a landline phone, which is somewhere in the region of 2.6million. Of course, a lot of those people are pensioners and people with low incomes.

The Ofcom study says: "These voice only customers also have fewer options from switching. The majority are with BT, with TalkTalk no longer offering a standalone voice service and Virgin Media and Sky offering but not actively promoting theirs."

BT have raised prices for line rental, to between £17.99 and £19.99 a month for their customers. Call charges also went up. Sky put their line rental up to £17.40 just before Christmas.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: "We’re concerned about increasing landline prices and how this particularly affects elderly and vulnerable people who depend on their home phone, but are less likely to switch."

"We’re monitoring prices extremely closely and will step in, as necessary, to ensure vulnerable consumers are protected."

TOPICS:   Banking   Mobile

2 comments

  • Euan
    Landline's actually one thing I'd be happy to ditch entirely - Virgin's broadband and TV don't need one, so it's £18 a month for the privilege of being interrupted by random cold-calling wankers ignoring the TPS plus sundry calls from friends and family who really wouldn't be inconvenienced by using a mobile number instead (or indeed a SIP number)...
  • M B.
    If they looked back a bit further and included 12mth pay up front deals that have become harder to aqquire they would find the increases a lot higher. Also broadband rollout has cost very very little in comparison to the huge amount of money raised by line rental increases. The reality is the money has gone toward development of BT as a media conglomerate. Nice eh a "free" TV broadcasting corporation for BT Group courtesy of the UK telephone using network.

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