The cost of line rental rises yet again

Are you paying too much for your telephone line rental?

Click here for an article by Which? that says you could be paying up to 62% more for your line rental than in 2008.

Annual price hikes have become a tradition amongst telecoms providers at this time of year, with BT setting the benchmark for others to follow suit. What has resulted are price rises of up to five times the rate of inflation from the major telecoms providers like BT, Sky, Virgin Media and Talk Talk.

Here’s a breakdown of the fixed line rental increases:

BT – up 6.25% to £16.99

Sky – up by 6.49% to £16.40 a month

Virgin Media – up 6.25% to £16.99

Talk Talk – up 4.7% to £16.70

BT have raised call charges to mobiles from landlines from 12p to 12.7p per minute and calls to UK landlines and 0870 numbers from 9p to 9.58p per minute. Broadband charges are up by 6.49%.

Will this put people off having a landline?

According to data from Ofcom, at the end of 2013, the reported number of UK residential fixed landlines was 25 million (up from 24.4 million at the end of the previous year). UK fixed broadband connections rose by 3.9% and the number of business lines fell by 1.5%. Despite the increase usage of mobile phones, Facebook Messenger and other free technology such as WhatsApp, only 16% of the UK population live in a mobile-only home (up from 15% at the end of 2012). Fixed landlines are still important to UK households, particularly for broadband usage.

The decrease in business lines links directly to the increase use of VoIP (voice over internet protocol). Using the internet to make telephone and video calls negates the need for a fixed business line and with the quality of calls improving and broadband speeds increasing, many businesses are turning to VoIP as a viable communications option.

There seems to be no added benefit to these price hikes. The major telecoms players argue that they are standard price increases due to higher demand, rising costs and inflation.  However, following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where retailers across the globe slashed prices to encourage consumers to spend, it seems that when it comes to telephone lines and calls, consumers do not have that luxury.