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Telecoms: BT reveals phone and broadband price increases

PUBLISHED: 06:00 23 August 2014

The head office of BT, the BT Centre, in Newgate Street, London.

The head office of BT, the BT Centre, in Newgate Street, London.

BT is alerting millions of customers that it will be increasing phone and broadband prices from December.

The telecoms giant will increase the price of standard line rental for direct debit customers by £1, or 6.25%, to £16.99 from December 1, while the pence per minute (ppm) rate for calls to UK landlines and 0870 numbers will go up 6.44% from 9p a minute to 9.58p.

The set-up fee for landline calls will increase from 15p to 15.97p, residential calls to the Timeline speaking clock will go up from 36.6p to 38.97p and call return will increase from 19.9p to 21.19p.

Broadband prices are going up by as much as 6.49%, although BT said its current “high profile” press and TV broadband offers will stay the same price.

However, the cost of BT Basic, the phone service for low-income customers, will remain at £5.10 a month with a call allowance.

BT said the majority of its customers were on inclusive call packages and did not pay the set-up fee or ppm charges, adding that calls bills had “decreased 14% in the last five years”.

But it said those customers on the popular Unlimited Anytime Calls plan would see the price increase by 6.43% from £7 a month to £7.45.

BT’s move comes after rival Sky announced that it is to increase some tariffs on September 1.

John Petter, BT’s consumer chief executive, said: “BT is sensitive to the tough economic times and we’ve taken care to make sure that low-income customers avoid price increases. We’ve added extra money-saving options for low-income customers and for customers who only want a phone line for calls.

“Although some prices have gone up, we want to help our customers to find the best value BT option with Right Plan. We are introducing extra ways for customers to maximise their savings, such as the UK’s cheapest line and broadband bundle for low-income customers and Home Phone Saver for customers who just want a great value standalone telephone package.”

Last month BT claimed its Premier League offering was helping it win its battle with Sky as it grew broadband and TV revenues by a quarter.

The telecoms giant said it added a net 104,000 broadband customers in the three months to the end of June, marking a fourth successive period in which it outperformed its rival on this measure.

BT is about to begin its second season of a £738million deal to screen 38 top-flight games a year for three years, muscling in on Sky’s dominance of top-flight football. It has also paid £897m for a three-year Champions League deal from 2015.

The telecoms giant said its TV sport offering had helped it to grow revenues in its consumer division, which were up 10% to £1.04 billion compared with the same period last year, while broadband and TV revenues rose 26%.

Operating costs for the consumer division increased by 12% to £808m due to the costs of the sports offering.

BT moved into football coverage last year as part of a strategy to shore up its position in broadband, offering the TV access for free as part of a package for customers taking its internet and telephone services.

Earlier last month, BT took its first big step back into the mobile phone market as it launched a new business service aimed at delivering fixed line and mobile calls to the same handset.

It plans to launch a mobile offering for the wider public by the end of the financial year.

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