BT, O2, Orange and TalkTalk have increased the cost of line rental despite a 4.5 per cent drop in the cost of wholesale line rental from BT.
O2 is the worst offender, raising its line rental from £7.50/month to £10.50/month – a whopping 40 per cent (or £9 if you joined before March 1 this year).
The standard TalkTalk line rental rises on May 1 from £13.80/month to £14.50/month, although its Value Line Rental – paid a year in advance – remains at £9.50/month.
BT has increased its saver line rental from £10/month to £10.75/month, but its standard line rental remains £14.60/month.
Orange, meanwhile, has raised its line rental fro £12.75/month to £13.50/month.
Communications regulator Ofcom has told BT Openreach to reduce the wholesale cost of fully unbundled broadband and phone lines to broadband providers by 4.5 per cent this year.
From April 1, broadband providers pay BT Openreach £7.28/month instead of £7.63/month, and next year the price must fall again, by the Retail Price Index minus 5.9 per cent.
O2 said: “It was no longer possible to maintain the service levels customers demand at the current price. We believe the new prices are still very competitive and considerably less than many home phone providers.
“We only passed half of the price increase onto existing customers to help them manage their bills in this difficult economic time. We continue to offer our award winning service levels.”
TalkTalk said: “TalkTalk can confirm there will be no price increase for Value Line Rental, which is cheaper than BT or Sky and is already saving our customers millions of pounds.
“Customers who signed up for our £9.50 Value Line Rental scheme since it launched last October have been saving £4.30 per month. This will rise to £5 per month from May 1, when the standard line rental charge rises from £13.80 to £14.50, or an annual saving of £60.”
Of the other major ISPs and phone providers, neither BE, Plusnet or Sky have changed their line rental fees (although Sky’s prices are currently frozen until August 2012).
We’re hoping for statements from BT, Orange and O2 – we’ll add them when they arrive.