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4G ISP Relish blasts BT and TalkTalk as line rental increases

London-based ISP Relish has waded into BT and TalkTalk for increasing line rental charges, despite a fall in the use of landlines. 

A report commissioned by the ISP reveals that one in four people in the UK don’t actually know their home landline number, preferring to communicate on their phones instead. Relish’s data also shows that 35 per cent of folks fail to answer their landline phones when it rings, as they’re worried that it’s an unwanted sales call. 

As Relish is a 4G broadband provider, it uses mobile signals to deliver superfast services instead of a physical line, so there’s no line rental charge. 

The standard rate of line rental for current BT and TalkTalk was previously £16.99/month and £16.70/month respectively. 

Related: Landlines will be ‘dead’ by 2025, how to avoid PPI and marketing callsBT is topping this up to £17.99/month from September 20 onwards while TalkTalk applied the new rate at the end of last month. 

Taking a swipe at the traditional telcos, Relish’s chief marketing officer Will Harnden, said: “It’s a sign of modern times that our landlines are increasingly going unused. 

“Despite the fact that many people aren’t using their landlines for its intended purpose, they are forced to pay monthly charges for line rental, on top of the cost of their broadband. It seems like now is the time to wave goodbye to the landline.”

Highlighting ‘the intended purpose’ of old-school copper line of course ignores a few things, chiefly that BT has invested billions of its own cash (while also taking over a billion of public money) to bring superfast, mainly FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband to over 80 per cent of British premises, with a view to hitting 95 per cent by 2017. 

While that hasn’t completely removed last-gen copper from the access network (the clue’s in the name) there is a clear and obvious roadmap to eventually getting everyone on full fibre lines, at some point in the future. 

It also ignores Virgin Media’s cable network which encompasses 12 million homes and counting – Virgin’s ‘Project Lightning’ plan seeks to pass an extra 4 million premises in the next five years. 

That said, the number of fixed-line ISPs offering true ‘broadband only’ services today is small and only limited to areas covered by Virgin’s footprint or the small-but-growing FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) networks of Hyperoptic and Gigaclear. 

4G ISP Relish promises ‘fibre-like’ speeds in central LondonRelish’s network is even smaller – it currently only covers central London – but if you can get it, it promises a cheap, fast and flexible solution. 

Routers are typically delivered to your door the next day and no lengthy installation process is required. It’s very much a plug and play set up, so you don’t have to sit around waiting for an Openreach engineer to show. 

You can opt in for a 12 month contract or take out a rolling, 30-day plan, making it a potential win for students. We also like the fact that unlimited usage is thrown in as standard. 

What we’re not able to get a handle on is latency, aka ping – in other words, how well would things like Skype, Google Docs and online multiplayer games work with a Relish broadband service. 

Relish costs £20/month. Customers opting for the flexible monthly plan will need to pay £50 for the router up front, but if you go for a 12 month contract, you get it for free. 

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