BT banks on improved data speeds to justify price hike across services

BT has announced that it is hiking prices for a slew of services which will take effect in July. The price hike will affect millions of customers of BT's services like landline, broadband, TV and calls.

BT says it will compensate the hike with faster speeds, improved services and better online security in the days to come.

If you are a subscriber of BT's standard broadband service or use its unlimited anytime call package, BT will charge you £43 more a year from July onwards. Similarly, standard line rentals will also be £1 a month or £12 a year dearer from July, costing £18.99 a month.

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For standard and unlimited broadband customers, BT will increase prices by £2 a month and these services will cost you £15 and £20 a month respectively. However, BT will also increase usage allowance for such subscribers by 20 per cent. Infinity customers who enjoy BT's superfast broadband services will also need to pay an additional £3 a month to continue their subscriptions. However, their broadband speeds will increase from the existing 38 Mbps to 52 Mbps by the time the new pricing policy takes shape.

Just like Infinity customers, subscribers of BT's Unlimited Anytime Calls plan will also enjoy freebies that will compensate for the impending price hike. While their subscription rates will increase from £7.95 to £8.50 per month, they will be able to make unlimited free calls to other BT mobiles. If you are currently enjoying BT Sport with your broadband and TV subscription with BT, it will continue to be free for you but for customers who will buy BT Sport separately, the price will increase by £1 a month or £12 a year.

“We realise that customers never welcome price rises. We have also done our best to ensure that all of our customers will get more value if their price is going up, and we know they want faster speeds and better online security from their broadband,” said John Petter, CEO of BT Consumer.

Broadband pricing can be misleading, says Ofcom research

The second such price hike by BT in six months comes at a time when industry regular Ofcom has expressed its apprehensions with broadband pricing methods. In January, a research commissioned by Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) concluded that broadband service providers levy a plethora of hidden costs during the purchase process and during the lifetime of your contract, making it a lot more expensive than you intended to bear. The research revealed that only 23 per cent of broadband consumers in the UK could correctly guess the monthly cost of a broadband contract after viewing an ad.

“The ASA’s findings focus on line rental as the primary issue. But the confusion around broadband package advertising does not solely exist because line rental is separated out – there are a plethora of additional hidden costs levied both during the purchase process and the lifetime of the contract," said Dan Howdle, telecoms expert at Cable.co.uk.

Last year, BT introduced three new 12-month mobile internet plans which offered 4G data, unlimited access to over 5 million Wi-fi hotspots, access to Barclays Premier League matches on the BT Sport app and spending caps on all tariffs with prices starting at £5. By paying only £5 a month, you can avail 500MB worth 4G data, unlimited texts and 200 minutes. If you add another £7 to it, BT will give you 2GB worth 4G data, unlimited texts and 500 minutes.

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