Telecommunications giant BT has announced price hikes for its broadband and landline services, and will begin charging TV subscribers £3.50 per month for BT Sport. Non-BT broadband customers who subscribe to BT Sport via a Sky Box will have to pay £22.99 instead of just £1 per month come 2 April. As for BT broadband users, they will be paying £7.50 to watch BT Sport through a Sky box.
Landline customers will also see price increases in phone plans and the cost of calls will be raised by 1p per minute. BT is also raising the tariff for copper broadband and Infinity fibre customers by £2 and £2.50 per month, respectively. Consumer chief executive John Petter said that customers will receive an “improved service” in tandem with the price hikes. He pointed out that prices for low-income customers under the BT Basic service would be frozen and call costs capped.
Bernstein analysts have called the rises “intelligently designed” as no changes were made to line rental charges. Dan Howdle of Cable.co.uk took a different view, criticising the price rises as “completely unjustified” and “absurd” given that wholesale prices such as rental costs for Public Switched Telephone Networks (PTSN) and other telephone services to retail customers have dropped by 25 per cent over the past six years. Rivals such as Virgin Media, Sky and TalkTalk have announced similar price hikes within the last year, and the trend is expected to continue in response to BT’s own increases.