BT jacks up landline prices by ten per cent

Struggling BT is hoiking up the cost of a landline or Internet connection. There are ways to beat the increase, but you'll have to be quick

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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BT is jacking up the cost of a landline phone or Internet connection. Your monthly line rental will go up by 50p from the beginning of October, bringing the yearly cost of a landline to £160.

The cost of a call will rise to 10.9p from 9.9p, or during the day up to to 6.4p from 5.9p. That 10 per cent increase is way over today's inflation rate, 3 per cent or therabouts. BT reckons this change won't be noticeable for most customers, as more than half are on inclusive packages.

The increases will also hit customers who get their phone and Internet from third parties. Sky customers still need a BT broadband connection, but Virgin Media customers don't.

The rise in landline charges comes after the government axed a planned 'broadband tax'. The tax would have seen every landline owner fork over £6 per year to help the gubmint pay for improvements to the country's broadband infrastructure. With the tax off the table, it looks like we'll be paying the cash directly to BT.

We're happy to put our hand in our pocket for our civic duty if it means we'll be able to play Halo of Duty 4: Ghost Recon WarNinja 6 -- Cricklewood while visiting the parental units in Little Sprocket, Hambleshireshire. But we're sceptical whether a struggling BT will invest in decent Web connections for all.

There are ways to save money despite the rising charges. Commit to a 12-month line rental contract up-front and you'll pay £130, saving £30. Switching to email bills instead of old-fashioned paper bills will save you about a quid a month, although you will have to print them off to fill your complicated system of file folders.

BT told our sister site ZDNet that future plans included adding calls to mobiles into inclusive packages, which could soften the sting of these price hikes.