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Broadband prices drop, but line rental price shoots up

Sure, your broadband may cost less, but you still might not be saving much money thanks to higher line rental.
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

While broadband customers may have been happy to watch the price of broadband consistently drop over the last several years, what they may not have noticed is that at the same time the price charged to rent their phone lines will have risen just as quickly.

The net effect, according to the website broadbandchoices, is that any savings have simply been cancelled out.

Five years ago the average cost of a broadband connection was £9.05 per month, the site says, so if you look at 2015 and it is now £3.76, that's a fall of 58 percent. But at the same time the cost of line rental prices rose steadily risen, soaring to an average £16.61 per month.

This represents an average increase of 49 percent which comfortably outstripped inflation (16.39 percent) over the same time period, the site points out. For example BT's line rental has increased from £11.25 in August 2009 to £16.95 now. Virgin Media's charge has gone from £11.02 to £16.99 and TalkTalk's has increased from £11.25 to £16.70.

Commenting on this trend, Dominic Baliszewski, a telecoms expert at broadbandchoices said that "providers have fought tooth and nail for customers in recent years, resulting in much cheaper broadband packages" but it is a shame, he said, to see "line rental dragging prices back to 2009 levels".

He said the research showed that households are paying, "almost £200 a year for something they don't want - just so they can get something they do want".

This problem is made worse by the introduction of even more complicated quad-play bundles that combine broadband, TV, landline and mobile phone which are on the horizon for 2015, said Baliszewski.

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