back to article All the cool kids are doing it – BT hikes broadband and TV bills

BT is to hike its broadband and TV prices in an inflation-busting increase that will come into force this April. All basic broadband packages will increase by £2 per month, while BT Infinity fibre customers will be stung by a rise of £2.50 per month. The basic broadband package starts at £9.95 per month, while Infinity starts …

  1. djstardust

    Where are Offcom?

    Oh I know, they are in the back pockets of the telcos.

    This is BT's 3rd price increase in less than two years and totally inexcusable.

    "BT Consumer chief executive John Petter said: “Customers will get a better package and improved service from us this year in exchange for paying a little more"

    So customers are paying for you to give the level of service you should have been providing all along and making sure profits aren't affected. Arseholes. Line rental is "frozen" but it went up twice recently anyway.

    Remember peeps, you have 30 days to pull out once you receive notification of the increase from BT. Let your feet do the talking.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Where are Offcom?

      I joined up with them last year, and I'll be honest the service has been alright. It's been about what I expect of it (I'm the fully paid up BT Infinity subscriber).

      But last year the bill was raised by about £2 a month (can't remember what for), and just two weeks ago my 12 month contract ended and I got charged about £15 a month more for the service. I rang up, haggled a "new" deal which is cheaper than what I was on last year.

      However, the £2.50 along with the £3.50 I'll be charged means I'll be paying about £1 a month more than what I was last year. Charging for the sport I can see as a valid enough increase. But the Broadband? £2.50 for what exactly? Sure, my broadband hasn't gone down for any noticeable period of time but I think that's down to me using a Billion BiPac router and not the crud you get free with it.

      So what are the alternatives for a household like mine who use the internet and the TV? Could go to Sky, but I'm lining Murdoch's pockets then and I have no intention of doing that. Could go to Virgin Media, but I've never known them to provide a good standard of service. The alternative is to ditch the TV - which is glorified Freeview - but the partner likes watching Friends on Comedy Central.

      But yeah, I've 30 days to work out our next move. I wonder what rare bottles of whisky and champagne the boys at Ofcom are likely to receive this Christmas I wonder?

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Where are Offcom?

        "So what are the alternatives for a household like mine who use the internet and the TV? Could go to Sky, but I'm lining Murdoch's pockets then and I have no intention of doing that. Could go to Virgin Media, but I've never known them to provide a good standard of service. The alternative is to ditch the TV - which is glorified Freeview - but the partner likes watching Friends on Comedy Central."

        Sky provision over BT lines, how long before they raise prices?

        Virgin are excellent in some areas (I've never had a problem with them), but the problem is they are raising prices too.

        Friends? Buy a DVD boxset.

        I've done without TV for many years in the past. I only watch it now because it's "free" as part of my VM package.

        I've not used my landline (also VM) in years. Again, came for free with the Internet connection which is the only bit I actually want.

        The Internet lets me put phones on there if I ever really need them (I actually have a router with an analogue phone port capable of SIPing any phone calls it makes). I don't. Mobiles, Skype, WhatsApp.

        The problem is that they are upping basic broadband prices. That's unavoidable.

        To be honest, however, I can't see why I'd be bothered with anything more than their basic speed packages. Hell, I probably use more data on my phone than I do on my home connection, and I've streamed entire series on both.

        I don't get why TV / analogue phones still exist, and I don't get why - if you have Internet that does them all - they come bundled with it. Gimme a cheaper, IP-only connection and lose the extra cost of infrastructure.

        To be honest, nowadays, I don't get why I'd even need one of these stupendously-fast connections. Download and watch offline is an option on just about everything (I have Amazon Prime, Google Play Movies, BBC iPlayer, etc.), and with proper QoS you could happily carry on and web-browse while it's downloading.

        It's literally only peak-bandwidth that matters, and that's for convenience for your users (family) rather than for actual need.

        If it's too much, ditch the phone, the TV and lots of other things and downgrade the connection to some basic number.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Lee D

          "To be honest, however, I can't see why I'd be bothered with anything more than their basic speed packages"

          Sadly, other use cases exist (more's the pity)

        2. AndrueC Silver badge

          Re: Where are Offcom?

          Sky provision over BT lines, how long before they raise prices?

          That's a different part of BT and different pricing structure.There is nothing in this announcement that has any bearing on the charges LLUOs like Sky have to pay.

          Of course if one division of BT is raising its prices it's likely because of board pressure and another division of BT is probably also getting that pressure and therefore it too might decide to raise its prices. BT isn't just a bunch of monkeys. It's actually several bunches of monkeys :)

          Another possibility is that Sky (or insert-your-CP-here) might decide to jump on the price rise bandwagon anyway. Birds of a feather flock together and all that.. :-/

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Where are Offcom?

          "I don't get why TV / analogue phones still exist"

          TV? That would be for the very large number of people who don't have or want either Sky or cable.

          Analogue phones? That might be the universal service obligation, access to 999 when the power is out and, most of all, because BT would have to convert everyone's lines to xDSL and provide devices so users phones would continue to work (or provide replacement mobile phones and make sure there are no "not spots", not even inside peoples houses)

          VOIP takeup is still incredibly low, because most people either don't know it exists or have no clue what they need to do to set it up. And then there's a still a significant chunk of households with no internet access, mainly those who simply don't want it, but it's the first thing to go for some people when they ;lose their jobs.

      2. H in The Hague

        Re: Where are Offcom?

        "The alternative is to ditch the TV - which is glorified Freeview"

        Freesat gives you a few more channels ( but not sure if any of them carries Friends. You could always buy her the box set for Valentine's day :) If you like folk music then BBC Alba (on Freesat, but not on Freeview in the South) has some good programmes.

        1. d3vy

          Re: Where are Offcom?

          I think its important to note something about the statement

          "Freesat gives you a few more channels "

          It also give you a few fewer channels, namely the ones provided by UKTV due to a licensing conflict between sky and freeview which basically means UKTV channels can be broadcast over the air with no problem, but only sky can transmit them via satalite.

          Also note that if you have an older dish with only one NLB then you will need to upgrade if you want to make use of a PVR.

          Also note that the set top boxes are a little more expensive - I recently switched from freeview to freesat and encountered several issues (Mainly because I didn't research it enough first):

          1. Needed a new dish, the one we had worked but only had one output so no recording, upgraded and now have 4 outputs, two to the front room and two dangling in the loft for the day that I decide to connect them to TVs upstairs.

          2. Humax PVR - bit more pricey than an equivalent freeview box BUT its got on demand players for BBC, ITV and 4OD, its also got a Netflix app and you tube, It also allows you to plug in a HDD or stream media off DLNA compliant devices connected to your network.

          3. I bought it in November and had to watch the last few episodes of red dwarf on the little TV in the kitchen like some kind of tramp. #FIRSTWORLDPROBLEMS

          You get a few more catch up channels (HORROR+1 etc)and as pointed out above if you're into that kind of thing there's BBC ALBA...

          Im unconvinced that it was actually worth it, I made the jump because my old freeview STB packed up.. I could have replaced it for around £150, in the end I think the new box, new dish (+ installation because Im lazy and it was cold outside) cost me about £400... Still that's only what my sister pays virgin for her TV every few months... :)

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Freeview & Freesat

            I have lost my Freeview PVR due to DSO, so down to Freesat for recording.

            I still have to watch the last series of Red Dwarf.

            I expect I can obtain it from somewhere.

            Sort it out UKTV I refuse to line Turdochs pockets

      3. iDavid

        Re: Where are Offcom?

        Do nothing. Sky will surely follow BT in June. And as you say the service (via the excellent Billion router!) is stable if not exciting. And that's from someone with an EO line who can't get fibre for the foreseeable.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where are Offcom?

        I'm a Virgin convert (though I hate their business model and tactics). I took a gamble, and won, i.e. I haven't had a major problem or even a mid-size hiccup with them, or any other reason to use their famously atrocious "customer service" with Johns and Peters of Mumbay (sorry, I'm not being racist, just saying: if you outsource your tel support to India, at least try to look less like a c... and do not force your employer to assume English first names).

        So, if you're lucky, and if you don't mind their yearly price hikes (yeah, who minds price hikes when they hold a gun to your head?), and if you can put up with the government-imposed internet censorship which requires such sophisticated measures as tor browser installation - then you SHOULD be fine. And the speed, and I mean BASIC speed package is... solid and more than you'd get from any adsl provider. Plus the warm feeling that I have ditched the BT, landline and "ethos" - this feeling is worth paying extra to some tax-dodging corporation.

        But then, if things go pear-shaped... I dread to think about that "customer support". :)

      5. Dave Lawton

        Re: Where are Offcom?

        You could go to Plusnet. Yes, I know that they have had a slating recently for crap customer service but...

        I've been with them for internet only since 2005 ( perhaps earlier), and have just moved my phone service as well. Business use, was paying 250 per quarter for two lines & internet. Went down to one line, now paying 76 per quarter all in, with unlimited calls (UK & Mobile).

        Worth considering ,YMMV.

      6. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

        Where do you walk to?

        They are all as bad as each other, but where I am in the South of England the actual Virgin BB service and speeds are excellent albeit I only have the basic 70mb broadband i.e. no TV service or anything like that. Their customer service is pretty bad - but I'd hazard to guess they are no worse or shonky as all the rest.

        They do seemingly raise prices every 6 months or so etc. etc. but every time they have done this I've been straight onto the customer retention line and ended up on a cheaper package overall.

        Best of luck.

    2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: Let your feet do the talking.

      Let your feet do the talking

      ...but to where?

      Where I live Virgin isn't available, I know from experience that Sky are a complete shower of b*****ds and we all know that Talk Talk are, well, they're Talk Talk.

      I guess that's why BT do it - they know they can get away with it because of the low numbers of, and poor quality of, alternatives

      1. Bill M

        Re: Let your feet do the talking.

        I know the feeling, I have a choice BT or...... BT.

        Is that what in the olden days of the publically owned British Telecom was called a monopoly ?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let your feet do the talking.

        Where I live Virgin isn't available,

        Consider yourself lucky. They've been putting up prices hugely over the past two years, and certainly round my neck of the woods the service is unreliable - ninety minute outage on broadband today, for example. Virginmedia are very poor value, and the service is crap. Fast when it works, but that's the only positive.

        The problem here is that Ofcom are so far behind the times they've not realised that broadband is now a piece of critical national infrastructure, and should be regulated as such (price caps, service standards, limits on rate of return, just like water or gas networks). That would control profits and keep prices down, as well as guaranteeing standards (well, more so than now).

        Ofcom are just so slow, pathetic, and generally useless that I'm surprised they haven't all died of self-neglect.

    3. earl grey

      Re: Where are Offcom?

      "Customers will get a better package"

      That's what i'm afraid of...

  2. Franco

    BT's service isn't bad in general, however {Deity} help you if something goes wrong as their support staff are incompetent, rude and unhelpful for the most part.

    My contract is up and I've already cancelled it before I heard this news. The Mike-Foxtrots still want £31 to leave even if you are out of contract as well. Awaiting my go-live date from Origin Broadband at present.

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      "The Mike-Foxtrots still want £31 to leave even if you are out of contract as well."

      That sniffs of a broadband cease charge that they should only be charging if they are removing FTTC jumpers from your line. I'd argue that if your broadband is being taken over by another company.

    2. TheProf

      Once and it went well

      "as their support staff are incompetent, rude and unhelpful for the most part."

      I've dealt with BT support exactly once, on behalf of a friend who couldn't remember her BT password. The website offered to reset the password and email the new password to the user's BT email address. Not very useful!

      I spoke to the BT help-desk and after explaining the situation, and providing enough evidence that I was speaking on behalf of the registered customer, was given a new password along with the advice to 'give it 10 minutes then change the password.'

      It went smoothly and now my friend has access to her broadband account.

      Maybe I just caught them on a good day but I found BT's service excellent.

      1. Franco

        Re: Once and it went well

        That's why I said for the most part, there are the odd few that are conscientious and helpful but they are in the minority IME. The girl who took my cancellation request was very pleasant for example, particularly when she saw the number of complaints in my file and made no attempt to change my mind when she saw that, just admitted they had let me down.

        Most of the time though, I have been met with indifference and an utter refusal to deviate from script.

  3. hplasm

    Anyone smell burning pants?

    " "Customers will get a better package and improved service from us this year in exchange for paying a little more...."

    Yeah, right.

  4. TechnoTechno

    Woohoo, Origin here I come

  5. A Non e-mouse Silver badge


    Towards the end of last year, A&A cut my price by £5 per month, then a few months later increased my data cap by 50%.

    <smug mode on>

    1. Fonant

      Re: A&A

      Similarly Zen Internet sent me an email last year offering a cheaper deal that also removed the monthly usage cap.

      If Zen and A&A can increase service while lowering prices, ...

      1. Gio Ciampa

        Re: A&A


        Jumped from Sky to Zen last May after (yet another) price rise ... got faster connection speed (getting on for 20 Mb/s instead if 12 or so on a "up to 16" tariff) too...

        Admittedly - side-by-side it costs a couple of quid a month more, but that is only because, on Sky, it's a bundled cost (I had TV/Phone/Broadband) rather than being standalone... the only real downside being the loss of Last Week Tonight (but there are... ahem... ways to get around that...)

  6. druck Silver badge


    BT: stop spunking money on sport for BT-TV no one watches, leave that for the fools on Sky to pay for, and get back to providing a phone/broadband service.

    1. Franco

      Re: Sport

      Sadly the sport is just the start, it'll be regular TV soon. Fox TV was removed from the BT TV package last year, and they own the UK rights to The Walking Dead. Makes no odds to me, but would to a lot of people.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Sport

        Sport, cheapest option is to give up and do something else instead, surprisingly easy, I used to watch every grand prix, now I have no interest and you know what? It is great.


        Walking Dead apppears to be in loads of places, I am using Amazon for it, a workmate uses Sky.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sport

      BT: stop spunking money on sport for BT-TV no one watches

      No one is listening at Fatcat Towers. They know that eventually, some long time off, Openreach will be properly regulated and the money machine will stop churning (or proper 4G will make fixed lines superfluous, and kill off that golden last mile). But up until that point, BT want ream out fixed line customers to build a content business, using the cash generated by Openreach, and using Openreach as a means of securing vast sums of cheap debt that they couldn't use if they didn't have all that infrastructure.

    3. Pen-y-gors

      Re: Sport

      Time for Ofcom to split BT - into BT Sport/TV and communications.

      Provided they don't lose too many of their 2 million BT Sport customers BT will get £80 million a year in income. They are paying £320 million a year for Premier League football, plus £80 million for the Ashes next year. Which means that fixed-line subscribers are paying an extra couple of quid a quarter to subsidise BT Sport!

  7. Ed

    Vodafone are far cheaper

    I switched from the fastest BT Infinity package to Vodafone a couple of months back. BT had been charging me about £50 a month (including line rental), Vodafone are charging me £28. I was a little wary of Vodafone initially - it's hard to find reviews of them online - but they have been good so far, the speed is the same as BT, the router seems a bit more reliable than the BT one and when I had to speak to their support to find out where the router had got to, they were friendly and pretty quick to answer the phone.

    The only downside is that it's an 18 month contract, which is quite long for a broadband contract.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Vodafone are far cheaper

      AFAIK, Vodafone are a BT reseller. They may be cheaper, but if you have a fault on your line be prepared for no end of buck-passing between Voda and BT about whose responsibility it actually is to fix it.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vodafone are far cheaper

      Given the way Vodafone treated Demon users I wouldn't go anywhere near them. Repeated removal or downgrade of service while in contract, lies about parts of the service being "free", editing of their website to remove reference to the service when they realise it supports it not being a free extra.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next story: Increase in torrents, newsgroups and filesharing

    Correlation ? Causation ?

  9. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Proof of that adage ...

    the best place to hide a tree is in a forest ....

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Split off Openreach NOW.

    BT cannot be trusted.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If that ribbon in your hair means you're herpes free then...

    yes, I will fix your telephone line. But just this once.

  12. lsces

    The last few 'annual increases' have been 10 months apart. I glad we have finally actually got fibre and I've been able to kill the second line that we needed to make snailband work altogether, but YES hiking the price so soon after they have hiked the price for a new contract is just fraud?

  13. Tom 7


    everywhere please.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: B4RN

      It would be interesting to know how much work Ofcom has had to carry out on behalf of B4RN customers/that coverage area. No more 'upto' calculations/monitoring. No more complaints about poor copper lines/poors speeds.

      If B4RN was replicated across the Country. Would we even need Ofcom?

      No wonder Ofcom skews itself towards the legacy copper BT 'upto' model. I'm sure it helps having ex-BT/ex-Alcatel (i.e. Alcatel is a big promoter of Pointless Ben Verwaayen on the board.

      I'm sure he alone keeps up the facade/biased technical reasoning in Ofcom that 'FTTP is expensive, is cheap', ramming that message home at every opportunity.

      There always that potential conflict of interest, having board members such as ex-BT/ex-Alcatel people, because (if there is even the remotest chance and I'm not saying he is) if he is was a paid sleeper by BT/Alcatel, BT could be playing the long haul game, regards regulation/keeping control of it. isn't cheap, and FTTC sites can no longer be cherry picked, because all new "infill" rollouts will need new copper cabling/new cabinets, and maintenance costs/fault finding will grow exponentially.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: B4RN

        "There always that potential conflict of interest, having board members such as ex-BT/ex-Alcatel people,"


        The split of Telecom NZ was driven by the Ministry of Commerce, on the basis of considerable damage to GDP, and NZ's equivalent of OFCOM had the same conflicts / was saying everything was fine despite evidence to the contrary.

        One of the primary reasons TCNZ's proposal to move to a BT/Openreach model was rejected was that NZ regulators studied the market here and documented how BT has been able to continue market abuse.

        It's time the Competition and Markets Authority stepped in. Having the same company with a natural monopoly on lines AND having a retail operation is pretty much guaranteed to result in anticompetitive behaviour via creative accounting/Margin squeezes and refusing to sell lines/duct access to "competitors" unless a gun is held to their heads. If you want to see what would happen if Openreach is split off into an entirely separate company, look at what's happened in New Zealand since 2011.

  14. Frank N. Stein


    Are the price hykes due to Brexit?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brexit???

      Nope, they are due to profiteering.

  15. John70

    Get rid of TV...

    When Virgin upped their prices last time I got rid of the TV package and just kept broadband. Didn't have their telephone.

    Then I subscribed to Netflix...

    I hardly watch scheduled programmes, It was always on-demand or catch-up. So just made sense for me to get rid of the TV package.

  16. Kaltern

    I really don't know who to change to or who to even trust these days.

    Sky, BT, TT, they're absolutely not to be trusted for the usual reasons.

    The trouble is, any other smaller fibre provider charges insane money for what I need (80mb line, unlimited data), and so I am pretty much forced to stay where I am (BT).

    And being in Scotland, we're not deemed worthy of Virgin's attention for whatever reason.

  17. ducatis'r us

    superfast broadband (sic)

    Every time I see an openreach van with 'superfast broadband' on the side I feel inclined to acts of violence! The basic service is slow the router is crap and I've been waiting two months for a refund after they tried to charge me £130 for repairing a fault in the box at the end of the road!

  18. GrapeBunch

    Whither internet fantland?

    So, is there any nation or even jurisdiction in this whole wide world with good cheap broadband internet? I'm crossing UK, US and Canada off that potential list right away. In Canada, the happiest seem to be the ones who haggle by phone with the provider every time the service comes up for renewal, and in this UK thread I'm seeing a lot of the same. As they used to say: "That's one hell of a way to run a business."

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Whither internet fantland?

      South Korea, by a long way.

      Within Western culture, Sweden is probably your best bet.

  19. Updraft102

    Doesn't sound too bad

    I wish I could get that basic broadband speed for the price of the Infinity here in the US! Even after the price increase, it would be both faster and cheaper than what is available to me now.

  20. reece1605

    BT Price hikes

    I can say that I successfully managed to leave BT today, with still half a year left on my contract, without any penalty charges, quoting Ofcoms rules on price hikes.

    I will warn you, they did spend about 15 minutes trying to persuade me to stay by making offers, telling me how no other company compares, comparing prices, telling me to raise it as a complaint first before I can cancel... but I stuck to my guns and they gave in and allowed the cancellation once they realised I knew my stuff.

    1. Hass

      Re: BT Price hikes

      I've just been on to the Shysters this morning, I only renewed at the end of last month and they want to increase my charges for the broadband and the sport app. Well they can GTF. I shall be cancelling and moving else where. The inks not even dry on my renewal and they want to increase prices, even the Gestapo weren't this bad.

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