BT to increase price of broadband and landline while TV customers will have to pay for BT Sport
BT has announced price rises for its broadband and landline services, while television customers will start having to pay for BT Sport. Broadband charges will typically rise by between 5% and 6% from 2 April, the company said.
From August, BT TV subscribers will pay £3.50 a month for BT Sport, which has been free for broadband customers. Landline customers will see phone plans increase, and the cost of calls will go up by 1p a minute.
Rivals Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk have all announced price increases within the last year.
BT said phone rental would be frozen at £18.99a month, while the cost of a subscription to BT TV will also remain the same.
The company also promised to compensate customers automatically if it fails to deliver on one of its service promises. The details will be published at a future date.
Under Ofcom rules, any customer who is unhappy with the price changes on their contract has 30 days to opt out, once they have been informed of the changes by BT.
The main rises are:
- Broadband up by £2 a month
- Super-fast Infinity broadband up by £2.50 a month
- BT TV customers to start paying £3.50 a month for BT Sport (from next season)
- Anytime calls up by 49p to £8.99 a month
The company has been battling with Sky over the rights to sporting events.
The two broadcasters spent more than £5bn between them to acquire the rights to Premier League matches.
BT has also paid a reported £80m to show the 2017-18 Ashes cricket series.
BT’s 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.
“Millions will have the chance to upgrade to faster broadband and almost a million will be able to upgrade to enjoy unlimited usage for no extra cost.”
He said that prices for low-income customers, who use the BT Basic service, would be frozen and calls costs capped.
Mr Petter pointed out the company had also frozen line rental, which, he said, “would particularly help customers who only take a traditional phone service from BT”.
Analysts at Bernstein said the rises were “intelligently designed”, as they left line rental charges unchanged.
Bernstein also said it expected BT’s competitors, and especially Virgin Media, to follow the company’s lead.