Falling landline use the reason for line rental rises, say researchers

Dialling a landline phone

Landlines are becoming more expensive because of the significant decline in the volume of calls made on them, Enders Analysis has said. Yesterday, three of the largest broadband and phone providers in the UK raised their line rental.

According to the research firm, the inflation-busting increases are due to customers using 'free' technology, such as FaceTime, Skype and Twitter, to communicate rather than ringing people on their landlines.

The latest figures from UK communications head honcho Ofcom showed that people are moving away from landlines, spending three billion fewer minutes making calls from them between June 2013 and 2014 - a hefty 12.7% reduction in 12 months.

The move away from landlines during that period cost providers £85million of revenue, and Enders Analysis believes they're raising prices to compensate for those losses.

James Barford of Enders Analysis said: "Call volumes are declining. People are using Facebook or WhatsApp, or even email if they're a little old-fashioned, so operators are having to recover their costs from increased line rental."

However, BT, the biggest broadband and phone provider in the UK, has disputed the claim, saying that "whilst call volumes are going down, the number of landlines is going up," but Ofcom's figures show the increase in home landlines has been negated by a decrease in business landlines.

BT increased its line rental charges by 6.25% yesterday to £16.99 a month, Sky's went up 6.40% to £16.40 a month and TalkTalk's went up by 4.7% to £16.70 a month. The rate of inflation for October 2014 was 1.3%.

Under new rules introduced by Ofcom at the start of the year, you now have 30 days from when you're notified about a price rise by your provider to cancel your package without having to pay any sort of penalty if your contract isn't yet up.

Source: BBC News

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