New broadband pricing rules come into effect

From today, broadband pricing might look a bit more expensive than before - but don’t worry, it isn’t. New rules from the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) mean that broadband providers must make the real cost of their services a lot more clear.

It means the end of broadband being advertised as 'free' or incredibly cheap… but in reality, the actual price of broadband has barely changed, if at all.

Previously, providers usually advertised the monthly cost of a broadband service without the cost of line rental - which is usually required. The line rental charge was instead hidden in the small print, and added somewhere between £15-20 to your monthly cost.

However, as of today, the 'per month' cost you see for a broadband package is the total that you have to pay - it covers both the cost of your broadband, and the cost of your line rental.

It comes off the back of research by the ASA that showed that around one in four people could not correctly work out the correct cost of a broadband package based on providers' advertising. So, the organisation has gone on to implemented the new rules to make things a lot clearer for us.

A number of providers went live with their 'all-in' pricing some time before today. Vodafone led the way, 'abolishing' its line rental charges back in August, followed by TalkTalk last month.

And overall, we reckon the new pricing rules are a good thing. It makes it much easier to see what you'll be paying each month and cuts out the nonsense - and that means you can compare deals more accurately and stay in control of what you're paying.

Broadbandchoices CEO Michael Phillips said: "We wholly support and welcome the ASA's ruling - indeed, it is something we have been speaking to Ofcom about for some time, so it is great to finally see the change come. Previous broadband price listing was undeniably confusing. Ofcom approved comparison sites like ours made it easier, by allowing you to combine costs into one easy to understand price, but not everyone thinks to use one.

"From our research it was clear that customers were confused by pricing, meaning they were missing out on the best deals from their current provider and others should they want to switch. 83% of consumers see this as a positive step in helping them find the best deal. After all, you don't see 'buy this pen for £1!' and have tucked away in the terms 'plus £110 for the ink'. This change means that many more customers will now truly know what they are currently paying, what they should be paying, and importantly being able to compare the two costs quickly and clearly, allowing them to save or switch with confidence."

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