BT announces yet more price rises

Minimum 30p for a call

BT stock

Millions of BT customers are set for steep price rises this summer, as the company puts up the price of line rental, calls and broadband services.

From 3 July, even a one-minute phone call to a land line or 0870 number will cost at least 30p, with the call cost rising from 10.24p a minute to 11p and the set-up fee from 17.07p to 19p.

The price of the Unlimited Anytime Calls plan, which gives unlimited calls to most UK landlines, is going up by 6.9%.

According to the Guardian, most of the company's 7.9 million broadband customers are also to receive letters detailing a price increase: from £13 to £15 in the case of customers using the company's copper network, and an extra £2 or so a month for those on the Infinity fibre network.

BT Sport is also going up by £1 a month to £6.

John Petter, the chief executive of BT Consumer, says the company's broadband customers will at least be getting a little more for their money.

"Most of our Infinity 1 customers will enjoy much faster speeds for a little extra, while all of our customers will receive a quicker response if they have a fault and free BT Net Protect security," he says.

And the company's BT Basic service aimed at low-income customers will stay at £5.10 a month.

However, the latest rise comes on top of price increases averaging over 6% both last year and the year before, all well above inflation. And it's coming earlier than usual: in past years, the company has announced increases in July and rolled them out in September.

Some have suggested that the increase may have something to do with the company's purchase of the rights to Premier League football - although BT insisted to the Sun that this isn't the case.

In any case, customers of other phone companies can't feel too smug. Every time BT has put its prices up in the past, the rest of the pack has promptly followed suit.

Last October, TalkTalk upped its line rental prices by £1 and its broadband package by £2.50; in February, Virgin Media put prices for its bundles up by as much as £3.99. Meanwhile, Sky is increasing the price of its TV packages from June 1 by up to £72 a year.

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