Ofcom persuades BT to reduce line rental for landline-only phone customers

Customers of BT who have opted for the landline only phone from the provider, will pay £7 lesser per month on their line rental from 1 April next year. Ofcom has persuaded BT to this move which will benefit nearly a million customers of the operator, especially elderly customers.

Ofcom’s decision is drawn from its Narrowband Market Review of last year. The report found line rental prices for telephone has gone up sharply over the last few years. The regulator observed that the price rise was up in real terms by 23% to 47% and that the cost underlying it has dropped by 27%. Ofcom noted that big discounts benefited those buying bundled services, but sadly not those buying landline services alone.

This issue affected elderly and vulnerable persons, particularly as they tend to avoid bundles and remain with the same provider for years on their line rental product. The regulator found that nearly 66% of such customers are aged 65 and above. Over 77% of them have never switched to another provider. Close to 1.5 million landline only customers are with BT. Nearly two-thirds of them use broadband from another provider. The remaining are either on BT’s Home Phone Saver or BT Basic. The change can benefit at leas 00,000 of landline only users when rates are automatically reduced. Another 200,000 on Home Phone Saver are also eligible.

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