Broadband bills will soar to £54 a year

broadband FILE - A home router and internet switch are on display in East Derry on June 19, 2018, NH Telecommunications industry groups ended Wednesday, May 4, 2022, proposals to block California's net neutrality law that blocks broadband providers from restricting service.  In a federal court filed in Sacramento, the groups and California Attorney General Rob Bonta jointly agreed to dismiss the case.  (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Millions of broadband and mobile phone customers could see at least a 14% increase in their monthly bills starting in April. Photo: Charles Krupa/AP

Broadband bills could soar as much as £54 this April as some of the UK’s biggest telecommunications companies push for price increases to outpace inflation.

Vodafone (VOD.L), TalkTalk (TK6.SG) and Plusnet customers can pay an extra £54.86, £54.22 and £52.67 per year respectively. Shell Energy Broadband (SHEL.L) customers can see the lowest increase of the bunch ⁠— but still an increase of £49.51

Providers often attribute annual price increases to the January consumer price index (CPI) or retail price index (RPI). Despite a slight easing this month, both recent CPIs of 10.5% and RPI of 13.4% are close to 40-year highs.

BT (BT-AL), EE, Plusnet and Vodafone broadband contracts allow prices to increase by CPI plus 3.9%. In TalkTalk it is CPI plus 3.7%, while Shell Energy can add CPI plus 3%. Sky and Virgin Media contracts allow for mid-contract price increases, but do not provide a pricing formula like competitors.

Read more: Broadband: People avoiding social tariffs due to fears of slow speeds

IT confirmed a 14.4% increase this year ⁠— 10.5% plus 3.9% CPI.

What is the consumer group? urges providers to lift penalties for customers leaving mid-contract due to concerns of impending “exorbitant” price increases or egress fees of more than £200.

Rocio Concha, Which? The director of policy and advocacy said: “It is extremely worrying that so many broadband customers find mid-contract price increases this spring either exorbitant ⁠—and difficult to justify ⁠— trapped in a lose-lose situation where they will have to accept or pay to leave their contracts early. and costly exit fees to find a better deal.

“Which? urges providers to allow their customers facing mid-contract price increases to leave without penalty. Providers should also carefully consider the level of any price hikes as many consumers are already under huge financial pressure.

“It’s totally unfair that people are trapped in this situation while many households are struggling to make ends meet. Telecom providers must step up and do their part to support their customers in the cost of living crisis.”

Ofcom rules state that telecommunications providers must offer their customers the right to opt out of their contracts with impunity if they incur unexpected price increases not foreseen in their contracts.

A spokesperson for BT Consumer, which covers BT, EE and Plusnet, said: “With the December 2022 CPI rate announced now, we can confirm that our price change will continue on March 31st.

Read more: Cost of living crisis: Top tips for cutting broadband and mobile bills

“We expect the average customer to see their prices increase by around £1 a week. This price increase is not applicable to all our customers. More than 3 million customers across our BT Home Essentials, EE Mobile Basics, PAYG, BT Basic, landlines only and Home Phone Saver products will have prices up to 2023. will be frozen until

“While telecom bills make up a small portion of total average household spending, we know it all adds up. We take seriously our responsibility to ensure our services reach the widest possible range of customers through our market-leading social tariffs.

Here are the internet and mobile companies that announced the highest price increases, according to Money Saving Expert:

BT broadband and mobile: 14.4%

Energy Efficiency broadband and mobile: 14.4%

Plusnet broadband and mobile: 14.4%

Shell broadband and mobile: up to 13.5%

Sky Mobile: 9% for contract-free use.

TalkTalk broadband: 14.2% unless fixed price plus tariff.

Three broadband and mobile: 4.5%/14.4% depending on when you sign up.

Vodafone: Hidden Number

To watch: Cost of living: Ofgem says social energy tariff is needed for families who can’t pay their bills even with government subsidies

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