BT reveals “necessary” price hikes
BT will raise its TV and broadband prices for most of its customers by around 9% by the end of March 2022.
The price rises will reflect the "rising costs to the business and inflation" according to Nick Lane, managing director for consumer customer services at BT.
On those business costs, according to BT data usage has increased 90% on broadband since 2018 and 79% on mobile since 2019. Lane said that to maintain its network, BT must invest more to handle the increase in demand.
He also said the changes will not apply to “financially vulnerable” customers on BT Home Essentials, BT Home Phone Saver and BT Basic.
He added: “Price rises are never popular, but are sometimes a necessary part of business, if we’re to keep up with the rising costs we face and ensure we can continue to deliver a brilliant network experience as customers usage of data grows month on month.
“We’ve thought long and hard about how we make sure that any pricing changes are predictable, clear, and not unfairly focused on our existing customers, but reflected in our new prices too.”
The telecoms giant increases its broadband prices on March 31 each year by 3.9% plus inflation, which is at its highest level since the 1990s.
The Consumer Prices Index says inflation stands at 5.4% with this number expected to surge to 7% in April.
This, in turn, could force other operators to increase prices.
Vodafone has already announced price rises of 9.3% which will come into play from April and TalkTalk customers will be seeing rises of 9.1% around the same time.
As EE and Vodafone look to increase margins following a turbulent period caused by the pandemic, the operators, along with Three UK, have also announced that roaming charges will be reintroduced for British travellers this year.
EE was the first to officially announce the reintroduction of roaming charges last year, followed by Vodafone and then Three UK, although O2 says it will not be reintroducing the controversial charges.
As Capacity reported, traffic from OTTs and the impact of the pandemic have put unprecedented strain on networks. Almost a year ago, the London Internet Exchange (Linx) said the pandemic had pushed traffic on its main platform up by 40%, rising from 4.30Tbps in March 2020 to 5.64Tbps in November and 5.93Tbps in the first few weeks of 2021. Further, today DE-CIX confirmed that traffic set a new record in 2021.
Meanwhile, the trends around more lucrative voice traffic are going in the other direction. Insight published earlier this week confirmed a 7% decline in 2020, making it the third consecutive year to see lower levels.