UK landline prices to rise as less people use them

Telephone

An increase in free and mobile phone communication has seen a drop in landline usage.

Do you still use your landline often? Well, prices are set to rise for landlines as less and less people are using them often.

The BBC reports that three of the UK's largest phone operators are set to raise their line rental charges on Monday, by up to five times the rate of inflation.

The jump in cost is to compensate for users turning to free methods of communication, say experts.

BT, however, said their rise was part of its regular annual price review.

Ofcom's latest figures show that consumers spent three billion fewer minutes using their landlines in the year to June 2014 - that's a reduction of 12.7% in a year. This equates to a £85 million loss in revenue for operators.

"People are using Facebook or WhatsApp, or even email if they're a little old-fashioned, so operators are having to recover their costs from increased line rental," said James Barford of Enders Analysis.

The line rental price increases for some operators are listed below:

Sky: up by 6.49% to £16.40 a month

BT: up 6.25% to £16.99

Virgin Media: up 6.25% to £16.99

Talk Talk: up 4.7% to £16.70

Sky, BT  and Talk Talk's prices go up from Monday, whilst Virgin Media increased its charge on 24th November, with existing customers not seeing the increase until 1st February 2015.

BT told the BBC that the line rental prices aren't increasing due to less use: "Whilst call volumes are going down, the number of landlines is going up."

The actual number of land lines has risen, but the decrease in the number of business lines has offset that, say OfCom. Although the use of mobile phone minutes has increased by 2.3% over the past year.

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