What's New - Site History
What Was New
Site History from 1996

Return to Telecom
Introduction Page

Version 249 in late February 2019 adds Sipwhale (business) and updates BT (residential), JT (Jersey) (residential), Phone Co-Op (residential), PlusNet (business) and TalkTalk (residential).

Ofcom is introducing a maximum directory enquires call cost from 1st April 2019 so lots of 118 tariff band changes to come which will appear in the numbering database, CodeLook and the spreadsheets from 29th March 2019. Meanwhile most of the new tariff bands are listed on the Special Code Change History members only page. The 118 maximum call price will be limited to £3.10 per 90 seconds, including VAT, the exact price that BT dropped 118500 to last summer (half the old cost) and £10 less than 118118 now charges for 90 seconds having increased it's price 11 times since 2010.

Following the capping of mobile roaming charges within the EU, last summer the EU announced plans to cap the cost of calls between EU countries at 17 euro cents per minute, presumably plus VAT. Not sure when this price cap arrives, no announcement from Ofcom, but Sky is reducing call cost to all EU countries to 20p/min with no call set-up from 1st May 2019.  If the price is widely introduced and not effected by politics in Westminster, it will mean substantial savings for many customers.  For instance BT currently charges over £1 for the first minute of a call to most EU countries, the call set-up cost alone is more than 20p for most major operators.  


Version 248 in late January 2019 updates Daisy Communications (business), EE (residential), Hyperoptic (residential), John Lewis Broadband (residential), OneBill Telecom (business), TalkTalk (residential), Vodafone (residential) and XLN Telecom (business). KentTec has been removed for old tariffs.

BT residential customers who sign a new contract from 11th January 2019 will see a once a year price increase from March 2020 by the consumer price rate of inflation.  This will apply to most BT landline, broadband and mobile rental and call charges.  No indication about future price increases for existing customers, where prices last increased in September 2018.  


Version 247 in late December 2018 updates Direct Save Telecom (residential), KC (residential), and Virgin Media (residential). ACN is no longer offering landline services so has been removed.


Version 246 in late November 2018 updates Dial 123 (residential), IDNet (business), Phone Co-Op (residential), Post Office (residential) and SSE Energy Supply (residential).

The CodeLook broadband data adds exchange market A low cost competitive, B non-competitive, and new Ofcom data with estimated maximum broadband speed for each post code from all main suppliers including Virgin Media, KCOM and smaller fibre providers. If full fibre is shown this should mean FTTP but not necessarily from Openreach. Up to 300MB is usually Virgin Media, but could be Openreach G.Fast. Beware there are many anomalies in the data, the Openreach post code data does not always include FTTP and the Ofcom post code data is missing some FTTC areas.

Ofcom has published the final Directory Enquires (118) Review on restricting the high cost of such calls.  From 1st April 2019, there will be a price cap of £3.65 including VAT for each 90 seconds of a 118 call.  BT halved it's 118500 price when this cap was  proposed earlier in the year, 118118 is still charging £10 more than the cap having increased it's price 11 times since 2010. and some operators charge up to £16 more.  Directory enquiry calls have reduced from over 25 million a year in 2014 to less than 8 million in 2017, with free searches on the internet being easier and faster. 


Version 245 in late October 2018 updates Axis Telecom (business), CIX (business and residential), Direct Save Telecom (residential), KC (residential), Post Office (residential), Virgin Media (residential and business), Vodafone (residential) and Zen (residential).  

From 1st October 2018, Ofcom has changed General Conditions of Entitlement for communication providers so that Caller Display (CLIP) must now be provided free of charge.  It may be necessary for customers to request that Caller Display is added to their line.

The CodeLook broadband data adds exchange market A low cost competitive, B non-competitive, and new Ofcom data with estimated maximum broadband speed for each post code from all main suppliers including Virgin Media, KCOM and smaller fibre providers. If full fibre is shown this should mean FTTP but not necessarily from Openreach. Up to 300MB is usually Virgin Media, but could be Openreach G.Fast. Beware there are many anomalies in the data, the Openreach post code data does not always include FTTP and the Ofcom post code data is missing some FTTC areas.


Version 244 in late September 2018 updates BT (business and residential), Hyperoptic (residential), John Lewis Broadband (residential), OneBill Telecom (business), SSE Energy Supply (residential), TalkTalk (business) and XLN Telecom (business).

BT increased residential call prices again from 16th September 2018, the second increase this year. Line rental is up £1 to £19.99/month, unlimited evening calls up 50p to £4.50/month, Anytime calls up 49p to £9.99/month, inland calls and access charge up 2p to 15p/min, mobile 1p to 18p/min, call set-up up 1p to 23p/call, international calls up 5p/min, line features also increased in cost by about 50p/month each.   

BT also increased residential Annual Line Rental by £11.04 to £219.84/year or £18.32/month.  Updated International Friends & Family and Freedom calls costs which have has increased.  The line rental discount for customers without any broadband is up £1 to £8 making their line rental £11.99/month.  According to the latest BT price list and web site, Broadband and Infinity package prices are unchanged since line rental was increased 10 days ago, which either means they have all gone down by £1/month or are about to increase, so the old package prices have been left until this is clarified. 

BT Business has increased line rentals, some broadband, and some call charges from 1st October 2018. Standard business line rental up £1.30 to £25.90/month, Value line rental up £1 to £21/month, ISDN-2e up to £57.90/month. Business Plan call inland, access charge and mobile prices up 2p to 20p/min, call set-up up 2p to 14p, Business Essentials no longer includes a 60 minute call allowance which was worth about £4/month.   


Version 243 in late August 2018 updates BT (residential), ACN (business and residential), Daisy Communications (business), Direct Save Telecom (residential) and TalkTalk (residential).

Ofcom is continuing it's long awaited campaign against high call prices for special service numbers with a review of 070 personal numbers which were originally intended for 'follow me' services but never seemed to reduce in price to match reducing mobile call costs, and are now often used for premium services like calling patients in hospital and for fraud. Ofcom plans to regulate the cost of 070 numbers to no more than that of other 07x mobile numbers, but probably for not another year.   Good for this comparison since 27 different charge bands should become obsolete.    

BT is increasing residential call prices again from 16th September 2018, the second increase this year. Line rental is up £1 to £19.99/month, unlimited evening calls up 50p to £4.50/month, Anytime calls up 49p to £9.99/month, inland calls and access charge up 2p to 15p/min, mobile 1p to 18p/min, call set-up up 1p to 23p/call, international calls up 5p/min, line features also increasing in cost by about 50p/month each.   

BT will have increased the Access Charge 50% in just three years, causing massive increases in many 084 numbers that used to cost less than 5p/min, and are now 20p/min or more, perhaps time for Ofcom to investigate similarly to the 118 price inflation.  For business, the increase is even higher because a 28p call set-up is added to the 28p/min Access Charge, which 084 numbers did not suffer until 2015 when Ofcom declined to specify how much business users would pay leaving business customers open to such pricing schemes. 

BT Business is increasing line rentals, broadband, and some call charges from 1st October 2018, standard business line rental up £1.30 to £25.90/month, Business Plan call prices up 2p/min and set-up up 2p, Business Essentials no longer includes a call allowance.  


Version 242 in late July 2018 updates BT (residential), Gradwell (business), PlusNet (business), TalkTalk (business and residential). Xinix World  (business) and XLN Telecom (business).

The National Infrastructure Commission has told the government that the copper PSTN should be discontinued by 2025 (as planned by BT Openreach), with 15 million homes have full fibre (FTTP) by then, 25 million by 2030 and full coverage to all homes and businesses by 2033 at an estimated cost of £25 billion.  The Commission recommends a taxpayer-subsidised infrastructure delivery scheme to uncommercial areas, along the lines of the successful Broadband Delivery UK programme, which directly subsidised up to 50 per cent of the capital expenditure for installing superfast broadband in rural areas.  However, a reasonable cost threshold will be necessary: the most expensive premises can cost above £45,000.  The few premises which are above the cost threshold should be able to use the subsidy to fund their own solution.

Ofcom is proposing to bring regulation of 084 numbers under the same rules as 087 and 09 numbers by the Phone-paid Services Authority (previously called PhonepayPlus and ICSTIS).  This is primarily to control scams involving expensive 084 numbers being advertised which redirect calls to cheaper or free numbers for public services or businesses. 

BT has increased the out of contract price of standard broadband packages by £2.50/month, but no longer sells the 15G package if fibre is available since fibre is now cheaper.

BT is increasing residential call prices again from 16th September 2018, the second increase this year. Line rental is up £1 to £19.99/month, inland calls and access charge up 2p to 15p/min, mobile 1p to 17p/min, call set-up up 1p to 23p/call, international calls up 5p/min, line features also increasing in cost.  

BT will have increased the Access Charge 50% in just three years, causing massive increases in many 084 numbers that used to cost less than 5p/min, and are now 20p/min or more, perhaps time for Ofcom to investigate similarly to the 118 price inflation.  For business, the increase is even higher because a 28p call set-up is added to the 28p/min Access Charge, which 084 number did not suffer until 2015 when Ofcom declined to specify how much business users would pay leaving business customers open to such pricing schemes. 


Version 241 in late June 2018 updates Adept Telecom (business and residential),  Direct Save Telecom (residential), Everything Everywhere (residential), John Lewis Broadband (residential), Post Office (residential), Skype (PC only residential), and Vonage (residential). First Number and TopUpDial Direct Dial have disappeared and been removed. 

Ofcom has proposed steps to reverse the massive increase in call directory enquiries since the 118 range was introduced.  The maximum call price will be limited to £3.10 per 90 seconds, including VAT, no doubt co-incidentally the exact price that BT has charged since 1st June 2018.  This new price is less than half the cost BT was previously charging, and £10 less than 118118 now charges for 90 seconds having increased it's price 11 times since 2010.  The new cost maximum should take effect in about 12 months. 


Version 240 in late May 2018 updates BT, JT (Jersey) (residential), KC (residential), PlusNet (residential),  Post Office (residential), Virgin Media (residential) and Vodafone (residential).

BT has reduced the cost of directory enquiries by changing 118500 from band SC070 to SC066, which halves the cost of a call, making two minutes about £4 against £8.50 now.

BT has stopped using the Infinity brand for fibre packages, and is now calling them Superfast Fibre or Ultrafast Fibre.  To comply with Advertising Standards Authority requirements, BT is now quoting average broadband speeds instead of up to speeds.  So ADSL is now average 10Mb, and fibre is a little lower than before.  BT has increased the broadband out of contract prices for new customers by about £2/month. 

BT Openreach is progressing it's plan from three years ago to close most or all traditional System X and AXE10 telephone exchanges by 2025 ceasing the current copper wire based PSTN and ISDN networks.  BT plans to stop offering wholesale line rental to new customers from about 2023, instead a new transitional product SOTAP (Single Order Transitional Access Product) that is an FTTC line without voice, which can be added using VoIP.  BT is currently trialing SOGEA (Single Order GEA) which is ADSL without voice and SOGfast (Single Order Gfast) for FTTC without voice. 


Version 239 in late April 2018 updates BT Business, 118185.co.uk (residential), 11899.com (residential), Call 18866 (residential), Post Office (residential), Sky Talk (residential), Skype (PC only residential), Virgin Media (business) and XLN Telecom (business).

BT Business has raised many inland call rates and call set-up costs from 1st May 2018.  BT Standard is now 28p/min for inland and mobile plus 28p set-up so £1.12 for three minutes. BT Business Call Essentials inland remains 6p/min but call set-up is now 6p and most mobiles up to 10p/min. BT Business Plan and One Plan are now mostly 18p/min and 12p call set-up.  Call and network feature rentals have increased a little, except for caller display which remains the same but is not yet free as it is for residential services.   


Version 238 in late March 2018 updates BT, Call2Call (residential), John Lewis Broadband (residential), Virgin Media (business and residential) and XLN Telecom (business).

BT is introducing a £7/month discount for residential landline rental only customers from 1st April 2018, reducing line rental to £11.99/month. This discount is not available to any customers that have fixed broadband from any provider (including Virgin Media), or who have BT Home Phone Saver or BT Basic.  But the discount is available if you only use broadband on a mobile phone or device.   

This discount was forced by Ofcom to benefit the estimated two million residential customers that do not buy a package of BT services such as broadband or TV.  BT Openreach currently charges wholesale line rental at £8.67/month including VAT, but line rental usually retails for at least £10/month more, although the best value operators charge only £12/month.  While wholesale prices fell, retail prices rose up to 50%, effectively keeping broadband prices artificially lower but costing more for those without broadband.