|What's New - Site History|
|What Was New
Site History from 1996
Version 259 in late December 2019 updates BT, JT (Jersey) (residential) and TalkTalk (residential).
BT Business has increased call costs for BT Business Plan and similar named packages, and BT Business Complete from 1st January 2020. Inland call cost is up 2p to 22p/min or 24p/min, and call set-up now 18p/call. It's now cheaper to call most European countries than next door.
Openreach is preparing to close down the existing analogue and ISDN Public Switched Telephone Network over the next six years, replacing it by Voice over Internet Protocol delivered over fibre. This will happen initially in Salisbury and Mildenhall as a trial of the migration processes needed. Full FTTP will be provided in most of Salisbury during 2020, supplemented by FTTC or G.Fast in some areas, with no new orders for analogue and ISDN lines from December 2020. These products will be withdrawn from service two years later in December 2022, so every home and business in those areas will need broadband and VoIP by then for fixed voice service. National orders for new PSTN and ISDN lines are expected to stop in September 2023 with service ceasing two years later in 2025. For voice customers not requiring broadband, a 500KB fibre connection will be offered.
ADSL is currently supplied from telephone exchanges over copper, often by LLU operators like TalkTalk and Sky, and all these services will also cease being replaced by FTTP or FTTC from fibre street cabinets. Openreach will then be able to scrap more than 5,000 50 year old System X and AXE10 telephone exchanges and concentrators, and most of the copper cabling and infrastructure connected to them, there will be lots of mostly empty buildings. Since full fibre for the country is not expected until 2033 by the National Infrastructure Commission. many properties will still need FTTC with local copper loops, and perhaps even wireless connectivity for distances too expensive for fibre.
Version 258 in late November 2019 updates BT, John Lewis Broadband (residential), Hyperoptic (residential), KC (business and residential), PlusNet (residential), Vodafone (residential) and Zen (business and residential).
BT Business is increasing call costs for BT Business Plan and similar named packages from 1st January 2020. Inland call cost is up 2p to 22p/min or 24p/min, and call set-up now 18p/call. It's now cheaper to call most European countries than next door.
Version 257 in late October 2019 updates BT, EE (residential), Post Office (residential) Skype (PC only residential), and Virgin Media (residential).
BT Residential has introduced the first new packages in six years, removing the hated call set-up cost while increasing call cost slightly, so inland and mobile calls are now both 20p/min rather than 15p or 18p/min plus 23p set-up. This reduces the cost of shorter calls, but longer calls increase in price. The basic plan is Pay As You Go with no inclusive calls, 500 Minutes of includes inland and mobile calls costs £5/month (half that of the old Anytime) while Unlimited Minutes costs £15/month (maximum 1,000 minutes or 150 calls/month). Access Charge is up 5p to 20p/min increasing the cost of all service calls, a 100% increase in four years. The older Unlimited Weekend Calls package is no longer sold, while the older Unlimited Evening and Weekend, and Anytime packages are only available to existing broadband customers as upgrades, there is also a new My Anytime Mobile Calls package that adds unlimited mobile calls for £12/month. as an upgrade only. These new packages are the first time BT has included inclusive mobile calls in packages, something common with other operators. BT Residential is charging 070 calls at the same price as mobiles.
BT Openreach currently passes 1.68 million home with FTTP (700,000 in cities), plans to reach 4 million homes by 2021, and 15 million homes by 2025. FTTC broadband currently reaches about 29 million homes from 90,000 DSLAM cabinets. Openreach is planning higher speed FTTP services with 550M down and 75M up, and 1000M down and 115M up.
Version 256 in late September 2019 updates BT, Direct Save Telecom (residential), JT (Jersey) (residential), Phone Co-Op (residential), PlusNet (residential), TalkTalk (residential), Virgin Media (business and residential) and Vodafone (residential).
From 1st October 2019 Ofcom is capping the cost of 070 personal numbers to that of a mobile call, with the person receiving the call expected to share any extra call cost, instead of 070 numbers effectively being premium numbers to make money. There is a new charge band PN99 to which all 070 numbers are expected to transition. See Ofcom statement. New rows for PN99 have been added to the tariff spreadsheets defaulting to the same price as normal mobile calls, which may be updated once operators confirm the cost they will actually charge. Some operators will simply ceased offering 070 numbers, as Daisy has already announced, others like Flextel and Switftnet/Number Partner will charge the same call forwarding charge as 03 numbers.
In late September BT has only published some business prices for the new PN99 charge band for 070 calls, with the new prices being the same as main mobiles on the same tariffs. This means a substantial price increase for many 070 numbers which were previously cheaper than the new mobile cost.
Version 255 in late August 2019 updates 118185.co.uk (residential), 11899.com (residential), Call 18866 (residential), DiscountVoIP (residential), FreeCall (residential), Hyperoptic (residential), John Lewis Broadband (residential), Sky Talk (residential), TeleTop (residential), TopUpNow (residential), VoIPCheap (residential) and WebCall Direct (residential).
Due to demand for new London numbers, Ofcom is making the 020 4 range available from October 2019.
Version 254 in late July 2019 updates BT (residential) and Virgin Media (residential).
BT has reduced the long term prices of it's main broadband packages and the upfront fees, while leaving introductory prices for the first 18 months unchanged, perhaps in response to Ofcom's concern about high price increases when minimum contracts end. So after 18 month, Broadband Unlimited drops £12.50 to £14/month, Superfast Fibre Essential Unlimited drops £7 to £19/month, Superfast Fibre Unlimited drops £9 to £25/month, and Superfast Fibre 2 Unlimited drops £11 to £29/month, and Superfast upfront fee drops £10 to £9.99. Ultrafast Broadband prices unchanged at the moment but upfront fee down £50 to £9.99. Note sure if these lower prices apply to existing contracts or only new contracts, worth asking BT sales.
Version 253 in late June 2019 updates BT (business), Andrews & Arnold (business and residential), EE (residential), Hyperoptic (residential), John Lewis Broadband (residential), TalkTalk (residential), Virgin Media (residential) and Zen (business and residential).
Ofcom is making efforts to reduce unfair pricing in telecoms, in a Fairness for Customers campaign. Providers are now expected to contact customers before increasing prices at the end of a contract period, outlining other cheaper packages they offer and allowing the customer to change to another provider that offers introductory deals. Ideally all these introductory deals effectively paid for by long term customers that don't want to change provider each year, will eventually disappear.
BT Business line rental has increased by about 6% from 1st July 2019, PSTN up to £27.50/month, value up to £22.30/month. No published ISDN increases yet. BT Essentials inland call prices have increased by 2p/min to 8p/min to landline and 12p/min to most mobiles, but set-up still 8p/call. BT Business has simplified broadband packages, all are now unlimited bandwidth and include value line rental.
Version 252 in late May 2019 updates BT (residential), EE (residential), John Lewis Broadband (residential), KC (residential), Phone Co-Op (residential), PlusNet (residential), Post Office (residential), SSE Energy Supply (residential). TalkTalk (residential) and Virgin Media (residential).
Following the capping of mobile roaming charges within the EU, the EU has now also capped the cost of landline and mobile calls between EU countries at 19 euro cents per minute plus VAT and SMS at 6 euro cent, from 15th May 2019, see Ofcom statement. EE, KC, Plus Net, Sky, and Vodafone have reduced call cost to all EU countries to 19p/min with no call set-up and BT residential is down to 19.94p/min with no call set-up, SSE down to 18p/min, Virgin Media down to 17p/min. Other companies often charged less already, with some countries more than the new maximum so they are sometimes reduced and call set-up removed.
Beware this reduction does not generally apply to Switzerland, but does to Norway and Outermost Regions (overseas territories). Nor does it apply to the UK, where a three minute BT local call now costs 10p more than calls to EU countries (due to the set-up charge). Nor does this capping apply to business calls, BT still charges more than the capped price on many tariffs.
Strangely, there has been little publicity about these capped calls, no press releases appear to have been issued, the reductions are not highlighted on any operator's web sites and often the price date is unchanged despite the new lower prices appearing. Although Ofcom has added a statement to it's web site, there was no email notification.
Callthrough or two stage dialling operators have finally been removed from the comparison due to ever increasing access charges for 08 and 09 calls making them mostly uneconomic, and the difficulty of comparing prices when access charges vary so much. So the following are removed: 0844 Calls, BudgetCom, Call Happy, Calls Discount, Cheap Calling, Cheap Calls, Cheap Cheap Calls, Cheaper International Calls, Cherry Call, Dial 123 Instant, Dial Around, DialWise, Discount Dial, Double Dial, Just-Dial Instant, Matrix Dial, Phone Cheap, Planet Talk, QX Dial, Simply-Fone, Story Telecom Dial Now, Supertel, Telediscount, Telesavers and Telestunt.
Version 251 in late April 2019 updates Post Office (residential), Sky Talk (residential), TalkTalk (residential), Virgin Media (residential and business), and Vodafone (residential).
Ofcom introduced a maximum directory enquires call cost from 1st April 2019 so lots of 118 tariff bands have changed. The 118 maximum call price is now limited to £3.65 per 90 seconds, including VAT, BT dropped the cost of 118500 last summer (half the old cost), and from 1st May 2019 118118 will charge exactly that price, about £6 less than before, with longer calls £4/min less.
To allow for the new maximum cost of directory enquiry calls of £3.65 for 90 seconds, 11 old service charge bands became obsolete from 1st April 2019, and seven of these are re-allocated with new prices from 1st May 2019, of which only two are used, so far, SC069 at £3.50 plus 10p/min and SC070 at £2.43 for the first minute, then £2.43/extra minute (ie £3.65 for 90 seconds). The other changed bands recommended by the NGCS industry group are SC068, SC071, SC072, SC087 and SC088. Bands SC080 and SC089 to SC091 are now unused, Historic charge bands in the SQL database have been changed to SCX69 to SCX91 with the old price descriptions, so CodeLook shows the historic prices correctly. BT has published the expected prices for bands SC069 and SC070 in the BT Consumer Price Guide, but not the other new bands. The main BT Price List is yet to be updated.
Broadband pricing usually has a fixed length contact, either 12 or 18 months, with a fixed price for that period, increasing to a higher price beyond the minimum period. There is usually an upfront fee to cover hardware, delivery and activation, which has now been added to the Tariffs table. Note this fee excludes cost of a telephone line. The minimum period price often fluctuates monthly as special offers are made to entice customers to change suppliers, but the upfront fee will then be payable again and is sometimes quite high, there may be a separate fee to change landline supplier. This comparison shows the package fee for the first 12 or 18 months, then the long term package fee and the upfront cost as separate columns in the Tariffs table. The Compare Broadband Package Costs web pages show the total cost for the first year including the upfront fee.
Version 250 in late March 2019 updates BT (business), Daisy Communications (business), Hyperoptic (residential), Virgin Media (residential) and Zen (business and residential).
BT Business has increased call prices for BT Business Plans and One Plans by 2p/min and call setup by 2p. For Business Call Essentials only the call set-up cost has increased by 2p to 8p. All Business line call features and network features are up in price by 20p/month, except caller display which is free.
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).
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.