|What's New - Site History
|What Was New
Site History from 1996
Version 309 in late February 2024 updates Community Fibre (business and residential), Hyperoptic (residential) and Shell Energy Retail (residential)
Since it is now less than two years until landlines cease to operate, new contracts including line rental and calls are beginning to be withdrawn in favor of broadband only, usually with optional VoIP calls. There appears to no effort to reduce the cost of VoIP calls to reflect the vastly lower operating cost that no longer require vast telephone exchange buildings and cabling infrastructure, probably because landline call volumes are plummeting, replaced by new technology like mobile apps
BT is increasing residential prices by about 7.9% (half last year) from 31st March 2024, residential line rental is up £2.05 to £28.40.35/month, all call packages up, standard inland call charge up 1.5p to 21.38p/min with a 32.8p call set-up so three minutes now costs £1.02p, PAYG packages are up 2p to 28.16p/min but no set-up. International calls all up as well. BT maximum published broadband prices are also up 7.9%, but the actual prices for new customers with unspecified discounts and deals may not change.
BT is increasing business rental and package prices by about 14% from 1st April 2024. Standard business line rental is up £3.07 to £41.85/month, value line rental up £2.50 to £34.02/month, ISDN-2e up £6.47 to £88.26/month, ISDN-30e channel up £2.94 to £40.09/month, all network and calling feature rental prices up. SIP and Cloud rentals also increased. All these lines will be dead within two years, replaced by VoIP. Business call prices seem to be unchanged. BT Business is no longer offering any broadband bundles with landline and calls, since they had a minimum 24 hours term which is now beyond end of life.
Version 308 in late January 2024 updates 118185.co.uk (residential), 11899.com (residential), Call 18866 (residential) and PlusNet (residential).
API and Numbering members can now access a new Websocket API with the end point wss://api.telecom-tariffs.co.uk/WebSocket/codelookapi. This is more efficient than HTTP REST APIs, and allows multiple queries to be batched for faster response, potentially up to 100 queries per second. There is a minor Json change in the responses, the outer Json with success and reccount now also has query echoing the query parameter from the request, the argument is usually returned in the records, except for partial searches. This is needed if multiple but different WebSocket queries are made, so the responses are correctly identified.
API users making batch queries using the HTTPS API should try to ensure they are using persistent connections by adding the Connection: Keep-Alive request header, to avoid a new SSL handshake for each request.
In January 2024, BT Openreach has 12.8 million premises passed with full fibre FTTP, with an average 66,000 premises being added each week or 3.4 million per year, expecting to pass 25 million properties by end of 2026, leaving up to 5 million with only part fibre broadband from BT, but perhaps with service from other fibre providers.
The close down of the existing BT telephone PSTN network started in April 2023 when wholesale line rental service and ISDN were withdrawn from Salisbury and Mildenhall exchanges, to be replaced mostly by full fibre and some SOGEA copper broadband services. Initially VDSL broadband speeds were capped at 2Mbps/sec, then from June 2023 outgoing PSTN phone calls were barred (except emergency), finally in October 2023 service ceased.
From September 2023, it was no longer possible to order new BT PSTN or ISDN lines anywhere in the UK where full fibre is available using FTTP or SOG.Fast. There is no change for the 20 million properties without full fibre, until it becomes available in their area. In December 2025, all PSTN and ISDN services will start close down, probably over six months, and all telephony will be VoIP or Digital Phone over broadband. For those properties still without full fibre in 2026, this will be using the slower and less reliable part-fibre SOGEA and SOADSL services.
Some broadband customers using BT copper lines have unbundled service, which means their lines are not connected to BT equipment, but to the broadband company instead, this was common for ADSL from TalkTalk and Sky, and their telephone service is unaffected by Openreach close down because it is VoIP already.
BT plans to exit 4,500 buildings by the mid 2030s since the replacement full fibre service can be terminated at much greater distances that copper cable, needing only about 1,000 remaining buildings around the country. 103 buildings will be closed up to December 2030, but this mainly effects the industry with leased fibre lines that will need to move to alternate remaining buildings. Most BT buildings are owned by TT Group and have a contract break in December 2031, so there is urgency to reduce rent. Trials of exit exchange start in March 2024 when the Deddinton exchange will close, followed by Kenton Road and Ballyclare exchanges six months later, all these exchanges are full fibre already.
Version 307 in late December 2023 updates Shell Energy Retail (residential), Sky Talk (residential) and Virgin Media (business).
Ofcom is planning changes to prevent broadband and telephone contract prices being changed within the contract period by an unknown percentage, any increases must be specified in the original contract with actual cost so the customer knows exactly how much the contract will cost before accepting it. This year most operators increased prices by 14% or more. If this plan goes ahead, it will apply to new contracts probably from summer 2024, so won't effect any percentage increases planned for April 2024 or even a year later for 24 month contracts.
Ofcom is also planning to prohibit revenue sharing using 084 and 087 number ranges, to stop operators making money by inducing customers to make long unnecessary calls using their inclusive free minutes, probably also effective summer 2024.
Nine months after being proposed, Ofcom has now issue marketing guidance to prevent FTTC and cable services being sold as 'fibre broadband' without qualification so it's obvious they are not fibre all the way to the home, FTTP, or full fibre and can't offer the same speeds or reliability. Expect to see part fibre, copper or cable network for these slower services so customers are aware they are offered older technology services.
The BT Price List site reappeared in December after being dead for a month or so.
Version 306 in late November 2023 updates British Telecom (business and residential), Community Fibre (business and residential), Shell Energy Retail (residential) and Sky Talk (residential).
The BT Price List site seems to have disappeared after 25 years with no replacement. Originally several ring binders of paper updated monthly, it was one the earliest web sites on the internet updated almost weekly with prices of all BT services. In recent years a BT Consumer Web Guide has replaced most residential pricing, but there is now no proper business pricing available.
Version 305 in late October 2023 updates EE (residential), IDNet (business), KC (business), OneBill Telecom (business), TalkTalk (residential), and XLN Telecom (business).
Version 304 in late September 2023 updates Virgin Media (residential).
Ofcom has issued an updated list of dissolved companies that still have number allocations, including 24 that we'd missed due to lack of a web site or the site still being active, all the numbers allocated to these dissolved companies should disappear from the database in the coming months as Oftom removes them. About 50 older companies now without number allocations have been removed and more will go next month.
Version 303 in late August 2023 updates KC (residential) and Vodafone (residential). Call2Abroad has been removed.
Version 302 in late July 2023 updates BT (residential), Direct Save Telecom (residential), EE (residential), IDNet (business), and Sky Connect (business).
Line rental saver that provided cheaper line rental when paid annually in advance has been discontinued from 21st July 2023.
Version 301 in late June 2023 updates BT (residential), Community Fibre (business), PlusNet (residential), Skype (PC only residential), TalkTalk (residential), Vodafone (residential) and Your Co-op (residential). John Lewis Broadband has ceased offering broadband service to new customers so has been removed.
Version 300 in late May 2023 updates Community Fibre (business and residential), Direct Save Telecom (residential) and TalkTalk (business).
Version 299 in late April 2023 updates British Telecom (business and residential), EE (residential), IDNet (business), KC (business), PlusNet (residential). Shell Energy Retail (residential), Sky Talk (residential), Vodafone (residential) and Zen (business).
BT Business has increased new line install cost to £125 for 12 months, still £75 for 24 months. All business broadband costs up about £5/month, BT Superfast Essential Broadband (FTTC) 67M Unlimited £39.95/month, BT Ultrafast 1 (FTTP) 152M £44.95/mointh, Ultrafast 2 314M £49.95/month, 500M £54.95/month, 900M £59.95/month.
Version 298 in late March 2023 updates British Telecom (business and residential), Community Fibre (business and residential), EE (residential), KC (business and residential), Sky Talk (residential) and Vodafone (residential). SSE Phone and Broadband has been sold to TalkTalk, having been bought by OVO Energy in 2020, OVO will now concentrate on energy. Customers will be migrated to TalkTalk in the coming months and the web SSE web site broadband pages have disappeared, so it has been removed from the comparison.
Because of the failure of industry to agree clearer marketing of fibre broadband, Ofcom is planning to force the industry to stop using 'Fibre' to promote FTTC or SOGEA broadband delivered over copper pair cable, instead in future it must be marketed as 'Part Fibre'. Fibre and Full Fibre will only refer to FTTP broadband, or Cable for hybrid coax cable and fibre.
BT increased residential prices by about 14% from 31st March 2023, residential line rental is up £3.30 to £26.35/month, all call packages up, standard inland call charge up 2.5p to 19.83p/min with a 30.4p call set-up so three minutes now costs 90p, PAYG packages are up 3.3p to 26.12p/min but no set-up. International calls all up as well. BT has stated broadband prices are also up 14%, but the actual prices for new customers on the web site on 31st March 2023 are virtually unchanged, a few up £1 or £2/month, and many broadband and line rental packages reduced in price. The official BT Consumer Price Guide only publishes 'maximum' broadband prices which are typically £20 to £40/month higher than the web pages, and which are probably what existing customers will be charged, all very unsatisfactory in comparison terms.
BT increased business rental and package prices by about 14% from 1st April 2023, but call charges appear unchanged at the moment. Standard business line rental is up £4.89 to £38.78/month, value line rental to £31.52/month, ISDN-2e up £10 to £81.79/month, ISDN-30e channel up £5 to £37.15/month, all network and calling feature rental prices up. SIP and Cloud rentals also increased. A standard BT business line now costs £465/year, almost three times 20 years ago (£165/year) and three times what I pay today (£152/year), but only for a few more years until PSTN lines are all ceased.