|What's New - Site History|
|What Was New
Site History from 1996
Version 234 in late November 2017 updates CIX (business and residential, previously called ICUK), Direct Save Telecom (residential), Phone Co-Op (residential), PlusNet (residential) and Post Office (residential).
Ofcom has plans for the main landline and broadband operators to provide automatic compensation for slow repairs, missed appointments and delayed installations from early 2019, to provide time for implementation. Lost service not fully restored after two full working days will receive £8 per calendar day the service is not repaired. A missed or cancelled (within 24 hours) appointment will pay £25, and delay for new service will be £5 per day from the missed agreed start date. Currently, this will apply to customers of BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet that serve about 90% of customers, with other operators encouraged to do the same. Ofcom is also introducing new rules to ensure small and medium sized business customers are given clearer, more detailed upfront about service quality and compensation schemes.
BT is increasing residential call packages and call charges from 7th January 2018, set-up up 1p to 22p/call, inland calls and access charge up 1p to 13p/min, inland mobile to 17p/min, and international calls up by 4p/min.
BT Business is increasing PSTN and ISDN-2 line rental, and many call charges from 1st January 2018. PSTN rental is up 66p to £24.60/month, ISDN-2e up £2.20 to £56.20/month. BT Business Plan (and variants) and BT Business Call Essentials inland and mobile calls up 1 or 2p/min, set-up up 2p/call.
Version 233 in late October 2017 updates Daisy Communications (business), Everything Everywhere (residential), Hyperoptic (residential), John Lewis Broadband (residential), PlusNet (business), Virgin Media (business and residential) and Zen (residential).
BT retail is cutting residential line rental by £7/month from 1st April 2018 to £11.99/month, due to pressure from Ofcom concerned about rapidly escalating prices (to pay for football) when wholesale cost has been reducing. Line Rental Saver will drop to £131.89 each year. This cut will apply to residential voice only customers, so broadband package cost will be increased to compensate. Effectively voice only customers have been subsidising broadband customers.
This change will effect about 1 million BT customers and will mostly be applied automatically except for those on Home Saver package that will need to change to standalone rental. It will not apply to any line with broadband, whether supplied by BT or another provider or to business customers. BT will not increase line rental until April 2019, and for the following two years by no more than CPI + 2.5%.
Version 232 in late September 2017 updates KC (business), PlusNet (business), Post Office (residential). Xinix World (business) and Zen (business).
Ofcom is making some improvements that will apply to all communications providers to address nuisance calls, complaints and billing. From October 2018, Ofcom will ban operators from charging for caller display identification which helps to screen calls, although some operators already effectively off it free. There will also be new CLI guidelines for operators to ensure calls have valid CLI that uniquely identifies the caller and block calls that can not be returned due to invalid CLI. Ofcom is also changing other general conditions of entitlement to be able to withdraw telephone numbers that are misused.
Version 231 in late August 2017 updates BT, 0844 Calls (residential), 118185.co.uk (residential), 11899.com (residential), Budgetcom (residential), Call 18866 (residential), Cheap Calling (residential), Dial Around (residential), DialWise (residential), Discount Dial (residential), DiscountVoIP (residential), DoubleDial (residential), FreeCall (residential), Fuel Broadband (residential), PhoneCheap (residential), SSE Energy Supply (residential), Telediscount (residential), TeleSavers (residential), Telestunt (residential) and Virgin Media (residential).
BT has increased residential Line Rental Saver by about £4/year to £208.80, which is £17.40/month. Re-instated limited monthly bandwidth broadband packages, 17M broadband with 15GB is £6/month for first year then £19/month, Infinity Lite 38M down 2M up with 30GB is £6/month for first year then £16/month, £1.80 per extra GB (£10 cheaper than the previous lowest cost).
Version 230 in late July 2017 updates 4tel Communications (business), John Lewis Broadband (residential), OneBill Telecom (business), PlusNet (business), TalkTalk (residential), Vyke Mobile (residential) and Vonage (residential). Fuel Broadband, a brand of New Call Telecom, ceased service from July 2017, with residential customers transferred to the Post Office. It has been removed from the comparison.
The Special Code Change History page now shows known future changes up to a month ahead, which are not yet added to the numbering database, in addition to historic changes. New and changed bands are not normally added until one week before they become effective, since the database is updated weekly.
Version 229 in late June 2017 updates BT (business), ACN (business and residential), Axis Telecom (business), KC (residential) and Post Office (residential). Fuel Broadband customers are being transferred to the Post Office in late July 2017.
In the past this comparison has ignored short term introductory price discounts as being irrelevant to long term value for money. But most broadband packages now come with lower pricing for the first 12 months which is also the minimum term, encouraging users to swap packages each year for best value for money. So the spreadsheet Tariffs table now has a extra column 'Package (First 12 Months)' and the previous Package column is now 'Package (Long Term), each showing the monthly cost (averaged if necessary for less than 12 months). The Cost Comparison web pages have a new 'Compare Broadband Costs' choice which shows the first year and long term monthly cost, sorted in order of cheapest first year costs. So you can easily compare broadband speed and data cap (if any) against price.
BT Business has increased many call prices from 1st July 2017, standard inland calls up 1p to 26p/min with 26p set-up, or £1.04 plus VAT for three minutes that 20 years ago would have cost 10p daytime (local call), but this is the first increase this year (last year rates increased 25%). BT Business Plan call prices up 2p/min or more, Business One Plan 1p/min or more, BT Business Essentials set-up up 1p to 3p/min but call prices remain the same.Inland mobile and international prices are similarly increased, international mostly to rounded 5p or 10p boundaries.
Version 228 in late May 2017 adds YayYay (business and residential), and updates BT (residential), Axis Telecom (business), Everything Everywhere (residential), Hyperoptic (residential), John Lewis Broadband (residential), Phone Co-Op (residential), PlusNet (residential), Post Office (residential), Sky Talk (residential), SSE Energy Supply (residential), TalkTalk (residential). Virgin Media (residential), Vodafone (residential), XLN Telecom (business) and Zen (residential).
Version 227 in early May 2017 updates BT, Call2Abroad (residential), Direct Save Telecom (residential), Sipgate (residential) and Virgin Media (business and residential).
BT is now only marketing unlimited broadband and fibre packages, the cheaper limited download packages are all discontinued. Virgin Media is no longer marketing packages slower than 100MB and reduced the cost of all broadband packages. Virgin Media Business now offers 350MB cable modems with fixed IP addresses.
Version 226 in late March 2017 updates BT, ACN (business and residential), Sky Talk (residential), TalkTalk (business) and TalkTalk (residential).
BT has increased residential call prices and broadband packages, up 1p to 12p/min for inland and Access Charge, and 16p/min for mobile calls, up 2p to 21p for call set-up, Unlimited Evening and Weekend Calls up to £3.80/month, Anytime calls to £8.99/month, ADSL broadband up £2/month, Infinity up £2.50/month. International calls have been simplified into just three bands, at 46p/min (USA), 76p/min (most Europe, Asia) or 136p/min.
Version 225 in late February 2017 updates BT, Call Happy (residential), Cheap Cheap Calls (residential), Cheaper International Calls (residential), CherryCall (residential), First Number (residential), Sky Talk (residential), Story Telecom (residential), SuperTel (residential) and TalkTalk (residential). The Wowtel (residential) web site has disappeared so it has been removed.
Ofcom has announced a consultation that may force BT to cut telephone line rental next year for 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. From December 2009 to December 2016, line rental prices have risen by between 25% and 49% in real terms, while the wholesale cost has fallen by up to 26% in real terms.
Ofcom is consulting on various remedies to reduce line rental, with it's preferred option being an initial BT retail cut of between £5 and £7/month with subsequent increases for rental and calls limited to inflation only. The final decision is expected by the end of 2017, so will not become effective until well into 2018. If BT cuts line rental, other operators would be expected to follow to remain competitive. BT broadband and TV bundle costs may rise, but bundles from other operators are less unlikely to change since they have far fewer non-bundle customers.
BT Business has increasing PSTN and ISDN line rentals from 1st March 2017 by about 6% (20% for Value line rental), also connection charges. A business PSTN line increases £1.40 to £23.70/month, an ISDN-30 channel by £1.50 to £26.40/month, a new Business Value line by £3.30 to £19.20/month. Business new line connection is up £5. Service care costs have also increased. BT Business One Plan packages no longer include any call allowance, and the costs of inclusive calls have increased.
Version 224 in late January 2017 updates BT, Daisy Communications (business), Everything Everywhere (residential) and Kesher Communications (business).
BT has introduced a free residential BT Call Protect service to reduce nuisance phone calls, using a BT updated blacklist, a personal blacklist and by specifying individual call types (withheld, international) and sending them straight to a junk voice mailbox. It is set-up online at bt.com/callprotect . The BT 1571 and Call Minder services have extra features, VIP whitelists numbers never to be blocked, and Do Not Disturb specifies times of the day when all phone calls (except VIP) are send to voicemail.
Version 223 in late December 2016 updates BT, Adept Telecom (business and residential), CytaUK (residential), Everything Everywhere (residential), JT (Jersey) (residential), Vodafone (residential) and Xinix World (business).
BT Business Plan international call prices have gone up again only four months after the last increase, by between 4p and 6p/min, making the costs even less competitive, varying between 15p and £1.56/min depending on country.