A review of home phone prices has been launched to ensure users are getting value for money.
Regulator Ofcom says that while competition in the telecoms sector “remains strong”, it has concerns that people who only buy landline services are “not being served well”.
Its analysis shows that the price of line rental – which you need to support a home phone – has risen by between 28% and 41% since 2010, despite around a 25% fall in the wholesale cost to providers for providing the service.
These price hikes are felt most acutely by standalone landline customers – those who do not have broadband or a pay-TV service, according to Ofcom. It adds that the majority of these customers are also elderly or vulnerable, reliant on their home phone line, and more likely to have stayed with the same phone company all their life.
Ofcom’s review will establish whether measures are needed to protect this group of customers.
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Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom’s competition group director, says: “We’re particularly concerned for older and vulnerable customers, who rely on their landline and are less likely to change provider. So we’re reviewing this market to ensure these customers are protected and getting value for money.”