New research has claimed that almost 12 million households could face increased broadband costs within the coming months due to suppliers hiking prices to fund the rollout of full-fibre.
Data from broadband provider Cuckoo has shown that Openreach has attempted to force broadband providers to move onto entry-level full-fibre services by raising prices on 23 out of 26 older broadband options.
Cuckoo explains that Openreach is doing this in an attempt to hit its latest rollout targets.
Millions of Openreach customers could face more expensive broadband services as full-fibre is only available to just under 25% of households in the UK.
Openreach claims that they still offer good value for money despite the price hikes, and that broadband providers are free to set their own pricing levels.
The majority of UK households utilise FTTC (Fibre-To-The-Cabinet) connections which use old copper wiring. Openreach has increased the price of all of its FTTC services.
At the same time, Openreach reduced the cost of its entry-level FTTP (Fibre-To-The-Premises) services. FTTP connections are faster “full-fibre” connections and can only be accessed by 24.3% of households.
Cuckoo says the move is an attempt by Openreach to push broadband providers to switch from FTTC connections to FTTP alternatives.
Cuckoo argues that this attempt to coerce providers to move to full-fibre will ultimately hit customers the hardest as those on older FTTC connections could see their monthly fees increase.
This is especially troubling for customers that cannot opt for an FTTP package as the technology is yet to make its way to their area.
Openreach has failed to meet many of the targets it has set for itself, including a target to make FTTP connections available to 2.5 million UK households by 2012. By 2015, only 250,000 homes were connected to full-fibre packages.
Founder and CEO at Cuckoo, Alexander Fitzgerald, said: “BT bosses should be honest with shareholders about their past failings and apologise to households who are left footing the bill.
“At a time when the pandemic has hit families across the country hard, they deserve better than bigger broadband bills through absolutely no fault of their own.”
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