Internet provider TalkTalk will increase the price of some of its broadband and landline calling plans from April, echoing similar hikes by BT, Sky and Virgin Media.
TalkTalk hasn’t released the full details of its price hikes yet but has said the monthly bill for its ADSL product, Fast Broadband, will rise £2 from April. The tariff is currently priced at £22.95, although discounts can be found.
TalkTalk customers should also brace for additional price increases next year and likely every year in the future.
From April 2022 the price of TalkTalk’s ADSL connections will increase annually by the rate of inflation plus 3.7%. The price of faster fibre-optic (FTTC) broadband plans, Fibre 35 and Fibre 65, don’t seem to be increasing this spring but will rise in subsequent Aprils, again by the rate of inflation—TalkTalk doesn’t specify from when—plus 3.7%.
These price increases mirror similar hikes by competitors, many of which have introduced clauses in their contracts allowing for inflation-busting annual increases.
BT and subsidiary EE will increase prices of broadband and mobile tariffs annually in March by the previous December’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 3.9%. The CPI in December 2020 was 0.6% so thousands of BT and EE customers will see their bills increase by 4.5% this year. Plusnet, which is also owned by BT, will adopt this formula for price increases from 2022.
Technically Ofcom has a rule against mid-contract price hikes that go above the rate of inflation and allows you to duck out your contract without facing early termination charges if you do so within 30 days of receiving notice of such a price increase. However, this may not apply if the ISP has introduced the price increase formula in its contract, as BT and TalkTalk have done.
TalkTalk has already removed mentions of “no mid contract price rises” and “fixed prices” from its promotional material.
Those looking to dodge TalkTalk’s price increases by moving to a better-priced competitor may also be out of luck. ISPs are increasing prices across the board this year, as they accommodate more traffic, respond to regulations requiring automatic compensation and easier switching and roll out new services like full fibre. TalkTalk recently announced that its FTTP plans, delivered over CityFibre's network, will expand to Aberdeen, Bolton, Milton Keynes and Peterborough.
In addition to the aforementioned price increases from BT and EE, consumers will also face significant bill spikes from Sky and Virgin this spring. Sky broadband, TV and home phone customers will see their bills increase by an average of £3 a month but up to £6 a month from April or May, while Virgin Media is adding between £2.50 and £4.50 a month to customer’s bills from March.
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