Research: UK broadband providers set for £1.4bn windfall
September 8, 2022
By Colin Mann
Broadband customers are set to add more than £1.4 billion (€1.61bn) to the coffers of the UK’s major broadband providers as a result of price rises coming in the new year, in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis, according to full fibre broadband provider Hyperoptic.
With broadband providers increasing their prices by inflation plus up to 3.9 per cent, contracts will increase by as much as 25 per cent overnight in spring 2023 – or more than £100 per year for the average BT customer.
Research from Hyperoptic finds that 60 per cent of people are unaware that their monthly charge for their broadband contract will change.
“Inflation-busting mid-contract price rises are simply not fair,” asserted James Fredrickson, Hyperoptic Director of Policy. “Most people don’t know it’s going to happen or have no idea how much more they’re going to have to pay. We’ve called on Ofcom and others to introduce tighter rules that will force operators to be transparent about when they’re going to raise prices, and customers should have the right to switch provider, without charge, if they’re hit by such an increase. Broadband is a vital service and – now more than ever – it needs to be affordable.”
Earlier in 2022, Hyperoptic called for telecoms regulator Ofcom to investigate industry compliance with the rules governing price variation clauses. Hyperoptic says it promises not to put up prices in the middle of a contract as it suggests most major providers do.
Hyperoptic has launched Switch Now to give free broadband for up to nine months, enabling people to cancel their current contract and save more than £160. Nineteen million households are currently stuck in contracts that often give them slow and poor-quality internet, with a price rise looming in 2023.
Switchers can choose to save money by paying an early contract exit fee to their current provider instead of continuing with their contract – and get Hyperoptic’s free broadband at the same time.
Hyperoptic suggests that a BT customer paying £35 a month would spend £315 over nine months. But BT’s own calculation indicates an early exit fee of £153, meaning a switching customer could be £162 better off.
Hyperoptic’s gigabit-capable full fibre broadband is available in 64 places across the UK.