British fixed line incumbent BT is reportedly planning to increase its charges for fixed voice line rental from the start of next year, while it will also hike the fees applicable for those customers which look to terminate services mid-contract. According to UK broadsheet The Telegraph, the price increases are being made as the telco looks to help pay for its investment in broadcasting sports TV. As per the plans it is understood that the standard cost of a fixed voice line will rise from its current GBP15.45 (USD24.93) per month to GBP15.99, representing a 3.5% increase, while early termination fees for those customers switching provider mid-contract are claimed to be increasing by as much as 30%. Further, BT is also set to raise the cost of certain value added services (VAS), while also charging for others for the first time, most notably its BT Answer 1571 service; the aforementioned optional extra will, from the start of 2014, cost GBP1.75 a month, having previously been offered at no charge. In terms of its fixed voice calling packages, meanwhile, while some of its tariffs will remain unchanged, others are reportedly going to by up to 6.4% once the price changes come into effect.
A BT spokesman justified the increases by suggesting that they come as the telco continues to invest in ‘sport and superfast broadband’, adding: ‘They are not the only things. We have shareholders and dividends to pay.’