Broadband customers are set to add more than £1.4 billion 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.
With broadband providers increasing their prices by inflation plus up to 3.9%, contracts will increase by as much as 25% overnight in spring – or more than £100 per year for the average BT customer.
Research from Hyperoptic finds that 60% of people are unaware that their monthly charge for their broadband contract will change.
Hyperoptic Director of Policy, James Fredrickson, said: “Inflation-busting mid-contract price rises are simply not fair. 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 this year, Hyperoptic called for Ofcom to investigate industry compliance with the rules governing price variation clauses. Hyperoptic promises not to put up prices in the middle of a contract like most major providers do.
Yesterday, Hyperoptic launched Switch Now to give free broadband for up to nine months, enabling people to cancel their current contract and save more than £160. 19 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.
For instance, 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 full fibre network enables consumers and businesses to enjoy gigabit-capable broadband with average speeds up to 900Mbps, which is more than 18x faster than the UK average speed.
As well as offering hyperfast speeds, Hyperoptic also offers a range of competitively-priced, flexible packages. Hyperoptic’s set of social tariffs provide essential broadband connectivity for those facing increasing cost-of-living pressures. Hyperoptic’s gigabit-capable full fibre broadband is available in 64 places across the UK. BCS Bureau