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BT kicks off annual price rise cycle; new charges for BT Sport

BT is to launch its annual cycle of price rises, with the cost of phone and broadband services due to increase from 2nd April 2017. And in August, new charges for BT Sport will apply.

The price hikes come nine months after the telecoms company last made changes to its pricing in July 2016. Although line rental (£18.99 a month) will remain static, standard broadband will increase in price by £2 a month, while the company's "Infinity" fibre-based broadband will increase by £2.50 a month, although new customers are sold broadband based on an all-in price combining broadband and line rental charges. BT's line rental freeze comes as Ofcom investigates the impact of recent rapid increases in line rental charges on customers who don't take broadband.

Anytime calling plans are increasing in price by 49p to £8.99 a month with evening and weekend call plans going up by 30p to £3.80. All non-inclusive call pence-per-minute rates are increasing by 1p and the call set-up fee is going up 2p to a record-breaking 21p with individual calling features set to go up by 25p, including Call Minder which will increase from £4.25 to £4.50.

BT TV and BT Sport
BT TV subscription prices will initially remain the same, but from 1st August BT TV customers will be charged at least £3.50 a month for BT Sport (HD and UHD users already pay a premium to access BT Sport in high and ultra definition formats), while BT customers who access BT Sport via Sky will pay £7.50 a month, up from £6.00 a month. An additional charge applies to HD viewers. Non-BT broadband customers accessing BT Sport via Sky will also see an increase in costs from August 2017 to £22.99 a month, with an additional charge for HD.

BT Sport was originally offered for free to BT customers, before changes were made restricting access to free BT Sport with the launch of a BT Sport Lite pack containing BT Sport 1 in 2015. Additionally, subscribers to BT's YouView-based TV service were still able to benefit from free BT Sport.

It's just the latest in a series of regular price rises for BT customers, although special introductory and retention deals have mitigated some of the increase for some customers.
  • In 2014, BT increased prices in January and again in December.
  • In 2015, a major increase in prices took place in September.  
  • BT last made major changes to its pricing in July 2016.

While BT's biggest rival Sky increased prices for its TV services in June 2016, its line rental and call charges have been frozen since the end of 2015. However, there are signs this freeze is coming to an end, as Sky is expected to officially announce changes to pricing in the coming weeks.

Regular price rises for telephony, internet and TV services across the industry have followed record-breaking TV sports rights deals, notably for Premier League football and UEFA Champions and Europa League football.