Line rental costs up by 35% since 2009 header image

Published: 8th Feb 2016

The cost of line rental - which broadband providers like BT and Virgin Media charge their customers even if the landline is not being used for phone calls - is rising at more than double the rate of inflation, research has shown.

Broadband advice website revealed that line rental charges from the 'big five' suppliers - BT, Virgin Media, Sky, Plusnet and TalkTalk - have increased by an average of 35 per cent since 2009.

Overall inflation, by comparison, has gone up by 15.3 per cent over the same period.

The survey also found that one in three UK landline customers (33 per cent) don't know how much they pay for line rental.

Furthermore, two-thirds (67 per cent) of weekly landline users are not on a line rental saver plan, which allows customers to pay 12 months' line rental upfront to receive a discount.

Half (50 per cent) of the respondents who were not signed up to such a scheme were not even aware they existed.

Dan Howdle, editor-in-chief of, said: "If you don't use your landline for calls, but need it for broadband, line rental can be a costly bugbear.

"Line rental saver plans can help a great deal, but with more people than ever ditching the landline, providers should be slashing costs rather than increasing them."

Of the 4,224 people surveyed, less than three in ten (29 per cent) used their landline every day and 14 per cent said they never picked up their home phone at all.

More than six out of ten 16 to 45-year-olds (62 per cent) revealed they never used their landline to make calls.

The Advertising Standards Authority last month announced it was seeking to change the way broadband providers advertise their prices, after research showed that tactics like separating the price of the actual broadband service from the monthly line rental was likely to "confuse and mislead" consumers about the true cost.

Satellite broadband users receive their internet connection via a satellite dish, meaning there is no need for underground lines or cables.