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Ofcom, Graham Howell, Ofcom's Consultation Champion.: Reduce the cost of landline rental as proposed by Ofcom in July 2013.

Ofcom, Graham Howell, Ofcom's Consultation Champion.: Reduce the cost of landline rental as proposed by Ofcom in July 2013. | UK Energy Efficiency @fuelpovertyuk | Scoop.it
How many of you with a landline actually use it?
Ofcom proposed an upto 8% cost reduction for three years, yet the cost of landline rental has just gone up by 6.49% in one case - WHY?
Ofcom produced a report that proposed the reduction in the costs of landline rentals over a number of years.
At the time of the Ofcom report, 11th July 2013, the wholesale cost of a landline was £93.27 per annum or £7.77 per month. These are phone lines rented from BT by the likes of Sky, and then re-sold to Sky subscribers at a cost of £196.80 per annum or £16.40 Ex VAT per month (current price after latest price rise).
The current landline rental price from Sky Is £16.40 Ex VAT per month and that's a rise of 6.49% on last years cost - yet Ofcom proposed a reduction in these rental costs of up to 8% over three years!
Ofcom stated in its published article 11th July 2013, and I quote: "Wholesale line rental: the regulated wholesale price today is £93.27 per year. Under Ofcom's proposals the prices will fall in real terms by between CPI - 2% and CPI - 8% every year" and if the proposal was successful the reduction in charges would come into effect on 1 April 2014 and run until 31 March 2017. 
CPI = Consumer Price Index. 
See full details of Ofcom's proposals here:  http://media.ofcom.org.uk/news/2013/new-prices-for-landline-and-broadband-services/
What happened to Ofcom's proposals, as monthly costs for landlines are still rising? Perhaps this text below explains the price rises?!
According to a BBC articles; 
Latest figures from the regulator, Ofcom, show that consumers spent three billion minutes fewer on their landlines in the year to June 2014, a reduction of 12.7% in one year alone.
As a result, operators lost out on £85m of revenue compared with the previous year.
"Call volumes are declining," said James Barford of Enders Analysis.
"People are using Facebook or WhatsApp, or even email if they're a little old-fashioned, so operators are having to recover their costs from increased line rental," he added.
see the full article here:  BBC Article.
Here's an excerpt from the above article about the landline price increases:
Sky: up by 6.49% to £16.40 a month.
BT: up 6.25% to £16.99 a month.
Virgin Media: up 6.25% to £16.99 a month.
Talk Talk: up 4.7% to £16.70 a month.
More calls for action:
"Why should we have to pay for a service we're not using?"  Catherine West, former senior money researcher at the consumer group Which?  has asked. "It seems a little unfair to say the least, and for many, a landline phone falls into this category. If you only use broadband, why must you pay for line rental?"
Full article here:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30273667
Why are the costs of landlines still rising and what happened to Ofcom's proposals to reduce the costs of landlines?
We all understand that companies have to make money but making a margin of £103.53 per year, per landline, per customer is scandalous, especially when the likes of Sky do not have to do any work or maintain the landline, as they pass this job back to BT. We do understand there are processing costs associated with these charges though!! 
Let's put this into context:- SKY have 5.3 million subscribers who need a landline to receive the full TV service from Sky and use their broadband services. So, all the subscribers have a phone line, thats 5,300,000 x £103.53 (Sky's margin on landlines) = £548,709,000.00 income from landlines per year! That's over HALF A BILLION plus revenue, per year from landline charges!
BT, Virgin and Talk Talk are making vast amounts of money as well from landline rentals per month.
There where as of December 2013 - 22.6 Million residential and SME broadband connections - do the maths at £103.53 margin per connection!
See full details here: http://media.ofcom.org.uk/facts/
'Margin' is the amount of money made by Sky when charging for a landline:£16.40 x 12 = £196.80 less the £93.27 quoted by Ofcom = £103.53 Margin.
What about the elderly that don't have SKY TV or Talk Talk TV or BT TV/Sports? These are people that need a landline to stay in contact with family and the outside world. The fact that it costs them £16.99 + VAT per month or £203.88 +VAT per annum, for a landline from BT is outrageous. Is it any wonder some elderly people will not put the heating on? They probably can't afford it when they are paying £16.99 + VAT a month NOT TO TALK!
In 1995 BT ran an advertising campaign with the late great Bob Hoskins and the strap line was "It's good to talk". Their next advert should use No Doubt's song 'Don't Speak' as the backing track and they should have a Dick Turpin character holding a sign with the strap line "It's great for us!" or they could pay Bork to use her version of the song 'It's Oh So Quiet" with an elderly person in a cold house, with the fire turned off staring at the landline telephone!!
The more people that sign the petition, the better. 
"Come on BT, Sky, Talk Talk and Virgin, show some community spirit and immediately reduce the costs for landlines for the elderly and for those who need landlines to communicate with the outside world because they are house bound. 
Individually we can moan about the costs of landlines, sign the petition and collectively, we could get the cost reductions as proposed by Ofcom. Please sign.
 
Thank You
Philip Smith-Lawrence
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