Coatbridge, Chryston, and Bellshill MP Phil Boswell has welcomed Ofcom’s announcement of a review into the price of standalone landline phone services.
Ofcom analysis has shown that every major landline company has increased their line rental charges significantly, despite decreases in the cost of providing the service.
Since 2010, the cost of a standalone landline rental has increased between 28 per cent and 41 per cent in real terms, despite a 25 per cent fall in the underlying wholesale cost of providing the service for landline companies.
While there is strong market competition for bundled packages for TV, telephone, and internet services, which helps to keep prices down, there is little competition amongst providers for standalone landline services.
Elderly and vulnerable people make up a significant portion of standalone landline customers, and are most likely to be affected by these price rises.
Ofcom’s review plans to investigate whether these customers need to be protected.
Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom’s competition group director, said: “We’re particularly concerned for older and vulnerable customers, who rely on their landline and are less likely to change provider.
“So we’re reviewing this market to ensure these customers are protected and getting value for money.”
Mr Boswell added: “I welcome the Ofcom review into the rising prices for standalone landline telephone services.
“Despite the price of providing standalone landline services falling by 25 per cent in the last few years, the price of a line rental has risen by 28 per cent to 41 per cent.
“Vulnerable people, who are often very reliant on their landline services, are particularly affected by these prices, and need to be protected.”