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Ofcom To Review Landline Phone Prices. (Read 3,436 times)
bigjohn
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Ofcom To Review Landline Phone Prices.
Dec 1st, 2016 at 6:23pm
 
Telecoms regulator Ofcom has launched a review of landline-only rental prices after concerns that people may not be getting value for money.
It said landline prices have risen by up to 41% in real terms since 2010, while wholesale prices have fallen by a quarter.
The rise in rental prices particularly affects those who rely on landlines, such as the elderly, Ofcom said.
The review will decide whether measures are needed to protect them.

Full story here :
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38166781
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« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2016 at 6:25pm by bigjohn »  

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bigjohn
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Re: Ofcom To Review Landline Phone Prices.
Reply #1 - Dec 1st, 2016 at 6:33pm
 
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Ian01
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Re: Ofcom To Review Landline Phone Prices.
Reply #2 - Dec 1st, 2016 at 10:38pm
 

There are several areas they need to think about, not just the headline line rental charge.

Inclusive call plans usually cover calls to geographic numbers starting 01 and 02 and non-geographic numbers starting 03. Some providers also cover calls to mobile numbers starting 071-075 and 077-079, but others - most notably, BT - do not. Following Ofcom's changes to mobile termination rates effective 1 April 2016, there is no reason why calls to mobile numbers should not be charged on the same basis as calls to landline numbers and 03 numbers.

Some providers have a category of numbers they call "non-mobile" numbers which are non-inclusive and charged at a higher rate than calls to mobile numbers. These look like mobile numbers. Indeed, the National Numbering Plan says that they are mobile numbers, but they are used for various automated or interactive services or by dial-through providers. Ofcom's changes to the rules for mobile termination rates, extending the cap on termination rates to cover all UK-allocated numbers starting 071-075 and 077-079, effective 1 May 2015, should have eliminated this anomaly.

There are many people who are on the wrong inclusive call plan for their needs. Landline phone providers have botched their marketing. They usually promote deals with 'free weekend calls' to keep the headline 'line rental and calls' price down. Weekday daytime calls to 01, 02 and 03 numbers on these deals are an extortionate 19p per call plus 11p per minute, or similar. Taking a weekend call plan or an evening and weekend call plan and then making two weekday, daytime calls per week, with each call lasting at least five minutes, usually costs more than taking the anytime unlimited calls call plan. There seems to be a very low level of awareness of the threshold where making the switch to an anytime deal becomes worthwhile. Where people are on the wrong call plan and running up large bills they are then left with the impression that 'landlines are expensive' when the correct analysis is 'you're on the wrong call plan'.

There appears to be a significant number of people who do not understand that calls to non-geographic numbers starting 03 are charged on the same basis as whatever you already pay for calls to geographic numbers starting 01 and 02. This hasn't been helped by several newspaper headlines that incorrectly described 03 numbers as premium rate. In reality, calls to 03 numbers are inclusive in allowances, else charged at geographic rate. The call charge is set entirely by the caller's phone provider. If you are paying a high rate for calls to 03 numbers, you're on an unsuitable call plan or with the wrong provider. There needs to be better awareness of where 03 numbers fit in the overall scheme of things.

I hope that Ofcom also addresses those issues over the coming months.

Calls to landline and mobile numbers allocated in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are non-inclusive and charged at a higher rate than calls to landline and mobile numbers within the UK. This is due to those offshore numbers attracting a higher termination rate than when calling numbers within the UK. The regulators that have jurisdiction over those offshore allocations have subsequently set price caps on termination rates and the cap decreases on an annual basis. By September 2017 the termination rate for calls to numbers allocated offshore will be the same as the termination rate for numbers allocated within the UK. This is the point where UK providers should be able to routinely offer inclusive calls to landline and mobile numbers allocated in Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man on the same basis as calls to landline and mobile numbers allocated within the UK.

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