As the cost of living increases in 2022 with the most recent announcement that gas prices will rise by as much as 50 per cent, households will also likely see a rise in their phone and internet bills this year.
Consumer Price Index inflation rates for December last year jumped by 5.4 per cent – its highest rate in 30 years – with another expected increase throughout the year.
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Some mobile and internet providers adjust their prices according to the Retail Price Index (RPI) – currently 7.5% – which differs slightly from the CPI.
Due to the rise in inflation, phone and internet charges are soon set to go up for many with providers informing their customers of bill increases.
In fact, BT recently announced that customers could face hikes as hikes as nine per cent from the end of March.
Meanwhile, other providers have hinted at similar rises in monthly phone and internet bills.
Here’s what the UK’s most prevalent providers say about upcoming increases in phone and internet bills for 2022 when approached by the Manchester Evening News.
BT and EE
BT has already announced a price hike of more than nine per cent for most of its customers since the end of March.
The telecoms giant said those affected will end up paying an extra £3.50 a month – or £42 annually – on phone and broadband bills.
Despite this, financially vulnerable households and those on certain packages such as BT Home Essentials and BT Basic will be exempt from the price hike.
A spokesperson for BT told the MEN they have been upfront about their price changes towards customers when they agree to their contracts.
“As usage across our networks continues to increase and with our customers relying on us for connectivity more than ever before, it’s crucial we continue to invest in our networks, services and the latest technology,” they said.
“As such, and in line with our terms, our prices for existing customers will be increasing from 31st March, with a similar rise also being introduced for new customers.
“We remain committed to supporting customers on low-incomes or facing financial hardship, and will therefore be freezing prices for our financially vulnerable customers.”
The telecoms giant also notes that since 2019, EE customers have used 79 per cent more data while BT broadband usage has increased by 90 per cent.
Unlike many other mobile and internet providers, Sky and Sky broadband does not usually adjust its prices directly in line with inflation.
While the company has not announced how much charges will be increased in 2022, they have noted that customers are always informed of any price changes before they are put in place.
The broadband provider has also noted that they strive to keep prices as low as possible for customers.
When reached out by the MEN, Sky refused to comment on any price increases for 2022.
Three has confirmed that its prices will go up by 4.5 per cent in-line with their annual fixed increases which will be put in place in April.
The mobile provider has also stressed that customers will not have to rely on a “fluctuating” Retail Price Index or CPI rate to understand the cost of contracts when signing up.
A spokesperson for Three told the MEN: “Like other mobile providers, our pay monthly plans are subject to an annual price change. We implement an annual fixed percentage increase of 4.5%, which will be applied in April.
“We believe that integral to a great customer experience is certainty and transparency. With a fixed price change compared to the variable and unpredictable increases applied by other MNOs, customers will not have to rely on a fluctuating RPI or CPI rate to clearly understand the full cost of their contract.
“Central to providing the best possible service and range of products is our network, and we must invest more to deliver on this. We are investing +£2 billion in the UK’s fastest 5G network to ensure we have a strong network, capable of delivering better connectivity, every day, for every customer.”
TalkTalk has not yet announced how much its prices will increase in 2022.
Despite this, the provider has noted that it will take into account the situation of its “most vulnerable customers” when adjusting its prices which will come into force in April.
Generally, TalkTalk increases its prices annually by 9.1 per cent which will be in line with the increase of CPI plus a set rate of 3.9 per cent.
TalkTalk has stated: “ Our annual price rise doesn’t come into force until April. Any change will of course take into account our most vulnerable customers.
“We’re still working through the details and will update customers in March.”
Vodafone has announced that its home broadband plan will increase based on the December CPI rate plus a fixed rate of 3.9 per cent for customers who started a plan from February 2, 2021.
Those who took out a contract before that date will see a price increase based on the RPI rate which will be published in March this year – the average monthly price increase for Vodafone broadband customers will be £2.44.
A spokesperson for Vodafone told the MEN: “We know no one wants to see prices increase, but these reflect the rising costs that we continue to face in running our network and providing our services.
“Like many other industries, we face rising costs of energy, staffing, logistics and transport, as well as regulatory costs.
“These price increases are essential for us to maintain investment in our network and services while the costs that we face continue to rise.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.