BT customers face bigger bills as company’s profits increase by 5pc

Around 10 million BT customers are being told that phone and broadband prices are to rise by up to 6.5 per cent.

BT is increasing prices from January 4, but denied the move was linked to its push into sports broadcasting, which is seeing the firm muscle in on Sky’s dominance of sport after winning a three-year deal to show 38 Premier League games a season.

The group has cut the price of broadband to £10 for copper and £15 for fibre, and giving away BT Sport for “free” with broadband.

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Line rental will go up by 54p, or 3.5 per cent, a month to £15.99, and other prices such as set-up fees and price-per-minute rates will increase by around 6 per cent.

The main calls packages BT sells now will remain the same price but existing customers on older tariffs will see a rise of around 60 per cent. The formerly free BT Answer 1571 and BT Privacy with Caller Display will cost £1.75 a month.

Broadband prices will increase by up to 6.5 per cent, although the current broadband offers will remain at the same price including broadband and weekend calls for £10 and Infinity and weekend calls for £15.

The announcement follows a nine per cent hike in the cost of BT’s Line Rental Saver Plan, which allows customers to save by paying in advance, from £129 to £141.

BT’s profits were up five per cent to £595m in the quarter to June 13, while it added 95,000 broadband customers.

It recently said it was looking to make savings of around £200m a year. Staff are expected to be affected after BT said this would involve some “people costs” as some employees would be given “the option to pursue other activities”. But no compulsory redundancies are expected.