Virgin Media and Sky customers have seen their prices rise
Broadband has now become a vital part of British homes.
Internet connected gadgets and online streaming services, such as Netflix, are continuing to grow in popularity and are set to make us even more reliant on our broadband in the coming years.
However, it seems many UK households are paying up to 38 per cent more for their broadband and 50 per cent more for phone line rental than they were just a few years ago.
According to research from uSwitch, based on the average price of line rental across the six biggest providers, broadband users are now forking out £216 a year, which is £58 a year more than in 2011.
The research showed that Virgin Media customers are now paying 29 per cent more than five years ago and Sky has hiked some prices by 42 per cent.
BT customers are also paying more but Plusnet users appear to have been hit by the biggest rise with some prices going up 50 per cent in the past five years.
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In response to the rise in price a Sky spokesperson told Express.co.uk: "“The cost of line rental not only covers the cost of the physical line to a customer’s door, it also contributes towards continued investment in our network, as well as delivering the very best service to our customers.
"We are keeping line rental prices at their current level for customers who only take a landline from us.”
Virgin Media responded to its hike by saying: "We understand the price rise is never welcome. However, we aim to keep bringing you more and more value for your money."
Although these rises may come as a shock there is a simple way to beat paying more for your broadband and home phone.
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Consumers languishing on now-expired deals are paying, on average, £105 a year more than those who are still in contract.
While in-contract prices have barely changed since 2011 – by just £1.12 for copper broadband and 54p for fibre – out-of-contract prices have increased by 38 per cent for copper and 19 per cent for fibre.
This means those who don’t move to a new provider or sign up to a new deal once their contract ends are paying well over the odds.
Speaking about the issues consumers face, Ewan Taylor-Gibson, broadband expert at uSwitch, said: “A combination of soaring line rental costs and out-of-contract pricing has really hammered broadband users over the past five years. The good news is you don’t have to put up with it.
“First, check your bill and make absolutely sure you’re still in contract, because anyone who isn’t is likely paying through the nose.
“Most broadband contracts are 12 or 18 months long, so if you’ve not moved in the past year, you might well find you’re out of contract and paying, on average, 38% more than everyone else.
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“Second, play the system by taking advantage of a loophole, which gives you the right to cancel your contract and move to a new provider without penalty when prices are raised.
“The deal is you must let your existing provider know within 30 days from the date you’re notified of the increase. This includes price rises to both broadband packages and line rental.
“Doing this will give you early access to cheap introductory deals, typically reserved only for new customers.”