ISPs, providers act to counteract cost of living

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Image credit: Nick Youngson/Alpha Stock Images

A number of broadband providers and ISPs have outlined their commitment to helping customers during the current cost of living crisis by freezing their prices for 2022.

East Yorkshire, UK based broadband provider KCOM has cancelled a planned inflation-linked price increase this year, as managing director, John Rooney explained: ‘We are all aware that the past few years have been challenging for many people. The uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and the recent rises in the cost of living have made life difficult for many families as they’ve had to tighten their belts to make ends meet. Despite this, access to fast, reliable broadband has never been more important as we continue to work and stay connected to our friends and families more than ever before from home.

‘That’s why, this year, we’ve decided to keep our prices the same and to not add to the burden of rising costs that we are experiencing in everything from our utility bills to our shopping baskets. While other providers are continuing to implement their contractual annual price rises of 3.9 per cent, plus the rate of CPI inflation, in their customers’ bills, we have decided not to. This means our customers will not see any increase in their KCOM bill in the year ahead due to CPI.’

UK service provider, Hyperoptic is also playing its part, Charles Davies, MD announced: ‘Given the increase in the cost of living, any price rise is hitting already squeezed homes. With rising living costs, our industry could have bucked the trend and helped consumers. Most costs in fixed broadband come from building the network. Once built, the cost of maintaining the infrastructure is much lower. That means our industry can mitigate the impact of inflation, much more so than other industries. It is then disappointing to see so many operators choosing to raise prices at this time.

‘Here at Hyperoptic, we are proud to put customers first. We pioneered rolling-contract packages, offered free connectivity for a number of families in council housing during the 2021 lock-down and have launched great value tariffs for people who are financially vulnerable. Crucially, we believe in treating our customers fairly, which is why we won’t be increasing our prices this year and why we have never increased our in-contract prices since our inception over ten years ago.’

Meanwhile, Dominic Kearns, chief executive at UK ISP Fibrus said: ‘Fibrus is connecting communities and providing world-class broadband services and we know that shouldn’t mean higher prices for consumers. Broadband connectivity has become an essential utility, especially for those living and working in rural and regional areas, so it is crucial that it is as accessible as possible to enable local businesses and communities to flourish.

‘At a time when household running costs are spiking for families across the UK and Ireland, we want to protect our customers, not punish them and will do everything we can to ensure our broadband prices stay as low as possible. For us, adding additional pressures on consumers is outrageous at a time like this as many are already struggling to make ends meet. Fibrus is a local business for local people, and we will continue to play our part in helping to support local communities. Unlike other suppliers we do not implement in-contract price increases, so there will be no price rise for Fibrus customers.’

Likewise, ISP, Giganet recently announced that it will not increase prices for consumers in 2022. Chief customer officer, Rob Baynes revealed: ‘Giganet will always deliver full fibre honestly, and a huge part of that is our price promise to customers. Having flexible and reliable broadband services is more important than ever, and we’re proud to deliver just that, having just achieved a 5 star Trustpilot rating. The past couple of years have been turbulent for the industry and people are increasingly being hit with rising costs. We want to reassure customers that we aren’t going anywhere, and they won’t be seeing any price increase from us in 2022.’

If you are a broadband provider or ISP anywhere in the world who has frozen prices in 2022 we'd love to hear from you, get in touch with us and tell us what you have been doing to help your customers!

Richard Thorpe, chief delivery officer at CityFibre

15 August 2022

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