Broadband alert: Brits hit by ‘sneaky’ costs as providers hike prices | Personal finance | Finance

In recent months, many of the country’s largest broadband providers have raised prices by 8.2% to 9.3%. While inflation currently stands at 9.9%, wholesale broadband costs have remained the same for two decades. Industry leaders are taking aim at the industry’s “sneaky” price hikes hurting customers’ pockets during the cost of living crisis.

Alex Fitzgerald, CEO of Cuckoo Broadband, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about how households are losing out due to rising broadband prices.

Mr. Fitzgerald explained: “Broadband is sneaky. They are posting prodigious profits at a time when prices are soaring while hard-working Britons are squeezed.

“It’s just plain wrong. It’s time for the big boys to do the right thing and stop taking advantage of customers.

“If they have the money to post windfall profits, then they have the money to stop those outrageous price increases when people feel the pinch across the board.”

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However, companies such as Cuckoo are choosing to forgo raising their prices above the rate or in line with inflation to better support consumers in these difficult times.

Putting its money where its mouth is, Mr Fitzgerald’s company has promised to freeze prices at 2020 levels to help those in search during the cost of living crisis.

The broadband expert added: “Ofcom has a tough job of cracking down on the industry to protect people.

“Britons are being stung by an unreasonable increase in costs when the wholesale price of broadband has remained virtually the same for the past 20 years.

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“At Cuckoo, we continue to freeze our prices at 2020 levels to help customers with the cost of living – and we are fixing them there for at least 12 months. So now we know the major vendors can afford it, why can’t they do the same? »

Earlier this week, Ofcom Group Director Lindsay Fussell warned broadband providers of the dangers posed by raising their prices too high.

Regarding the annual price increases in April next year, the media regulator’s representative said: “Of course we recognize that inflation is a broader macroeconomic issue which affects some wholesale costs, as well as customers. .

“Although Ofcom does not regulate retail prices, we want businesses to think very carefully about what is justified during an exceptional period of hardship for many people.”

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In her speech, the telecommunications expert highlighted how broadband providers should help customers as inflation continues to put pressure on ordinary people.

She particularly highlighted social tariffs, which Ofcom cited as the best way to provide targeted support to people on means-tested benefits.

Ms Fussell said: “Here are some ways broadband and mobile companies can help. First by continuing to offer good deals.

“The cheapest ultra-fast broadband deals, for example, are affordable for most people at around £22 a month.

“Second, by promoting cheaper “social tariffs” for the most financially vulnerable.

“I am pleased that since we highlighted this issue in February, the number of people signing up has more than doubled.

“But that still leaves millions of households, who are eligible for benefits, missing out on broadband savings of around £150 each year.

“Everyone can do more to make these offers visible and easy to grab. I believe there is a moral responsibility to do so.

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