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Broadband mid-contract price hikes in April 2023: What you need to know

Kim Staples
Written by  Kim Staples
Updated: 31 Jan 2023

Nearly every major UK broadband provider is putting its prices up when April hits. And although that’s standard fare most years, this year we’re seeing higher increases than usual – up to 14.4%.

Here’s what you need to know, how your provider may be raising your bill, and what you can do about it.

Why are broadband prices going up?

Broadband, phone, TV, and telecoms providers usually put prices up in April most years, even if you’re mid-contract. This is often allowed in their contract with you, and is in accordance with inflation using the consumer price index (CPI) as a guide.

Most years, we see an increase around 3-4%. But soaring operating costs and other factors mean that in 2023, providers are raising bills at a higher rate than usual.

The latest CPI figure, published on 18th January 2023, was 10.5%. Most are hiking bills at least at that level.

However, not all providers have confirmed their price changes just yet.

Mobile networks are also doing the same – read our page on mobile mid-contract price hikes for more.

Laptop and credit card

How much is each provider raising its prices by?

Here’s what we know so far about how each of the main broadband and TV providers are adjusting their customers’ bills this year.

BT

BT broadband, landline, and TV – Rising by 14.4% on 31st March

Landline only, Home Essentials, Basic or Home Phone Saver (social tariffs) – No price rise

EE broadband

Broadband and landline – Rising by 14.4% on 31st March

NOW

Not yet confirmed.

Plusnet

Broadband and landline – Rising by 14.4% on 31st March

Shell

Broadband and landline if you signed up before 9th January 2023 – Rising by up to 13.5% (exact figure not yet confirmed)

Broadband and landline if you signed up after 9th January 2023 – No price rise

Sky

Broadband and TV – Rising by an average of 8.1% on 1st April

Sky Glass/Sky Stream within minimum contract – No price rise

Sky Broadband Basics (social tariff) – No price rise

TalkTalk

Broadband and landline – Rising by 14.2% on 1st April

Fixed Price Plus customers outside of the minimum contract – Rising by 10.5% on 1st April

Fixed Price Plus and Pre-Pay Saver Customers within minimum contract – No price rise

TV – Not yet confirmed

Virgin Media

Broadband, landline, and TV – Rising by 13.8%

Essential broadband, Talk Protected, and vulnerable customers (social tariffs) – No price rise

Vodafone broadband

Broadband and landline if you signed up between 2nd February 2021 and 23rd February 2023 – Rising by 14.4% on 1st April 2023

Broadband and landline if you signed up on or after 24th February 2023 – No price rise

Broadband and landline if you signed up before 2nd February 2021 – Not yet confirmed

Vodafone Essentials broadband (social tariff) – No price rise

Can I cancel my contract and switch provider?

If you’re out of the minimum terms of your contract, then yes – you’re free to switch provider whenever you like without penalty. And you can probably save a pretty penny while you’re at it.

Use MoneySuperMarket’s dedicated broadband comparison tool to find all the deals available at your address. We’ll help you find the cheapest deal that suits you best.

Compare broadband deals

If you’re still within the minimum terms of your broadband contract, however, you can switch… but you’ll most likely face high early termination fees. These are usually equal to the total amount left on your contract.

So for example, on a £20 per month plan that has four months left, you’d be liable to pay an £80 fee.

According to rules set by Ofcom, if a provider raises prices mid-contract, you have the right to cancel without penalty. But unfortunately, because the type of price rises in April are in line with the CPI, they’re usually covered by your contract with the provider. That means you can’t cancel without facing fees.

The only exception to this right now is Virgin Media, who didn’t have price hikes written into their contracts this year. If you’re a Virgin customer, check your contract – you may find you have the right to cancel.

Some good news for the future is that Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, says they’re investigating these types of price rises and how they impact customers.

Ofcom says:

"We’re currently investigating whether providers have been setting out these price rises clearly enough before customers signed up.

If you don’t think your provider did this, you should complain to them. If you’re not happy with how they deal with your complaint, you can take it to the ombudsman who will make an independent ruling on your case.

We’re also concerned about the transparency of inflation-linked price rises in contracts, and how well they’re understood. We’re examining this issue to ensure customers’ interests are protected."

What to do if you’re struggling to pay your broadband bill

Any bill increase has the potential to put strain on your household finances, and broadband is no exception.

If you or other people in your household are claiming certain benefits, you may be eligible for broadband social tariffs. These are low-cost plans offered by certain providers, aimed at giving you a basic internet connection. In many cases, you can even get fibre optic broadband.

Find out more on Ofcom’s website.

If you’re struggling with debt, or fear you’ll find yourself in debt soon, see our guide to taking back control of your finances.