Sky reduce fibre contracts but raise ADSL price

SKY have reduced the length of the minimum contract for new fibre customers from 18 months to 12.

But at the same time they've increased the cost of their standard broadband package from £7.50 a month to £10 a month, and quietly removed the inclusive weekend call element of their line rental.

New customers will instead face paying for calls as and when they make them, or stumping up a further £4 a month to get inclusive evening and weekend calls.

But broadband was getting cheaper...

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The changes are just the latest in the seemingly never ending round of subtle and not so subtle price rises.

Only those Sky TV customers who take just the Original Bundle, with no extras, were left unscathed by the changes to subscriptions that came into effect in June.

And if history is anything to go by, Sky won't be far behind BT should the latter announce increases to their line rental and other costs as expected next month.

Meanwhile many of the ISPs are also gradually upping their monthly rates for broadband.

It's tempting to say TalkTalk started it back in April when they announced that from June all their broadband packages would be £1.50 more expensive each month.

Previously they'd offered a pretty much unbeatable standard price of £3.50 a month for unlimited up to 17Mb broadband.

But when Simply Broadband increased to £5 a month as standard, that eased the pressure on other low cost providers too - Fuel, for example, who had been charging £4 a month, raised their standard price to match.

Talk is no longer cheap

Simply Broadband might be something of a model for Sky's new approach to basic broadband and line rental, by not including any calls.

But Sky haven't gone quite as far as TalkTalk in terms of limiting what customers can add on to their line rental.

TalkTalk's Simply Broadband customers have just two options if they want to add inclusive calls to their line rental: the international calls boost for £5 a month, or anytime UK calls at £7.50 a month.

That makes their Plus TV option, which includes anytime calls as well as their TV service, far better value at just £10 a month until August.

At least with the rejigging of their phone deals, Sky are letting people add just evening and weekend calls to their line rental, for £4 a month.

But their Talk Anytime bundle has gone up from £5 to £8 a month, and Talk Anytime International has increased from £10 to £12 a month.

Sky aren't the only provider to be playing with the inclusive call element of their line rental.

BT, for example, are currently offering their data limited broadband packages both with and without weekend calls - with the inclusive call option costing just 25p a month more.

As both the standard and fibre packages are offered on 12 month contracts, that's a difference of just £3 for the length of the deal to get free calls of up to 60 minutes at a time - including calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers.

It seems as though the change to charging for 08, 09 and 118 numbers has given several companies the chance to play with their pricing a little, as we covered here.

But Sky have taken the opportunity to bring both 0845 and 0870 numbers into their inclusive calls - for those customers who still have them, that is.