- Over 100% difference in average cost of broadband by
- Rural customers paying over twice as much as lowest
- Many of the poorest areas in the UK facing the highest
Customers in the best served postcodes in the UK face paying an
average of just £8.40 per month (excluding line rental) for their
broadband services, which is almost half the price faced on average
by customers in the poorest served postcodes, where prices average
£16.26 for broadband services.
Charlie Ponsonby, CEO of Simplifydigital.com commented:
"Our research starts to quantify what many of us already know,
namely that the price of broadband varies depending on where you
live - and the variations are very significant with those of us
unlucky enough to live in the poorest served postcodes faced with
bills over twice as high as those in the best served
The majority of the most expensive broadband postcodes are in
rural areas, many of which are some of the poorest areas in the UK,
with examples including:
|Broadband Prices by Region
||*Average broadband price
|Rural Scotland (Forres)
|Tees Valley (Hesleden)
|East Midlands (Boston)
|West Midlands (Bewdley)
|Northern Ireland (Ballytromery)
|South East (Tenterden)
|West Wales (Holyhead)
*Average broadband price excludes line rental from survey of
leading UK DSL broadband providers offering broadband services at
this postcode. Prices surveyed 22/6/11. Providers
surveyed include: BT,O2, Orange, Plusnet, Sky and TalkTalk
Charlie Ponsonby, CEO of Simplifydigital.com continued:
"Unfortunately many of the UK's poorest areas are on average
also among the most expensive areas for broadband services, putting
extra pressure on households with limited incomes".
In contrast postcodes such as TS10 1RX in Redcar; LL19 8DH in
Prestatyn and LE12 7BZ in Mount Sorrel all enjoy average broadband
costs of £8.40 per month.
Why do broadband costs vary so much?
Broadband costs vary significantly depending on whether the ISPs
(broadband providers) have installed equipment in the local
telephone exchange which allows them to provide cheap DSL broadband
Under the process know as Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) broadband
providers such as TalkTalk, Sky, O2 and others have selected
telephone exchanges within which to place their own equipment so
that they do not have to provide broadband services via BT
Wholesale. Unfortunately ISPs only choose to invest in
telephone exchanges where they know that they will make a
return. As a result rural and poorer postcodes may not meet
the investment criteria.
In these postcodes (know in the trade as "off-net" areas), the
economics do not allow the competing broadband providers to offer
broadband deals as cheap as in the unbundled exchanges (known as
"on-net" areas). The on-net areas are shown in the map below
as Ofcom Market 3 areas and the off-net areas as Market 1 and 2
To add insult to injury, "off-net" broadband services generally
offer lower broadband speeds relative to their "on-net" sister
products, meaning that customers are faced with paying more money
for slower average broadband speeds.
What can customers do about it?
Whatever postcode you live in, it is very important to shop around
for broadband deals, using an Ofcom accredited broadband pricing
checker such as Simplifydigital's at www.simplifydigital.com.
Also as prices and deals on offer change as ISPs extend their LLU
footprint, it is worth regularly checking to see if better deals
are now available at your postcode.
In addition it is strongly recommended that you bundle your
services from a single provider. Broadband and home phone is
the most common bundle, but many customers also choose to bundle in
their digital TV for the biggest savings.
Indeed Simplifydigital.com research shows that 83% of customers
save money by bundling their services from a single provider, with
the top 20% saving over £400 a year and the top 10% saving a
staggering £550 a year**.
Charlie Ponsonby, CEO of Simplifydigital.com concluded:
"Where ever you live, we strongly recommend that customers
regularly use an Ofcom accredited broadband price checker, such as
our own, to check that they are on the best deal. And to
ensure the biggest savings possible, customers always consider
bundling their home phone and digital TV with their
Notes to editors:
* Simplifydigital.com data based on 1,538 records between Jan
1st to Nov 8th 2010
Simplifydigital.com offers a free and impartial "Switching
Support" service for anyone looking to get a digital TV, broadband
or phone package.
Its London-based impartial experts are available for free over
the phone, to answer all those tricky questions and match the
family's needs to the best deal available.
Simplifydigital.com's experts are available for free on 0800 1
388 388 seven days a week (Lines open Mon-Fri 8am-8pm; Saturday
9am-5:30pm; Sunday 10-5:30pm).
You can also use Simplifydigital.com's Ofcom accredited
comparison engine online at www.simplifydigital.com.