BroadbandTT Correspondent | 13 Aug 2013
Has fixed phone lines have become redundant or they still have some utility? Well, if a new web-based ISPreview.co.uk survey is to be believed 64% of respondents said that they'd happily get rid of their phone line if it wasn't required for a home broadband connection (21% answered with “no” and 15% said “maybe”).
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The survey was conducted with 998 Internet users in the United Kingdom. It further said that 82% of respondents agreed that the price of line rental (currently hovering around £15 a month), which has been racing upwards for the past few years, was the services main drawback.
But the study also noted that only 36% of respondents were saving money by paying for 12 months line rental in advance (e.g. Line Rental Saver), which is offered by most of the largest telecoms providers.
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Perhaps unsurprisingly the most popular way of making voice calls today is actually via a Smartphone and not a land line. While 62.3% say they use smartphones for making voice calls, 29.8% say they use fixed phone line.
At present the average monthly cost of a UK fixed phone line service ranges from the equivalent of £10 to £15 per month and the cost of a home broadband connection is usually added on top of that. Prices for a home broadband service typically vary, from lows of just £2 for a budget service to highs of £50 per month for a top end service.
"Mobiles are becoming increasingly dominant, at least for voice calls, and so we shouldn't be surprised that the once attractive proposition of owning a fixed phone line is now under pressure," said ISPreview.co.uk's Founder, Mark Jackson. "Most consumers still require a fixed line for their home broadband service but in the coming years this too could face a similar threat from the increasingly sophisticated 4G and future 5G based mobile broadband services."
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"In the meantime though people who wish to save money will either have to commit to a longer contract and pre-pay their line rental, or lose the fixed line entirely and take a mobile-only approach. But unless operators like BT can come up with a truly attractive standalone broadband (naked) line service, much like Virgin Media and a handful of altnet providers currently offer, then most people will have little choice but to keep paying full whack for line rental in order to keep their broadband," concluded Mark Jackson.
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