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United Kingdom Businesses The Almighty Buck Technology

Elderly 'Hit by Line Rental Charges' (bbc.com) 82

An anonymous reader shares a BBC report: Recent increases in line rental charges have hit elderly people the hardest, according to an Ofcom report. Between December 2009 and December 2016, line rental prices had increased by as much as 49% for some customers, the regulator said. And of the people with standalone landlines in their homes, 71% were aged 65 or over. Ofcom recently revealed plans to make BT -- with nearly 80% of the UK market -- cut line rental costs by 5 British Pound ($6.1). A huge proportion (43%) of the 2.9 million households with a landline only are occupied by people aged 75 and over. "Older consumers are particularly affected, as they are more likely to be dependent on fixed voice services if they do not have a mobile phone or an internet connection," the report said.
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Elderly 'Hit by Line Rental Charges'

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  • That's a weird name for it.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Its that thing where the Telco charges you a renal fee for the line between the street and your house. You know to "maintain" it. Much like the "daily connection charge" power companies charge people, and in the case of New Zealand this is as high as $2 per day!

  • I guess, the costs of maintaining the wires and the rest of the land-line infrastructure are largely fixed. So, as people — primarily younger ones, according to TFA — drop their traditional land lines entirely, the remaining customers see their fees increased.

    Nothing to see here, nothing to do about it. Whoever feels sufficiently compassionate to "do something about it" can subsidize their favorite senior(s) directly — or help them switch to a cell-phone, etc.. I've switched two elderly couples I feel responsible for to IP-telephony years ago — they had mobile phones already — and now they don't even know, their "regular" phones use Internet...

    • yup, my mom has both a landline and cellphone and i keep telling her dump the land line and use your cellphone, seems redundant to maintain two phones & two phone numbers, but nope she wants that umbilical landline cord as if she cant live without it, old habits are hard to kill
      • by Nkwe ( 604125 )

        seems redundant to maintain two phones & two phone numbers

        Redundancy is good, it gives you a usable option when one thing fails.

        Accurate location services are not a sure thing with a cell phone, whereas if you call 911 (emergency services, for those not in the US) from a land line, they will know exactly where you are.

    • by Ranbot ( 2648297 ) on Friday March 17, 2017 @11:43AM (#54059427)

      ...prefers to tap out his messages on a telegraph. There's just no substitute for those clicks and pauses. But let me tell you, the cost to maintain my telegraph service between me and my one friend who uses it is criminally high! If someone doesn't do something to help me out soon I'll have to choose between my telegraph or my diabeetus medicine and that's just not right!

      • by mi ( 197448 )

        Yep. That's how I feel about horse-back riding myself — why can't the government provide the nice stables and other infrastructure necessary for easier travel in a saddle?

        Back to "telegraph"... One of our family's numerous grandfathers, himself Internet-literate, used to "share" Internet-articles by printing them and mailing the print-outs to his computer-illiterate friend in a different city... For better or worse, there is no such option in any of the "social" <div>s and <span>s out the

    • I use voip (magic jack 2014 actually) and a cell phone. Plus I have a google number.

      Yea, the network effect of landlines is being lost. next up... Gasoline station prices as electric cars reach critical mass.

  • http://i.imgur.com/UeZan.jpg [imgur.com] back in my day this always did the trick.
  • As the number of POTS phone customers decreases, the cost of maintaining the infrastructure is spread over a smaller and smaller number of subscribers.

    These people need to keep up with the times or go without the things they cannot afford.

    Cellular service is very affordable for basic use. A budget phone and a year of airtime is probably cheaper than a year of POTS service.

    I wouldn't mind seeing a subsidy for poor people who truly need a landline, e.g., for medical alerts.

    • There's something dodgy with pricing going on though.

      AAISP offer an ADSL only copper pair for 10GBP/month. The only difference between this and a full telephone service is that there's no dial tone and no telephone number. It's still exactly the same wires as when you go to BT and have the full telephone service. I'm pretty sure they're actually reselling a BT offering.

      I think AAISP might put a recorded message on the line - because BT engineers were apt to just take any silent pair instead of following the

      • There's something dodgy with pricing going on though. AAISP offer an ADSL only copper pair for 10GBP/month. The only difference between this and a full telephone service is that there's no dial tone and no telephone number. It's still exactly the same wires as when you go to BT and have the full telephone service. I'm pretty sure they're actually reselling a BT offering.

        Look at their small print and I expect that you will find that they are reselling BT bandwidth. I am with UNO for my ISP and they buy bandwidth from BT, yet even with (presumably) a profit they are still cheaper than BT . BT are just capitalising on their "established" position.

    • These people need to keep up with the times or go without the things they cannot afford. ...

      I wouldn't mind seeing a subsidy for poor people who truly need a landline, e.g., for medical alerts.

      Yeah, fuck old people. I mean, do they really need a landline for medical alerts? (hint: hospitals are filled with old people) -_-

    • As the number of POTS phone customers decreases, the cost of maintaining the infrastructure is spread over a smaller and smaller number of subscribers.

      This isn't happening nearly as quickly as you might think. Unless you have cable (which is hardly ubiquitous outside major cities and large towns) or mobile Internet, or none at all, you need a POTS line. Most people in the UK have either DSL or FTTC and for these you need a landline; FTTP is rarely seen here.

    • In texas, the cost for 1GB monthly service with unlimited texts is now down to $35 a month. My landline years ago was up to $38 minimum.

      Main reason for my voip and google numbers is to call and locate my cell phone.

  • Come on editors, it is already annoying that some news are US-centric without any mention of it, but ... UK-centric ?
  • It's not like they companies actually lose money with people leaving POTS. The phone lines are still used for DSL and people have dry DSL. The telecommunications company are seeing an opportunity to take advantage of the less informed and saying "because of lower usage of POTS the cost of maintaining the entire infrastructure is up" while they make money on DSL subscribers and take advantage of people still on POTS which are increasingly the older population. Seriously, if a corporation has an excuse they c
  • Probably different in every area but here on the N. Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, USA, the land lines are way more reliable than cell phone, especially when the power checks out for more than a few hours. Also, 911 location is more solidly established and the LifeLink service, where you wear a button that will call help, requires a land line. I still have a land line for the first 2 reasons, if I were older that later one might be important but I'm hoping to check myself out before that point.

"Don't tell me I'm burning the candle at both ends -- tell me where to get more wax!!"

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