At least over here the major difference was that before that you could demand that you had a phone line pretty much no matter where you lived and it cost about £50 to get it installed, now it costs £1000 and that is if you already live near an existing line. There was an old lady on the news yesterday, her safety alarm would not work any more because the telephone station in their are were being dismantled.
£1000? That's just plain wrong. According to their website it's £30 if you don't need an engineer visit, £130 if you do or free if you take broadband as well.
If you're being quoted £1000 you must live in the middle of nowhere and have never had a phone line before. Let me guess the milkman also doesn't deliver to your doorstep? Either suck it up or move to civilization.
Also prices have fallen 40% since priviatization so you're wrong on that count as well. (http://www.cps.org.uk/cps_catalog/CPS_assets/174_ProductPreviewFile.pdf)