Vodafone Expands CityFibre Partnership To Continue FTTP Push

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Vodafone claims to be the UK largest full-fibre broadband provider, thanks to Openreach and expanded CityFibre partnership

Vodafone has expanded its strategic partnership with CityFibre, and now claims it is the largest full-fibre broadband provider in the UK.

The Newbury-based mobile operator said the expanded deal with CityFibre aims to bring full fibre broadband to eight million homes, from Bradford to Portsmouth, by April 2022.

Vodafone is perhaps best known as a mobile operator around the world, but in the UK and Europe it has been gradually building up its fixed-line connectivity options in the past decade.

Vodafone

 

Fixed-line expansion

This new strategy began in 2012, when Vodafone acquired the Cable & Wireless (CWW) infrastructure network for £1 billion which was mostly targetted at the business community. This, coupled with Vodafone’s relationship with BT, gave the operator a combined total fibre footprint of more than 22 million homes and businesses.

Vodafone added more fixed-line connectivity options in the UK when in 2015 it signed a backhaul agreement with CityFibre in York.

Since then Vodafone’s has expanded its relationship with CityFibre, and both firms revealed the building a fibre to the premise (FTTP) broadband network that will serve as many as five million properties.

In January 2018, Milton Keynes became the first UK city to receive this superfast service.

But Vodafone is also a global operator and it has expanded its fixed-line options in Europe for example. Vodafone owned the largest cable business in Germany for many years after it acquired Kabel Deutschland for 7.7bn euros in 2013.

Vodafone also has a notable presence in the Netherlands, and then in 2018, American cable giant Liberty Global agreed to sell most of its European assets to Vodafone.

CityFibre expansion

So today’s announcement of a ‘new’ and ‘expanded’ relationship with CityFibre, is in reality just a continuation of what has been happening over the past ten years, but with faster speeds.

Vodafone however said it will become CityFibre’s anchor customer nationwide, across CityFibre’s entire eight million home rollout as part of its £4bn investment programme.

“The deal, on top of the existing Openreach partnership, will see Vodafone able to offer full fibre to more homes than any other broadband provider – with the target to reach more than eight million by next spring,” it said.

Homes in Bradford, Derby, Glasgow, Leicester and Paisley are able to buy Vodafone full fibre broadband as of 11 November 2021, with homes in Nottingham, Reading, Slough and Swindon from 12 November 2021.

Homes in Barnsley, Batley/Dewsbury, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Maidenhead, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Solihull, Wolverhampton and Worthing will be ready in the coming months.

To mark the new partnership, Vodafone is offering a half-price deal on its fastest full fibre 900Mbps Pro package, reduced from £60 to just £30.

The offer will be available to all homes reached by the CityFibre network, and Vodafone will be contacting every eligible household to let them know how much they could save.

“Consumers need competition in the broadband space, and we’re committed to delivering that,” said Max Taylor, consumer director at Vodafone UK. “Our partnership approach allows us to bring full fibre to more homes than any other provider, ensuring families have more choice and more competitive pricing than ever before.”

“We’re set to become Britain’s largest full fibre provider, and we’re making the fastest broadband, with a premium package of features and benefits, even more accessible than ever with this great new offer,” Taylor added.

“Through our strategic partnership, Vodafone has made a powerful decision to back CityFibre and help establish wholesale infrastructure competition for the UK,” added Greg Mesch, chief executive at CityFibre.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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