At first glance the new Vodafone At Home package doesn't sound too exciting, £25 a month for broadband and you need to have a Vodafone mobile phone contract too. Then you look a bit deeper and see that the £25 includes the voice line rental (normally around £11 per month), and free calls to local and national area codes any time of the day, so long as each call lasts less than 60 minutes. The package details can be found at www.vodafone.co.uk/athome.
The broadband service should be available on any exchange that BT Wholesale offers its Max (up to 8Mbps) product, and includes free connection, a free Netgear Ethernet ADSL modem, with the option of a wireless router for an extra one off payment of £25. Technical support can be contacted for free using your Vodafone mobile by calling 191. The service carries an 18 month contract, and while headlined as unlimited, a fair use policy (FUP) does apply. How harsh or lax the fair use policy will be is hard to tell until lots of people are on the service. If you cancel your Vodafone mobile contract while you have the At Home service, your monthly fee will increase to £35 a month.
The Vodafone broadband service is based around BT Wholesale products and as such no unbundling of the telephone line takes place. The advantage of this is that it should be smoother to migrate onto the service, and easier to migrate away from in the future. Looking to the future Vodafone has also indicated plans to offer the BT Vision video on demand product as an option with its service in the future.