While Vodafone has just re-entered the UK broadband market and has a range of deals available in limited areas to existing Vodafone customers for now it is pretty much totally reliant on the Openreach local loop even if they are able to make extensive use of the C&W backhaul network to reduce backhaul costs. Thus is it no real shocker to hear in The Telegraph that the operator is prepared to risk some equity to deliver fibre broadband and given Openreach is backing G.fast for now and Vodafone considers this a vision of a monopolist unless Openreach takes a seismic shift and drops G.fast in favour of FTTP we believe Vodafone is considering a non-Openreach partner.
Vodafone is discussing asset swaps with Liberty Global but a merger might be on the cards, and in the UK that would give them access to an ultrafast network that is starting to expand after a good many years of pretty much static coverage. Another option for Vodafone might be a deal with CityFibre and to join the Sky/TalkTalk joint venture that should see FTTP brought to a number of cities if the York trials prove a success.
The problem for Ofcom in deciding what to do with Openreach is that while there is a prospect of three competing local loops within the next decade in the cities, the peri-urban and rural areas may be left stranded with Openreach.
For those wondering how Vodafone Connect broadband is performing we are starting to see internet speed tests and with a recent sweep for traded and re-purposed IPv4 blocks we might be able to feature them in our monthly summary from September onwards.