Broadband News

Vodafone dismiss ultrafast as yesterday's vision

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 for now and Vodafone considers this a vision of a monopolist unless Openreach takes a seismic shift and drops 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.


Good luck with placing an online order for Vodafone broadband.

  • Apilar
  • over 3 years ago

To paraphrase Kevin Keegan, I will love it if Vodafone and friends beat BT.

  • Spud2003
  • over 3 years ago

Openreach won't drop not even for someone as big as vodaphone, surely both and fttp can exist?

  • GMAN99
  • over 3 years ago

Is the C & W LLU kit still present in exchanges? If it is, can it use GEA cable links for FTTx?

  • uniquename
  • over 3 years ago

Vodafone has customers on fibre so the assumption is yes and would partly explain the staggered launch

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 3 years ago

I really don't get the comment 'STRANDED with Openreach'! Isn't that suggesting that all of the rural Openreach network is so sub-par that no sensible user ought to consider it, and alternative cable systems are the only sane choice? That is suggesting that FTTC at rural nodes can never be considered an acceptable technology.

  • davidinnotts
  • over 3 years ago

In a market where the lowest price is key, of course and FTTP can coexist, alongside HFC (VM) too. Better tech will only come with more money from punters.

It is interesting to note that Vodafone are acting as a key FTTP driver in Eire, helping push the incumbent into their own FTTP rollout. It'll be interesting to see if Vodafone's comments here are a portent for something similar, or if Andrew is right wrt VM/Liberty Global.

  • WWWombat
  • over 3 years ago

@GMAN 99 I think the BT trials for G.Fast are not supporting that choice of G.FAST or a capacity to order FTTP using a another fibre off the manifold.

If customer demand/aggregation at DP level determined the outcome, it might be a way of getting the best outcome.

  • ValueforMoney
  • over 3 years ago

FTTP is being planned for quite rural areas in the Rep. of Ireland for the same reason that Cornwall has done. FTTC with a small population and higher power costs proved inefficient as a long term solution. The lack of Resource and time pressure has meant lees FTTP in the UK than one would expect. Every single county will be reporting underspend for this and a number of other reasons.

  • ValueforMoney
  • over 3 years ago

"stranded" as in currently reliant on Openreach to connect their fibre to the cabinet. Just switched to Vodafone again. Impressed with Ultrafast speeds, just wasn't impressed with reliance on Openreach, as they took all day to switch me and BT cut me off at midnight beforehand.

  • AngeOuDiable
  • over 3 years ago

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