Vodafone UK has announced it is putting an end to home broadband line rental charges for all new and upgrading Vodafone Unlimited Fibre Broadband customers. By abolishing line rental charges for all new and upgrading Vodafone Home Broadband customers, Vodafone says it is removing one of the major irritants and frustrations for UK consumers.
As part of the new home broadband pricing structure, customers will still receive a home phone service – there is just no charge for the line rental. Often seen as an unexpected, underused and expensive addition to a broadband package broadband users are required to pay for landline connections to receive broadband Internet access which is why the hassle of paying for the cost of line rental has been removed. Ofcom market research conducted in 2016 suggested that 73 per cent of those with a landline phone at home said that they used it for Internet access, with 45 per cent stating that Internet access was the most important reason for having a landline.
Glafkos Persianis, Commercial Director at Vodafone UK said: “Giving our customers the opportunity to break free from hidden line rental charges is our way of letting our customers know that we are listening and that we are serious about providing them with the Unlimited Home Broadband experience that they deserve. We started our journey into fibre optic home broadband just over a year ago and are delighted to show that we are a truly innovative and customer focused provider. We know our customers depend on us to stay connected, and now we can satisfy their needs both at home and on the go whilst also putting an end to line rental charges.”
According to Paolo Pescatore, Director of Multiplay, CCS Insight, the initiative clearly underlines Vodafone’s commitment to the UK and especially its intentions for the fixed-line market. “It’s a bold move and one that will help raise awareness of its fibre broadband offerings in a crowded market. It represents a great opportunity for Vodafone to steal a march on its rivals, more so given it is a relatively new entrant and faces significant headwinds in the fixed line broadband market,” he advised.
“While others have tinkered with line rental pricing, we believe this is the first time a provider has decided to ditch it altogether. This move will go some way to provide customers with clear and transparent pricing and lays down the gauntlet for others who will be forced to go down this route,” he noted.
“However, Vodafone’s lack of content still represents a huge headache for the company as all of its rivals are bundling entertainment, movies and sports with their broadband deals. We are moving into a key period when all multiplay providers are trying to entice subscribers with attractive promotions ahead of the new Premier League season. We are expecting a busy second half of the year with Sky’s entry into mobile, Vodafone’s debut in TV and Virgin Media’s new set-top box. Consumers will be spoilt for choice and overwhelmed with the vast array of pricing options available, which will cause confusion. Articulating bundles and services is going to be as important as ever in enticing users to sign up,” he concluded.