UK multiplay telco Vodafone is set to become Britain’s largest full fibre broadband provider following a deal signed with digital infrastructure platform CityFibre. Vodafone says it will offer full fibre to more homes than any other provider thanks to investing in partnerships with both Openreach and CityFibre. By spring 2022, Vodafone has a target of making its full fibre services available to more than eight million homes.
The deal establishes Vodafone as CityFibre’s anchor customer, making long-term, volume commitments across CityFibre’s entire eight million home rollout as part of its £4 billion investment programme. The rollout will deploy dense full fibre infrastructure in 285 cities, towns and villages across the country by 2025, and support the construction of a new national access network which will make it easier and faster for Vodafone to bring their full fibre services to market.
The deal builds on a landmark strategic partnership agreed in November 2017 in which Vodafone committed to market ultrafast consumer broadband services across a one million home CityFibre footprint in 12 cities. It marks Vodafone’s continued support for the expansion of full fibre networks across the UK and determination to encourage wholesale infrastructure competition in the market.
“Consumers need competition in the broadband space, and we’re committed to delivering that,” asserted 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.”
“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. “Thanks in large part to its continued support, CityFibre has now emerged as the nation’s leading independent Full Fibre platform, with the best wholesale products, attractive economics and a network scaling rapidly across the UK. We’re delighted that Vodafone continues to have full confidence in our network and is now anchoring our entire Full Fibre rollout nationwide.”
“This latest move allows both companies to up the ante in the race for fibre supremacy,” notes Paolo Pescatore, TMT analyst at PP Foresight, which he suggests provides CityFibre with long term certainty and reinforces Vodafone’s position as the partner of choice. “Significantly, it propels Vodafone to be in pole position as an aggregator of connectivity as well as services providing users with more choice, he adds. “It raises questions about Virgin Media O2’s position as a wholesale provider of its own network,” he concludes.