Three years after it exited the UK fixed broadband market, Vodafone has returned using the ‘Connect’ branding. According to a post on the Vodafone UK blog, the service – which will initially only be available to existing customers – has gone live in Manchester and selected parts of Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire. After that, the provider will extend Connect to Essex, Hertfordshire and Yorkshire, before opening it to all Vodafone customers ‘later this year’.
All plans all come with a minimum 18-month contract, but the carrier has made sure that pricing is competitive. The lowest-tier package costs GBP2.50 a month for the first twelve months and GBP5 for the remaining six months of the plan, while the fibre product will cost GBP10 a month for the first year, before rising to GBP20 thereafter. Vodafone will also levy a GBP16.99 monthly line rental on broadband customers.
It is believed that Vodafone will partially utilise BT’s Openreach infrastructure for the service, which will support peak 17Mbps speeds as part of its basic package, and 76Mbps fibre transmissions via its top-tier plan. However, TeleGeography notes that Vodafone also intends to leverage the 20,500km fibre network it inherited through its acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) in 2012.
After launching a fixed broadband product in 2007, Vodafone exited the sector in February 2012, selling its ‘Vodafone at Home’ business to BT-backed Plusnet.