Vodafone Gigafast Broadband: Prices and pre-order details released

18 September 2018   By Jo Bailey

Vodafone's new 900Mb 'Gigafast' full-fibre broadband service is being made available in Milton Keynes, followed soon by six other locations.

Gigafast is the product of Vodafone's partnership with CityFibre, which looks to bring fibre to the premises (FTTP) broadband to one million premises. The initiative aims to provide homes in up to 12 of CityFibre's existing cities with ultrafast broadband by 2021.

UK Chief Executive, Nick Jeffery, said that Gigafast Broadband marked Vodafone's investment in 'bear in class infrastructure for the UK'. He said that their programme is designed to help people 'break free from the shackles of their old, copper-based broadband'.

The announcement comes following a period of increased demand for ultrafast (plus 100Mb) broadband connections across the industry. Users of 900 Mbps broadband could download an Xbox game in eight minutes, an HD movie in under two minutes and could upload hundreds of photos in a matter of seconds.

vodafone store front
Credit: StockStudio Aerials/Shutterstock.com

Who can get Vodafone Gigafast?

Gigafast has been made available for pre-order from last Friday (14th September 2018) onwards, but only in Milton Keynes. Following a successful trial of the service in 50 homes in the city, Gigafast Broadband is now available to more than 3,700 homes, with the entirety of Milton Keynes planned for connection by 2020.

Following alongside the connected homes in Milton Keynes, customers in some other UK cities will be able to order Gigafast soon. The locations confirmed so far are:

  • Aberdeen
  • Coventry
  • Edinburgh
  • Huddersfield
  • Peterborough
  • Stirling

Altogether, these will make up in the region of 500,000 of the planned one million premises, suggesting more locations will be announced in due course.

If the uptake of Vodafone's broadband is good, the provider has indicated that the project could be extended to five million homes by 2025. This would represent around 50 towns and cities across the UK, and around one fifth of the home broadband market.

How much will the packages cost?

Each package is being sold under an 18 month contract. Installation is free, a wireless router is included free and the broadband is unlimited use. No telephone line is required as telephony services are provided using voice over IP (VoIP) technology.

Package Download speed Monthly price
Vodafone Gigafast 100Mb £28
Vodafone Gigafast 200Mb £33
Vodafone Gigafast 500Mb £38
Vodafone Gigafast 900Mb £48

Customers of Vodafone mobile can get a further £5 discount off the monthly prices of these packages.

To offer some comparison of these prices, Hyperoptic's 900 Mbps service cost £49 per month for the first year, rising to £63 thereafter. Gigaclear's top package is £76.60 and comes with a hefty setup fee of £229.99. BT's Ultrafast Fibre is £59.99 per month for 300 Mbps plus a £59.99 set up fee.

Vodafone are clearly pricing their service to be more attractive than many of their competitors, putting them in a good position to grow their customer base. The one they will struggle to beat, however, is TalkTalk who have a notably aggressive pricing strategy.

TalkTalk's 900 Mbps package (also constructed by CityFibre) in the City of York costs just £23.50 per month. The term is the same, and installation is also free. Although the low prices set by TalkTalk are clearly going to draw plenty of subscribers away from slower providers, one has to wonder whether it's maintainable in the long run.

Ultrafast internet, but at what cost?

Further reading

Since the launch of Vodafone home broadband in 2015, the provider has failed to grab a decent proportion of the customers away from larger ISPs. Despite good growth in the final quarter of last year, the company is still struggling to break the half a million barrier, reporting 316,000 subscribers at the start of this financial year.

As a mobile provider, they remain one of the biggest, with around 19 million customers in the UK alone. However, their track record for customer service has not been the best. In 2016 they were fined £4.6m by Ofcom for rule breaking on complaints and billing, and even just last year were one of the most complained about operators.

The home broadband arm of the service has managed to infuriate users too. Two years ago they pulled their Demon email service from their broadband products, forcing many customers to either change their email address or pay a subscription to maintain it.

However, despite a dubious track record, Vodafone have been focusing on customer service improvements over the past 18 months. As a result, they were crowned Mobile Network of the Year by Trusted Reviews. Their new AI chatbot 'TOBi' has driven down waiting times and secured the provider a 'Most Effective Use of AI' award at the CTech Awards 2018.

Which broadband deals are available in your area?

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