Vodafone aims to compete with BT’s Openreach with massive 1Gbps broadband investment

Vodafone and CityFibre have announced a partnership which will bring FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) to approaching five million homes and businesses across the UK.

In other words, this will be Gigabit-capable fibre (1000Mbps) which runs directly into the home or office in question (as opposed to fibre-to-the-cabinet, which still uses the phone line for the last leg of the connection from the cabinet).

The fibre rollout will begin in the first half of next year with a million premises expected to be hooked up by 2021, and a further four million homes and business premises expected to be connected by 2025.

Openreach has previously said that it’s aiming for two million full fibre connections by 2020.

Post-construction, Vodafone will initially have exclusive rights to sell the fibre connections to punters, although this will only be for a certain period of time (which wasn’t specified by the companies).

Full fibre diet

As CityFibre notes, the government has a target of connecting 10 million premises to full fibre by 2022, and this will go some way towards the end – in fact, it will achieve half that target number ultimately (although not by 2022, but rather 2025).

Rob Hilborn, Head of Strategy at Broadband Genie, commented: “Full fibre broadband needs to be the focus for us going forward. Openreach has been working on a rollout of G.fast technology which is a cost effective upgrade on existing broadband infrastructure, but it still feels like a stop-gap measure.

“Deploying FTTP around the UK won’t be cheap, but it’s a long term investment that will provide us with future-proof connections. However, while the focus for this investment is likely to be on cities, in the long term we will need a plan for the rest of the country as to not leave them behind and risk widening the digital divide further.”

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