Vodafone takes on BT with UK fibre network launch

Vodafone has announced it will be teaming up with CityFibre to connect millions of UK homes and businesses to 'ultrafast' fibre broadband networks within the next few years.

The long-term deal will see the CityFibre build and run a new FTTP network, which can then be used by Vodafone and other services providers to offer superfast connections to their users, although the former will enjoy an exclusive period to provide ultrafast consumer networks across the country.

It's not yet know which particular areas will benefit from the new networks, however construction of the first phase, which will initially see a million premises connected, is set to start in the first half of next year and hopefully be completed by 2021.

Vodafone says it is aiming to bring ultrafast networks, capable of 1GBps download speeds, to up to five million UK homes and businesses by 2025.

“Vodafone is already playing the leading role in building the Gigabit Society across Europe by providing customers with high-speed, high-quality broadband," said Vodafone UK chief executive Nick Jeffery. "The UK has fallen far behind the rest of the world, trapped by the limited choice available on legacy networks. We look forward to working with CityFibre to build the Gigabit fibre network that the UK needs and deserves.”

The companies say that today's announcement goes a long way towards helping bridge the gap between Britain and other nations, with this launch delivering half of the government's "full fibre" targets as it looks to improve connectivity across the UK.

“This agreement will unlock the UK’s full fibre future and is a major step forward in delivering our vision for a Gigabit Britain," said CityFibre chief executive Greg Mesch. "With this commitment from Vodafone, we have a partner with whom we can transform the digital capabilities of millions of homes and businesses and establish an unassailable wholesale infrastructure position across 20 per cent of the UK broadband market.”