Vodafone increases fibre footprint with CityFibre 'anchor tenant' deal

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Vodafone has significantly expanded its partnership with CityFibre, becoming the anchor tenant for the latter’s fibre to the premise (FTTP) network.

The Newbury-based operator entered the fixed broadband market back in 2015 and has worked with CityFibre since 2017 to offer ultrafast services to consumers and businesses in 12 major cities.

This latest expansion means Vodafone can reach customers across CityFibre’s entire national footprint. Starting in Spring 2022, Vodafone will be able to reach eight million properties when combined with BT’s Openreach infrastructure – a figure it says is more than any other provider, even BT.

CityFibre Vodafone

Customers in Bradford, Derby, Glasgow, Leicester, Nottingham, Paisley,  Reading, Slough and Swindon are the first to benefit, with Barnsley, Batley/Dewsbury, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Maidenhead, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Solihull, Wolverhampton and Worthing coming online in the next few months.

The ultimate goal is to reach 285 premises by 2025. Areas already covered by the CityFibre network will be invited to benefit from a half price offer for Vodafone’s fastest 900Mbps service.

“Consumers need competition in the broadband space, and we’re committed to delivering that. 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, with a premium package of features and benefits, even more accessible than ever with this great new offer.”

CityFibre say the deal is a clear commitment to competition in the infrastructure market and demonstrates demand for a ‘third’ national network to complement Openreach and Virgin Media.

“Through our strategic partnership, Vodafone has made a powerful decision to back CityFibre and help establish wholesale infrastructure competition for the UK,” declared Greg Mesch, CityFibre CEO. “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.”

Openreach plans to reach 25 million homes and businesses with full fibre by 2026 and although Vodafone might claim to be the UK’s largest FTTP provider for at least a little while, it is not the country’s biggest gigabit provider. That accolade goes to Virgin Media, which offers 1.13Gbps to more than 14 million properties and plans to upgrade its entire network to FTTP by 2028.


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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.