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Vodafone UK “Abolishes” Line Rental from its Fibre Broadband Packages

Tuesday, Aug 9th, 2016 (10:51 am) - Score 10,333

Telecoms operator Vodafone today claims to have become one of the first major ISPs to “abolish” the £18 per month phone line rental charge from their FTTC based superfast home “fibre broadband” bundles, although strictly speaking it’s just being merged into a single low-price.

The first and most important thing to point out is that Vodafone still has to pay Line Rental for that piece of copper wire that enters your property, which means that they are now merging that cost into a new single all-in-one price for broadband and phone; this merely reflects the Advertising Standards Authority’s new requirement for all ISPs (here). We already list ISPs with the cost of line rental included (See Our UK ISP List).

The second thing to point out is that the cost of line rental from Vodafone now shows as £18 per month, albeit only on their standard unlimited broadband (ADSL2+) based package, which is actually an increase from the £16.99 per month that was previously charged. The standard broadband charge is then £4 on top of that (total of £22 per month), which means the price on that front hasn’t actually changed much from the previous offer.

However today’s PR spin is all focused on the claim that Vodafone’s line rental charge has now been “abolished” from their superfast FTTC based broadband packages, so let’s take a closer look at that, after the quote.

Glafkos Persianis, Commercial Director at Vodafone UK, said:

“Giving our customers the opportunity to break free from hidden line rental charges is our way of letting our customers know that we are listening and that we are serious about providing them with the Unlimited Home Broadband experience that they deserve.

We started our journey into fibre optic home broadband just over a year ago and are delighted to show that we are a truly innovative and customer focused provider. We know our customers depend on us to stay connected, and now we can satisfy their needs both at home and on the go whilst also putting an end to line rental charges.”

In fairness the line rental charge was never “hidden” and Vodafone always stated it clearly on their website, but we’ll ignore that and skip right to a direct comparison between their old and new pricing model.

The first point to note below is that the “free UK evening and weekend calls” feature (this can be worth around +£3-5 per month on other ISPs) is no longer mentioned on Vodafone’s NEW packages (i.e. you’ll pay standard pay-as-you-go call rates and they recently increased), although it was present on their OLD ones. Vodafone has also scrapped their annual pre-paid Line Rental Saver discount, which if you took it worked out as the equivalent of £13.59 per month.

Likewise the fibre activation charge of £49, which applies to all fibre orders, was only £39 before today. A new line provision charge of £60 may also apply if you don’t currently have an Openreach (BT) line and on top of that there’s the £6.99 router delivery fee.

Superfast Fibre Broadband
* Download speeds of up to 38Mbps (10Mbps uploads)
* Unlimited usage
* F-Secure SAFE online security (free for 6 months)
* Free Vodafone Connect router
* 18 month contract

OLD PRICE (Existing Voda Customers): £7.50 per month for 12 months (£15 thereafter) + £16.99 line rental
OLD PRICE (New Voda Customers): £20 per month + £16.99 line rental

NEW PRICE (Existing Voda Customers): £22 per month
NEW PRICE (New Voda Customers): £25 per month

Ultrafast Fibre Broadband
* Download speeds of up to 76Mbps (20Mbps uploads)
* Unlimited usage
* F-Secure SAFE online security (free for 6 months)
* Free Vodafone Connect router
* 18 month contract

OLD PRICE (Existing Voda Customers): £10 per month for 12 months (£20 thereafter) + £16.99 line rental
OLD PRICE (New Voda Customers): £25 per month + £16.99 line rental

NEW GENERAL PRICE: £28 per month

Crucially we couldn’t find anywhere that told us whether the new prices would still apply after the first 18 month contract term is over, which is important because some sneaky ISPs (e.g. BT) will jack the price up sharply at the end of your contract term if you don’t switch provider. We have asked and are awaiting Vodafone’s reply.

However if the new prices are persistent, even after the 18 month term, then Vodafone would appear to have an incredibly cheap service on their hands. “Vodafone Unlimited Fibre 38 is the lowest priced unlimited fibre broadband in the market, versus other major broadband providers and with no hidden monthly fees or usage caps,” said the operator.

UPDATE 2:43pm

Vodafone have informed us that after 18 months their prices may increase, although they don’t say by how much and so we’re unsure whether they have pre-set post-contract prices or are just speaking more generally about the potential for increases. Hopefully the latter.

As for those wanting free UK calls, Vodafone claim to now offer two bolt-ons (£4 and £8) that customers can take out if they do feel that they want to retain a calling plan that gives them control of their spending. We’re assuming the £8 addition is for Anytime calls.

UPDATE 10th August 2016

It’s probably worth pointing out that Vodafone aren’t in fact the first of the Openreach (BT) based ISPs to combine their line rental and broadband services into a single price. Origin Broadband recently did almost exactly the same with their service.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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