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ISP Vodafone Pick 50 Homes as First to Test 1Gbps FTTH Broadband UPDATE

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 (8:48 am) - Score 3,668

Some 50 family homes in Milton Keynes (Buckinghamshire) have been selected as the first to trial Vodafone’s new Gigafast Broadband product, which is based off the 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network that is currently being deployed by Cityfibre to cover 1 million UK homes in up to 12 of their existing cities by 2021.

The £500m Phase One deployment (details) has already confirmed that Milton Keynes would be the first city to be covered (here), which alone should cost around £40m. Since then several additional cities have also been confirmed, including Aberdeen, Peterborough, Edinburgh, Coventry, Huddersfield and Stirling (accounting for about 500,000 premises and £315m of the planned investment).

If all goes well then Vodafone have indicated that there’s the “potential to extend” this “full fibre” deployment to reach up to 5 million homes by 2025 (approximately 50 towns and cities, representing 20% of the current UK broadband market), which would require significantly more investment.

The construction phase for Milton Keynes alone has already started and is being built out from Cityfibre’s existing 162km Dark Fibre network in the city. The good news is that some 50 homes have now been chosen to help trial the service and the first of those went live yesterday (pictured – bottom).

Micaela Perez Amaro, Dance Instructor and First Customer, said:

“Before we started using Vodafone Gigafast Broadband, I couldn’t work from home. There’s no reliable broadband where I live in Milton Keynes, so every time I wanted to send a video to a student, I had to drive to a relative’s house in London to use their broadband.

Now I can get work done at home if I need to, and everyone in the family can get online at the same time without a problem. I feel like we’ve gone from the Flintstones to the Jetsons. It’s made such a difference.”

Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK CEO, said:

“Full fibre is vital to our digital economy and to the UK’s future as a digital leader, yet just 3% of UK premises currently have access to it. That’s why we are offering Vodafone Gigafast Broadband and making it available on a mass scale, reaching a million UK homes by 2021.”

Greg Mesch, CEO of Cityfibre, added:

“Bringing the first Gigabit homes online in Milton Keynes is a great moment for full fibre in the UK and shows just how quickly this powerful partnership between Vodafone and CityFibre can bring towns and cities transformative digital connectivity. Our rollout is gathering pace, with the first homes live within four months of breaking ground in Milton Keynes and more to follow quickly in Peterborough and Aberdeen.

These networks are future-proof, capable of delivering Gigabit speeds today but potentially up to 40 Gigabits per second in the near future.”

The development marks an important moment of progress for Vodafone’s partnership with Cityfibre, although there’s still a very long road ahead. Meanwhile we continue to await some solid details on their first consumer packages and prices. Locals can at least pre-register their interest in the service here: https://www.vodafone.co.uk/broadband/ultrafast .


Separately Vodafone also used the event as an opportunity to launch a number of new Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including two new wearables and a smart home kit. We’ve detailed the devices below.

Vodafone’s New IoT Devices

V-Kids Watch is a smart watch designed for younger children. It has several safety features, including a built-in SOS button to call for help if required. Parents can exchange voice recordings with their children and use geographic coordinates to set ‘Safe Zones’,[iii] places where their children will typically be spending their time, such as their home and school. Parents can also check on their children’s whereabouts with GPS tracking and receive updates if required. Built-in child friendly games help to keep wearers entertained.

V-SOS Band is an easy to use smart bracelet designed for vulnerable family members or those who have mobility issues. The band’s safety features include an SOS button that when pressed sends a notification to family members, along with a timestamp and geographic coordinates. A notification alert is also triggered if the wearer falls down, or if the remaining battery power falls below 15%. The band is waterproof and features a long life rechargeable battery.

V-Home hosts a range of smart home devices and services designed to help you keep your home safe and secure, even when you’re not there. V-Home includes a security camera, a multi-sensor, an indoor siren and the V-Home Hub, which connects all the devices through one easy to use app. Customers can also add devices such as water leak sensors and smoke sensors. As part of our V-Home service, customer care agents will contact you to ensure that you are aware of any missed alerts – all for much less per month than traditional monitoring services.

UPDATE 19th July 2018

We understand that a commercial launch is now being targeted to happen between mid-August and early September, at which point around 4,000 homes in MK should be covered with more to follow.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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22 Responses
  1. 3G Infinity (now 4G going on 5G) says:

    Interesting the micro-trench doesn’t have a micro duct, means any other SP would have to dig again including the council when they put in EV charging on new lampposts, etc

    1. CarlT says:

      Not sure what you mean? They are installing microducts to the boundary of each property and will blow the fibre on demand.

    2. un4h731x0rp3r0m says:

      “..would have to dig again including the council when they put in EV charging on new lampposts, etc”

      Didn’t the council put ducting to their own lampposts with the cabling that powers the err lamp on the lamppost then???

    3. A_Builder says:

      Looks distinctly like twin wall micro duct in the photo to me.

      In fact rather like the roll I am standing beside now……….

      Unless my eyes deceive me they are putting two ducts into the trench.

      Hint, per meter, the duct costs nothing compared to opening a trench.

      Of course the handout photo may not be related to the MK works.

  2. Pete says:

    “so every time I wanted to send a video to a student, I had to drive to a relative’s house in London”
    OK, so you really drove 50 miles to upload a video?

  3. Jim Bailey says:

    Is he stupid or being paid to say that.

    1. un4h731x0rp3r0m says:

      Who are you referring to?

    2. Name says:

      Micaela Perez Amaro, Dance Instructor and First Customer

    3. un4h731x0rp3r0m says:

      Are you sure? Jim says “Is he stupid” I though that individual was female.

  4. Peter says:

    Ok, so the internet in the area is fine and well over 50Mbps, unless you have Vodafone which is 1Mbps, and that’s over Fibre.

    Also, Milton Keynes is not in Buckinghamshire. It’s next to it, just like it’s next to Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire!

    1. un4h731x0rp3r0m says:

      “Ok, so the internet in the area is fine and well over 50Mbps, unless you have Vodafone which is 1Mbps, and that’s over Fibre.”

      What are you blabbering about, this is nothing to do with FTTC or ADSL.

      “Also, Milton Keynes is not in Buckinghamshire. It’s next to it…”

      As if the first ill informed statement was not enough. Try looking beyond google maps outline of Buckinghamshire (hint that outline shows only metropolitan areas and borough council regions IE government and council defined regions and NOT ceremonial/geographic counties).

    2. Peter says:

      Maybe if you read the article in full the first bit would make sense! The comment from a resident of having to go to London to upload a video showed there to be general issues, where there is not.

      Go and look up the legislation changes from 1995. MK was separated from the county of Buckinghamshire. Funnily enough, Google isn’t always right.

    3. un4h731x0rp3r0m says:

      “showed there to be general issues, where there is not.”

      What!!! she says issues at her home, where she lives, not in general at all.

      “Go and look up the legislation changes from 1995. MK was separated from the county of Buckinghamshire. Funnily enough, Google isn’t always right.”

      What you are referring to happened in 1997 actually. MK became a unitary authority area that in no way makes it a separate ceremonial county.

      It means it is operated by a different local council, as i tried to explain to you previously, though obviously in terms you failed to understand.

      MK is in the borough of Buckinghamshire, always has been always will be.

      You still will not comprehend any of this so i may as well confuse you more and inform you that Buckinghamshire is actually divided into four local government districts. None of which means suddenly that all 4 are not in Buckinghamshire.

  5. TheFacts says:

    50/10 FTTC available at her dance place.

    1. Clifford says:

      It was the connection at home she was moaning about not her workplace.

      If her home has FTTC also available and she found that to be poor, then depending on location of home vs workplace it could be just as bad there. Estimates of speed rarely tell the full story.

    2. GNewton says:

      @TheFacts: Unless you know her exact address your post is pointless, see e.g. https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/index.php?tab=2&election=1#13/52.0329/-0.7339/uso/

      Besides, why do you care?

    3. un4h731x0rp3r0m says:

      Suspiciously like the other “cough” persons posting ive responded to above. Which also thinks 50Mb is available and also thinks the person is complaining in general rather than specifically what was available at their home. Mind you he does not even know what county the person concerned is in 😉

  6. A_Builder says:

    I’m slightly dubious that driving 50 miles to do an upload ever made sense at any level.

    It would cheaper, easier and quicker to upload the data from a 4G device and I know, from personal experience, there is plenty of good 4G around MK.

    Cost of 2 gallons of fuel would go a long way towards a decent 4G data package.

  7. chris scott says:

    Anyone know the areas in the TOWN of MK that will be covered initially?

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      You can get a pretty good idea by browsing roadworks.org and looking at the central north and south part of the city, where Cityfibre seem to be quite busy at present. Focus seems to be starting around Water Eaton in the south and Great Linford in the north.

  8. Pete says:

    Just came across this link and had to comment:

    As I’m one of the first 40 to have Vodafone/City Fibre in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire and unless I’ve missed something, having lived here for over 35 years, we are still in Buckinghamshire!!.

    Anyway, we do have BT FTTC but the problem is the Cabinet is at one end of the estate and we are at the other – not a problem I hear you say but we are connected by Aluminium cable. Which on a good day gives us 32meg but normally well below that and is up and down and all over the place. Streaming even standard definition TV is out of the question let alone HD or anywhere near 4K. Uploads are not much better we got an average of 1 to 3Mb upload but with the line so flaky it was always easier to do it elsewhere, I know from bitter experience.

    Oh and BTs answers to our problems – we don’t have any Aluminium cable in the ground – ummm let me show you out incoming line then!!!!

    Or well its stated as up to 80Mb download – never even got near that or will ever do.

    Anyway I’ve taken the 100Mb service and currently getting 100 + some headroom – which is what they are giving us speedtest gives 116 down and 108 up – not complaining about that.

    Plus with the FTTC dropping out multiply times of the day its great to listen to internet radio and not have drop out continuously – even 64Kb radio streaming was an issue – Not Now 🙂

    And the picture is of MK and yes they are putting a cabinet in almost every road which serves 44 houses. Fibre is blown from the cabinet to the house.

    So far happy bunny (No I don’t work for Vodafone or CityFibre – but I do work from home)

    @hornetspete – I have tweeted some pictures etc

  9. IceZaroth says:

    Excellent reply @Pete

    I live in Aberdeen where CityFibre is also hard at work doing the road laying so also cant wait and will be doing the 900 service from Vodafone I’m currently on Infinity 2 and getting constant any time of day 70-74mbps down and 17.5mbps up right now and for the price of infinity 2 with phone line its about £184 per quarter from BT so look forward to a price drop and a 52 times hike in upload speeds via vodafone 900mbps gigafast.

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