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New Vodafone UK Broadband App Cuts Alexa from WiFi Booster

Monday, Oct 16th, 2023 (8:25 am) - Score 6,208
Vodafone-Pro-Broadband-WiFi-Booster

Customers of UK mobile operator and broadband ISP Vodafone, specifically those taking their original Pro Broadband (Pro 1) package for homes, have been informed that the included WiFi booster device will soon lose the use of its built-in Alexa voice assistant. This is because the new home broadband app they’re planning to launch doesn’t support it.

The Alexa supporting “Super Wi-Fi Plus” (mesh network) booster device was a headline feature when the Pro 1 package was upgraded to include it two years ago (here). But by comparison, the WiFi 6E capable kit that Vodafone bundle with the more recent – and more expensive – Pro II plans doesn’t make any mention of such a feature (here).

NOTE: Vodafone’s home broadband packages – using FTTC and FTTP lines – are sold via both Openreach and CityFibre’s respective national UK networks.

The provider has now informed customers of the original Pro I plan(s) with the booster that they’ll be “launching a new version of the home broadband app” and the new app “doesn’t fully support this device, therefore when the new app launches you won’t be able to use the Alexa skills or Vodafone Skills including Dinnertime” (credits to our readers Michael and Chris for spotting this).

Quite why Vodafone has done this is unclear (we’ve asked them to clarify and await their reply), but we suspect it might come down to any different sources (manufacturers) of past hardware and software, which may have changed between Pro I and Pro II (we’re not sure who exactly manufactures the latest kit). Such changes can sometimes create problems with the backwards compatibility of unique features.

In short, the Alexa skills capability will stop working from the 17th of November 2023 and that means the device will still function, but only for its core purpose of being a WiFi booster. Vodafone are not offering any free upgrades and compensation for the loss of what was, at least for some users, a significant feature. But they are at least giving customers the option to “change or cancel your plan within the next 30 days without paying a fee.

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Mark-Jackson
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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Comments
8 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Pierre says:

    I never used this feature but took the opportunity to leave vodafone 6 months early – never really liked them but they had exclusivity on cityfibre connections.

  2. Avatar photo Chris Sayers says:

    The takeaway lesson for me, don’t rely on ISPs to continue supporting their suppled kit, also I think there should be an enforced end of life special tax, where a supplier decides not to support hardware, anything less than 7 years old should have 100% tax imposed, depreciation of features is effectively ending a products life.

  3. Avatar photo Oldtimeuser says:

    “change or cancel your plan within the next 30 days without paying a fee.“

    The classic example of many companies, you can upgrade and pay more for less or leave.

    Basically Vodafone banking – or rather hoping – that many customers choose to upgrade.

    However, can see a lot leaving with the no fee option, especially if they question why they have to upgrade and probably pay more, for something that doesn’t include features that they are currently getting at a cheaper price.

  4. Avatar photo Craig S says:

    I tried to cancel yesterday. I kept being told I had to pay a termination fee and not to trust an email.. that’s an hour and a half I won’t get back… Possibly I should take that stance with payment increase emails which come from the same address.

    1. Avatar photo Mrs K Keeney says:

      I cancelled mine yesterday, they tried to tell me I needed to give months notice, I reminded they they are in breach of contract hence the email I received stating I could leave. My Internet is now cancelled. Stand your ground with them

  5. Avatar photo Glen says:

    Mine hasn’t worked for a few months, the whole thing is crap, constant red light on and no Alexa, just had the email saying I can leave, guess what, I will be off soon as
    The internet works fine, as have every other companies I’ve tried, so back to finding the best deal for the next 18-24 months.

  6. Avatar photo Pierre says:

    UPDATE:
    Tried to leave, cityfibre have removed all non vodafone ISPs from my address so I can leave Vodafone but can only choose to rejoin vodafone.

  7. Avatar photo Christopher Mccuaig says:

    I can confirm you can leave without fee. We did & moved to sky… Vodafone was useless anyways .

Comments are closed

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