Vodafone becomes latest UK ISP to offer 2-Gbps broadband

UK fibre speeds continue to pick up the pace, with Vodafone becoming the latest provider to launch a service that maxes out at more than 2 Gbps.

Nick Wood

July 8, 2024

3 Min Read

The telco has upgraded the fastest-available peak throughput on its Pro II fixed broadband service to 2.2 Gbps. However, Voda concedes in the small print that due to device limitations, users won't actually be able to get to 2.2 Gbps, it'll be more like 1.3 Gbps-1.8 Gbps.

Voda insists it's not about individual devices. It says the extra capacity will make a big difference to busy households with lots of gadgets jostling for connectivity, particularly with the school summer holidays just around the corner.

The service comes with Vodafone's Wi-Fi 6E Ultra Hub router, which can connect more than 150 devices simultaneously. Pro II also comes with a 4G back-up solution just in case something goes awry. Priced at £70 per month, it also comes with Secure Net Home to protect all those devices from viruses and such.

The 2.2-Gbps service is powered by wholesale altnet CityFibre's XGS-PON network, which has been rolled out to around 90% of its ready-for-service footprint, which reached 3 million premises at the end of 2023.

In CityFibre areas where XGS-PON isn't yet available, Pro II speeds top out at 1.8 Gbps. Vodafone also offers Pro II via Openreach's FTTP network – for these customers, they can expect maximum throughput of 1.6 Gbps.

The launch puts Vodafone in a similar bracket to rival Virgin Media O2 (VMO2), which in February launched a 2-Gbps XGS-PON service on Nexfibre – the wholesale fibre joint venture owned by VMO2 parents Telefónica and Liberty Global. The only other retail ISP offering speeds exceeding 2 Gbps is Blackpool-based Yayzi – another CityFibre customer – with a service that went live in January.

Meanwhile, Vodafone has also reasserted its claim to having the UK's largest retail fibre footprint.

According to Think Broadband stats published in early March, financially-strained ISP TalkTalk – which relies on Openreach, CityFibre and Hull-based MS3 for its network – had the biggest, reaching 15.06 million premises.

However, Voda has shared some slightly more recent Think Broadband stats, dated 20 March, which put it in pole position. According to these new figures, Voda has a reach of 15.13 million premises, compared to TalkTalk's 15.11 million.

"We are challenging the market by offering unbeatable products and services at great value. Not only are we the UK's biggest Full Fibre provider with a market-leading offering in Pro II inclusive of Secure Net Home, our best-ever security and family controls, we also now offer faster speeds to more homes than any other major provider. Combined, this makes for a really exciting time to switch to Vodafone and get the ultimate, hassle-free broadband for busy families – all at a great price."

Voda's first 2.2-Gbps customer is already up and running, and they are also the first customer to be connected to CityFibre's new rural network, which is being funded in part by the UK government's Project Gigabit programme.

In February, CityFibre announced it had won five new Project Gigabit contracts valued at £394 million in total. This was on top of two other Project Gigabit awards – one in July 2023, and another last March – worth £318 million and £69 million respectively.

"We're thrilled to see the first customer connected on our Project Gigabit rollout and to welcome Vodafone's launch of its fastest home broadband service exclusively over our network," said CityFibre COO Simon Holden. "This is an important milestone for CityFibre and for the hundreds of thousands of hard-to-reach homes and businesses left stranded on legacy copper networks. We look forward to working with government and our partners to bring the benefits of full fibre and multi-gig services to rural premises nationwide."

About the Author(s)

Nick Wood

Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.

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