UK MOBILE OPERATOR Vodafone has taken an axe to line rental charges and abolished the fees for new and upgrading fibre optic broadband customers.
Vodafone claimed that the move makes it the first broadband provider to offer a "transparent" and "easy to understand" pricing structure. Customers will still receive a home phone line, but not pay the current £18 monthly charge if they sign up for an 18-month contract.
The operator has launched the dropping of line rental fees as an "industry first", and said that the Unlimited Fibre 38 offering is now the cheapest broadband package on the market versus those offered by other major broadband providers.
It'll cost new customers £25 per month, while the Unlimited Fire 76 offering will cost £28 per month. The firm claimed that this is £349 cheaper than Sky's Fibre Unlimited Pro package, and £332 cheaper than BT Unlimited Infinity 2.
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."
Not everyone is quite so optimistic, though. Ewan Taylor-Gibson, broadband expert at uSwitch.com, said that Vodafone isn't being as generous as it claims.
"To be clear, Vodafone isn’t really abolishing line rental charges, it’s simply combining the charge into its fibre pricing," he said.
"This is because broadband providers are under pressure from the ASA to change advertised pricing so customers see a cost per month that includes line rental, so Vodafone is stealing a march on its rivals.
"It won't be long before this way of pricing becomes the norm across the whole broadband market, although Vodafone should get a pat on the back for being the first to take the plunge.
"Compared to other fibre deals on the market, Unlimited Fibre Broadband 38 is competitive. The only frustrating thing is that it ties users into an 18-month contract - longer than the current standard." µ
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