Vodafone ‘scraps’ broadband line rental charges
Vodafone is “removing” its 18 line rental charges for new and upgrading fibre optic home broadband1 customers. They will still receive a home phone service, but there will be “no charge for the line rental”, says Vodafone2 . While some experts claim that the broadband charges are simply being merged into existing costs, rather than being scrapped altogether, Vodafone says that this is not the case.
“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,” said Ewan Taylor-Gibson, broadband expert at price comparison site uSwitch.com3.
Vodafone’s move to ditch line rental comes as telecomms regulator Ofcom4 announced that 73% of households with landlines said they only have them in order to access the internet. The company claims that customers signing up or upgrading to its Unlimited Fibre Broadband service, which offers speeds of up to 76 Mbps, are able to save as much as 349 over an 18-month contract, compared to a similar deal from Sky.
Getty Around three quarter of households say they have a land line in order to use the internet
Households signing up to Vodafone’s 38 Mbps fibre broadband service will save 167 compared with BT s Unlimited Infinity 1 tariff.
Compared to other fibre deals on the market, Unlimited Fibre Broadband 38 is competitive, with the only frustrating thing being that it ties users into an 18-month contract longer than the current standard, says uSwitch.com’s Mr Taylor-Gibson. What’s more, the savings compared to other broadband providers could be short-lived.
In March, former Culture Minister Ed Vaizey called on broadband providers BT, TalkTalk, Virgin and Sky to discuss a potential ban on charging customers for land lines that they do not use. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has also pressured broadband providers to be more clear about how they advertise their prices. With Vodafone already scrapping its line rental charges, other broadband firms are expected to follow suit.
This article has been updated to include new comments from uSwitch and further clarification from Vodafone.