Vodafone has launched a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband offering for the small office/home office (SoHo) sector.
The offer is applicable to SoHo businesses with fewer than 10 employees which can now obtain a dedicated full-fibre connection direct to their business premises.
Vodafone full-fibre broadband now covers 26 UK towns and cities, and will rise to 35 locations in the coming months as the roll-out continues and is being delivered through partnerships with full-fibre CityFibre and BT-owned broadband provision division Openreach.
To give a measure of the general availability of full-fibre, the Connected nations 2021 report from UK regulator Ofcom estimates gigabit-capable coverage to be currently available to over 60% of the UK.
As well as offering a dedicated full-fibre connection direct to their business premises with speeds starting at 100Mbps, a FTTP connection also allows businesses to connect to broadband directly, without a traditional phone line, which means such firms will not be impacted by the shutdown of ISDN and PSTN phone lines in 2025.
Indeed, Openreach announced its switch-off plan in 2020, proposing that by December 2025, the existing telephone network will have reached end of life and new digital services will be in use. The programme is intended to result in homes and businesses not being able to buy copper broadband if they are upgrading, regrading or switching telecoms provider, and instead will only be able to order FTTP broadband networks.
Vodafone said its new offer has a number of key benefits. With download and upload connectivity speeds faster than traditional copper broadband, the result will be “painless” video-conferencing, smooth buffering and clear audio, it said. It also guarantees “next-generation” reliability, providing “complete connectivity peace of mind”, and a future-proof infrastructure, with full support for next-generation voice and no traditional phone line required.
“Small businesses operate in an increasingly digital-first environment, one where virtual meetings, hybrid working and online commerce are the norm,” said Andrew Stevens, head of UK small and medium business at Vodafone. “People are now more likely to first encounter and engage with a typical small business online than they are in ‘real life’, and business owners need to know they can stay connected with remote teams to serve their customers and keep everything running smoothly.
“We have made it really simple to switch to superfast full-fibre, with no upfront installation costs – perfect for today’s busy SoHo businesses that want to prioritise productivity and growth post-pandemic.”