Vodafone UK is abolishing broadband line rental charges as it looks to boost its fixed line offering.

The operator launched its first fixed broadband products for retail customers in June last year, opening it up to the full UK market in October.

At the end of June this year, it had signed up just 137,000 customers.

The abolition of the £18 line rental fee applies to two of Vodafone’s three offerings – the standard 17Mbps package will retain the charge.

Subscribers to the 38Mbps and 76Mbps will still get access to a landline even though they will no longer pay for it.

Vodafone claimed landline connections were an “unexpected, underused and expensive addition” to a broadband package.

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.”

CCS Insight Analyst Paolo Pescatore commented: “This move clearly underlines Vodafone’s commitment to the UK and especially its intentions for the fixed-line market. 

“It’s a bold move and one that will help raise awareness of its fibre broadband offerings in a crowded market. 

“It represents a great opportunity for Vodafone to steal a march on its rivals, more so given it is a relatively new entrant and faces significant headwinds in the fixed line broadband market.

“While others have tinkered with line rental pricing, we believe this is the first time a provider has decided to ditch it altogether.”

Vodafone continues to conduct field trials for a TV service, which is slated to launch before the end of the year.

Pescatore said: “Vodafone’s lack of content still represents a huge headache for the company as all of its rivals are bundling entertainment, movies and sports with their broadband deals.”

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