Vodafone is set to expand its full-fibre broadband network to three new UK cities after signing a new commercial deal with Openreach.
Customers of the telecoms firm will be able to access the superfast network in Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool from spring 2020, taking its total reach to 15 UK towns and cities.
Vodafone aims to reach 500,000 homes in the three cities by mid-2021, and the partnership with Openreach includes an option for further coverage.
The rollout will also underpin 5G coverage in the cities, where Vodafone has already launched the high-speed mobile network.
BT’s Openreach has set a full-fibre rollout target of 15m premises by the mid-2020s, and the government has pledged to invest an additional £5bn to hit the target.
BT boss Philip Jansen last month said Openreach was now connecting a home or business every 26 seconds, but has warned the rollout could be hampered by regulators.
The new partnership may come as a blow to challenger broadband firm Cityfibre, which holds an existing agreement with Vodafone to launch full-fibre in 12 towns and cities.
Vodafone UK chief executive Nick Jeffrey said: “Vodafone is committed to a full-fibre future and to creating the infrastructure Britain needs to compete and win in the digital era.
“This initiative with Openreach builds on our existing commitments with Cityfibre and underlines our belief in the power of digital technology to connect people for a better future and unlock economic growth for the UK.”
Openreach chief executive Clive Selley said: “We’re keen to upgrade customers as quickly as possible to this new, ultrafast, future-proof platform, so we’re proud that Vodafone’s placing its confidence in Openreach to deliver a great broadband experience for their customers.
“We’re determined to be the partner of choice for all communications providers and we’ll do that by offering the best connectivity and service with the widest possible coverage throughout the country.”
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