The telco is finally offering its fixed broadband service with 4G backup.
Back in October 2016, Vodafone revealed an intention to offer NBN services, and in May this year it solicited expressions of interest.
In August, it revealed that it would provide customers with 4G service to overcome problems associated with delays in fixed service installation, and as a backup in the event of subsequent faults.
However, as reported by Business IT, the 4G service is limited to 12/1Mbps regardless of the speed the customer is paying for, and its provision is limited to 30 days either prior to connection or in situations “where repairs need to be carried out by NBN to resolve a fault affecting an individual customer’s fixed service.”
Still, that's better than being left to rely on a separate – and probably quite expensive – 4G service during a covered outage.
Almost a month later, Vodafone provided some details of its proposed plans, which start at $70 a month for 12/1Mbps and unlimited data.
The router with 4G backup is free to customers on 24-month contacts, but costs $150 for those who prefer to go month-by-month.
At that time, Vodafone said services would be available initially in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Geelong, Newcastle and Wollongong, extending to the rest of the country in 2018.
The company is now accepting orders from customers in those areas, although NBN Co's recently-announced pause in new HFC connections seems likely to slow things down.
“We are taking a sensible and staged approach to the rollout of Vodafone NBN to ensure we get the customer experience right, and we will continue to use our customers’ feedback to help us make refinements,” said Vodafone general manager of broadband services Matthew Lobb.
As a sweetener, Vodafone is giving three free months to customers taking 24-month contracts. This offer lasts until 31 January 2018.
“We are putting customers first. If our customers are unable to receive the service they paid for, or if there’s a problem with their installation or line connection, they’re not going to be left in the lurch,” said Vodafone CEO Inaki Berroeta.
“From the outset, we want our customers to connect to the NBN with confidence, and we have set clear standards for ourselves and the industry to achieve this.”
To that end, customers can cancel their service during the first 30 days and receive a refund of plan fees paid as long as they return the router within 10 days. They may also change their speed tier once every billing cycle, and Vodafone undertakes to check the speed of FTTN and FTTB connection within the first 15 days of activation.