Vodafone provides free broadband to small businesses for 2021

The offer of free broadband from Vodafone to small businesses (1-50 employees) throughout the UK, including existing customers that are eligible for an upgrade, will be available on a 36-month plan until the 28th February 2021.

This follows on from a previous offer of six months’ free broadband, made at the start of the pandemic, and comes with additional support for small companies in the form of Vodafone’s new V-Hub digital support platform, which offers guidance on operating digitally in the long-term.

Once the 12-month period has passed, the monthly fee will return to the standard rate of £22.50 (excluding VAT) per month for Business Broadband Superfast 1, and £25 (excluding VAT) per month for Business Broadband Superfast 2.

There will be a one-time fee of £20 to cover set up costs, with no further payment required until the thirteenth month.

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“The message to small businesses is clear: we’re here to help,” said Anne Sheehan, business director at Vodafone UK.

“Businesses need to be running as efficiently as possible in 2021 – that means getting online, using the best digital tools, getting the best business advice, and spending as little money as possible.

“It’s great to see how businesses adapted throughout last year, and we’re here to help more do the same in 2021.”

Increasing reliance on broadband

Research from Enterprise Nation, a Vodafone partner, revealed the percentage of small businesses in the UK running entirely online to have doubled during the pandemic, from 27% to 55%, while 71% say that they rely more than ever on broadband.

Meanwhile, 94% said they relied on video conferencing for work during the pandemic, and 70% believe that a ‘dedicated’ business broadband line would be beneficial.

This study surveyed 918 UK-based small businesses, with 84% of respondents being in businesses of fewer than three people, and 59% being in their first three years of operation.

Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, commented: “2020 will go down as the year business went online – we have seen small businesses in their droves pivot to build websites, embrace social media and rely on video platforms to keep in touch with their teams.

“To succeed for the longer term, this requires strong broadband that won’t let you down and investment in digital technology.

“This generous offer from Vodafone will be a great help for small firms as they pick themselves up after the impact of the pandemic and keep building their business.”

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.