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Press release

Unbundling of the access network: Swisscom to oppose market intervention by regulator

10 November 2000

According to a press release issued today, the communications commission ComCom is ordering Swisscom to unbundle part of the access network as part of provisional measures. This intervention would distort competition and put Swisscom at a disadvantage. After making a brief assessment of the documentation available, Swisscom has decided to lodge an appeal with the Federal Court against ComCom"s provisional measures.

The Swiss telecommunication market is fiercely competitive. Customers throughout the country benefit from innovative telecom services and low prices thanks to Swisscom´s modern infrastructure.

Infrastructure competition for broadband access is intensifying constantly: in addition to Swisscom, a number of alternative providers such as cable network operators, holders of WLL (wireless local loop) licenses, and more recently UMTS providers have entered the market. For the sake of competition, Swisscom gave up its participation in the cable network operator Cablecom at the end of 1999, and a WLL license this year. This means that Swisscom does not have a dominating market position with respect the access network.

Unnecessary regulation makes investment less attractive


ComCom´s proposed intervention in this market would reduce the incentive to invest for both competitors and Swisscom alike, and would slow down innovation in the infrastructure here in Switzerland, which would in particular affect remote areas. Competitors will follow the experience made in other countries and concentrate on the lucrative lines in the large towns and cities. Regulated unbundling will also have an unacceptable influence on the rules of the game for WLL licensees.

In terms of quality, Swisscom operates one of the best network infrastructures in the world. ISDN has been introduced nation-wide without the need for regulation, providing everyone with the possibility of fast Internet access. Without regulation, Swisscom has already begun offering telecommunications providers the same non-discriminatory access to broadband connection services using an IP-based solution (ADSL).

No legal basis

The provisionally decreed unbundling of services would mean Swisscom having to cede access lines to its competitors for their exclusive use. After taking legal advice, Swisscom does not believe that the unbundled services are governed by the interconnection regime of the current Telecommunications Act (FMG). ComCom´s decree does not have the necessary legal basis for intervening in constitutional laws.

ComCom has based its provisional decision on a report by the monopolies commission from the beginning of 2000. In view of the dynamic of the telecommunications market, this decisional basis has already been superseded. Moreover, this report covers leased lines and not the services which are the subject of the decree.


Bern, 10 November 2000

Kontakt

Swisscom AG
Media Relations
3050 Bern

media@swisscom.com