07 September 2005
Since 22 August, around 150 Swisscom and Cablex AG* employees have been working in shifts around the clock and even at weekends to repair the damage to the 82 sites, exchanges and network facilities that were damaged by the floodwaters. It is predicted that there are a further 1,000 troublespots in the access network between the exchanges and end users. Several dozen Swisscom Mobile base stations remain out of service without power and some even without network coverage. Overall damages are being estimated in the tens of millions.
While service on the mobile phone network in the areas affected by the bad weather was restored - in some areas, provisionally - on 25 August, the last fixed network infrastructures will not be up and running again until the end of September. This excludes areas that remain inaccessible until further notice.
A lot of work will be required to rectify the fault in the access network: Of the estimated 1,000 troublespots that have been identified so far in Central and Eastern Switzerland and in the Canton of Berne, 350 have been registered and appropriate repair work initiated. The cause of these disruptions were household connections, ducts and cables that had become waterlogged or had been buried under mud and rubble.
The damage to property is less acute: Once the water had been pumped from the various buildings and cable ducts, all that was left to do was clean up the areas and commence repair work. Damages are estimated at approximately CHF 100,000, and in most cases are covered by insurance.
Swisscom once again provided the toll-free numbers and telecommunications and Internet infrastructure required for the national donation appeal held by the Glückskette on 31 August 2005. Swisscom employees donated CHF 137,425 for the victims of the flooding in Switzerland, while Swisscom itself pledged CHF 500,000.
*Cablex AG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swisscom Fixnet Ltd and is Swiss market leader in the construction and maintenance of underground and overhead cable networks for the telecommunications sector. Cablex has positioned itself as a supplier as well as a general contractor.