Berne, 01 February 2007
Swisscom has applied to the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) for the licence to provide basic services from 2008 to 2017. The existing basic service provision mandate expires in 2007. In addition to the basic service of providing the Swiss population with access to the telephone network, the core task of the licence from 2008 will be the provision of broadband Internet access throughout Switzerland. Thanks to its extensively developed infrastructure, Swisscom already provides comprehensive telecom services that go far beyond the basic service provision.
The catalogue of basic services is regulated by law and includes the nationwide provision of network access (phone line), public telephone services, access to emergency services, the blocking of outgoing calls, the provision of public telephones (payphones) and services for the hard of hearing and visually impaired. The SMS operator service for the hard of hearing envisaged by the new licence is already offered by Swisscom. From 2008 a directory and operator service will also be set up for people who are unable to dial telephone numbers because of their disabilities. The resolution of the Federal Council dated 13 September 2006 stipulates that the basic service provision mandate from 2008 will also include broadband Internet access with a transmission speed of 600/100 kbps. Coverage in Switzerland is currently around 98% - the one-hundred percent broadband coverage in Switzerland being aimed for will also be a world first.
The Swisscom network already provides the backbone for nationwide broadband provision and as such the basis for the Swiss information society. This being the case, it is only natural that Swisscom should want to apply for the basic service provision licence. All the necessary investments will be self-financed. Swisscom does not currently require financial support, although there is a provision for this in the basic service provision concept.