Berne, 11 November 2008
Swisscom is pulling out all the stops to implement the unbundling of the last mile, as decided upon by Parliament. Swisscom has invested around CHF 70 million in unbundling since the entry into force of the revised Telecommunications Act in spring 2007, and is already providing competitors with access to over 1.5 million Swiss households. In mid-October 2008, the Swiss Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) reached a decision on unbundled subscriber connection prices and interconnection prices for 2007 and 2008 in response to a complaint. Swisscom accepts the parameters used by ComCom in calculating the unbundled prices and will not appeal against this decision to the next level. Legal and investment security has therefore now been established for all market players.
With the revision of the Telecommunications Act, Parliament decided that Swisscom must make its copper infrastructure available to other telecommunications providers at cost-based prices. Swisscom is systematically carrying out Parliament's wishes: 19 months after the revised Telecommunications Act entered into force, Swisscom has already enabled unbundling at more than 500 co-locations, which corresponds to over half of all residential connections in Switzerland. By comparison, the figure stood at around 30% in France two years after the entry into force of the corresponding law there, at 25% in Germany after three years, and 0% in Italy also after three years.
The main dispute was over the prices for subscriber connections and interconnection calculated by Swisscom on the basis of legal provisions . In its ruling of 9 October 2008, ComCom set out the price for unbundled subscriber connections, and also reduced the interconnection prices for 2007 and 2008. ComCom based its decision on the LRIC method of calculation provided for by law and used the room for manoeuvre available to it to reduce prices. Swisscom accepts ComCom's ruling, in which means significant interconnection price reductions of between 20% and 30% for 2007 and 2008, and the price of CHF 18.18 set for subscriber connections, the so-called last mile.
The decisions on the prices for interconnection and subscriber connections are the key elements of ComCom's rulings in the pending access proceedings. Provided none of the opposing parties appeals against the rulings, legal security will now be established for all market players with regard to these prices.
However, Swisscom believes that some parts of the rulings contradict other legal provisions. Swisscom will take these issues, which are important to the company, to the Federal Administrative Court. These include, for example, provisions that are important to ensuring telecommunications secrecy and data protection.
Copper-cable connection between the local exchange and the customer. Swisscom must now make this available to other providers at cost-based prices in line with regulation.
Connection between telecommunication networks that enables the joint use of the infrastructure of another provider. For example, interconnection enables the customers of one provider to communicate with the subscribers of another.
Co-location allows alternative network operators to establish a physical presence on the sites of the provider dominant in the market, and to install and operate their own systems.
|LRIC (long-run incremental costs):||
Cost calculation method provided for by law. It calculates the costs of a new, efficient telecommunications provider. It provides an incentive for new investment and protection of existing investment.