Geneva, 04 February 2010
Switzerland needs a fibre-optic network to meet the future bandwidth requirements of both businesses and private individuals and to ensure that the country remains competitive. The model chosen by Geneva Industrial Services and Swisscom will allow the deployment of an open access infrastructure, thereby avoiding a structural monopoly on Geneva's fibre-optic network. Joining forces will speed up the construction of the network and help reduce the inconvenience associated with the work. Customers are set to fully benefit from this collaboration from both a service and economic point of view. Thanks to its open access architecture, the network can be made available to other service providers.
To facilitate coordination of the construction work and because of technical reasons and the population density, the canton of Geneva has been divided up into three zones. Swisscom will be responsible for construction in the city of Geneva itself, while Geneva Industrial Services will connect larger adjacent communities. A separate agreement will define the cooperation for the rural communities surrounding Geneva. The work in all three zones will in any case commence simultaneously. Each partner will have at least one fibre per household at its disposal. The project foresees the laying of infrastructure based on fibre-optic cables ending at a socket in each household, although the cabling inside each building will require the relevant owner's consent. Both partners support the standards of the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) relating to household connections, and will brief the engineers in charge of carrying out the installation work.
Swisscom and Geneva Industrial Services have already signed an appropriate declaration of intent. The two partners want the majority of households and companies in the canton of Geneva to be connected within the space of four years.
Geneva Industrial Services (SIG) is an autonomous public-sector company whose principal role is to supply the canton of Geneva with water, gas, electricity and thermal energy as well as processing rubbish, removing and treating waste water, and providing telecommunications services. SIG employs 1700 people and ensures its activities respect the relevant cantonal legislation in terms of energy and are in line with energy conservation principles, giving priority to the development of renewable energy sources and environmental protection.
Swisscom is Switzerland's leading telecoms provider, with 5.4 million mobile customers and around 1.8 million fixed-line broadband connections. In 2008, its 19,943 employees generated revenues of CHF 12.2 billion. Swisscom has a presence throughout Switzerland and offers a full range of products and services for fixed-line, mobile and IP-based voice and data communication. Massive investment in network infrastructure ensures that this will remain the case in the future. Swisscom is active in one of the most attractive broadband markets in Europe via the Italian provider Fastweb. Swisscom also offers services for IT infrastructure outsourcing as well as the management of communications infrastructures.