Geneva / Berne, 26 October 2010
Geneva Industrial Services (Services Industriels de Genève; SIG) and Swisscom have completed negotiations on a partnership agreement for the construction of a fibre optic network in Geneva. It is now some months since the two partners decided to cooperate in the construction of this network and signed a letter of intent. Geneva is now set to become one of the first regions in Switzerland to benefit from this future-oriented communications technology. Within four to five years, a large number of households in Geneva will be connected to the fibre optic network. The agreement will guarantee the implementation of an open access infrastructure that will ensure efficient competition.
In order to maximise efficiency and speed of deployment, the canton of Geneva has been split into three zones. Swisscom will be responsible for creating the infrastructure in the city of Geneva itself, while Geneva Industrial Services will connect larger adjacent communities. A separate agreement will define the method of cooperation for the rural communities surrounding Geneva. The partners have therefore allocated responsibility for implementing works, while taking advantage of the infrastructure already in place in the city of Geneva. Swisscom will provide around 60% of the necessary investment, and each partner will have access to the fibres it needs throughout the entire network. The aim of this shared approach is to optimise the costs of construction and operation, and to avoid the creation of parallel networks and reduce the impact of road-digging to lay cables.
The two partners have agreed a timeframe of four to five years to connect the majority of households and businesses in Geneva to the network.
In Les Avanchets and in the municipality of Meinier, the first residential and commercial customers are already enjoying telephony, super-fast broadband and HD television services supplied via this new fibre-optic network. In addition to Swisscom, there are several other telecommunications service providers in Geneva who are also in partnership with SIG. Any providers who are unable to build their own network, or who choose not to invest in fibre optic technology, will be able to access the network on favourable, non-discriminatory terms. The partnership approach established by Geneva Industrial Services and Swisscom guarantees the principle of competition and removes any need for regulation of the fibre optic network.