Berne, 17 December 2010
The agreement between IWB and Swisscom promotes genuine competition. The multi-fibre model with four fibres to every household and business is consistent with the recommendations of ComCom. IWB's Layer 1 offer of dark optical fibres guarantees that other providers have non-discriminatory access to the fibre-optic network in Basel.
While negotiations were underway, both companies vigorously pursued their efforts to expand the network. Swisscom has already installed cables in large parts of the city of Basel. These are being incorporated in their entirety into the joint venture. IWB started a joint pilot project and handled much of the preliminary work. IWB will soon be launching a product range for service providers who want to offer products and services on the fibre optic network in Basel. The goal is to set the most attractive price possible for use of the dark optical fibres, a price which will serve as the basis for offering affordable products on the fibre-optic network. Both private customers and alternative service providers can already order the first services on the fibre optic network from Swisscom.
Swisscom will share 60 per cent of the total investment of around CHF 170 million, IWB 40 per cent. A compensation mechanism has been agreed in the event that actual network usage of a partner exceeds the investment share. The project still requires approval from the cantonal council of Basel city. A decision is expected at the beginning of 2011. The contract will also be presented to the Competition Commission for review.