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Press release

Fibre-optic expansion in Basel: IWB and Swisscom sign cooperation agreement

Berne, 17 December 2010

Around eight months ago, Swisscom and IWB agreed to work together to expand the fibre-optic network in the city of Basel and signed a preliminary agreement to this end. Now, Carsten Schloter, CEO of Swisscom, and Dr David Thiel, Chairman of the Executive Board of IWB, have signed the final agreement Swisscom and IWB will connect all Basel households and businesses to the ultra high-speed fibre-optics network by the end of 2017 . Of the total investments of around CHF 170 million, Swisscom will assume 60% and IWB 40%. A decision is expected to by the cantonal council of Basel city by the beginning of 2011.

The concluded contract and the ambitious expansion plans ensure that Basel will be one of the very first cities in Switzerland to enjoy city-wide, ultra high-speed services via fibre-optic connections, as early as 2017. The collaboration between IWB and Swisscom will make it possible to expand and operate the network cost-effectively by tapping into the synergies in the existing telecommunications networks of both companies and utilising IWB's electricity and drinking water infrastructure. The fibre-optic cables that have already been installed by Swisscom and IWB in Basel will be included in the joint venture between the two companies. This will substantially reduce the amount of construction work required in Basel. IWB has assumed responsibility for overall coordination of construction and operation.

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.


Swisscom AG
Media Relations
3050 Bern