Berne/Lucerne, 11 January 2011
Over the next five years, Lucerne will is to get a city-wide fibre-optic network which extends to the home following the signature by ewl energie wasser luzern and Swisscom of the final cooperation agreement. Together they will drive the expansion forward and invest around CHF 90 million in the project. Four optical fibres will be laid for each home and business, one for Swisscom and the others for ewl.
The cooperation partners ewl and Swisscom will work together to expand the fibre-optic network to provide comprehensive coverage in Lucerne. While Swisscom will lay the cables in the trunk zone, from the telephone exchanges to the neighbourhoods, ewl will undertake the further expansion to individual homes and businesses. Swisscom will provide 60 per cent of the required investment of around CHF 90 million, while ewl will contribute the remaining 40 per cent. Both partners have granted each other long-term usage rights for the fibre-optic network. For Lucerne's fibre-optic network, this will involve laying several fibres per household, thereby enabling competition on an open infrastructure ("open access"). This means that Lucerne, like other cities, is therefore acting in accordance with the fibre-optic principles agreed at the roundtable talks led by the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) in early October 2009. The cooperation agreement was presented to the Competition Commission (ComCo) for review last December.
90 per cent of the city of Lucerne is expected to have a fibre-optic connection by as early as 2014. The existing ewl and Swisscom infrastructures will be used for the new fibre-optic network in order to minimise the costs of construction and operation of the network. Work started in 2010 in the neighbourhoods of Maihof and Tribschen, and by the end of 2011, one third of all households in the city will be able to use the new services on the network of the future.
Thanks to non-discriminatory access to the Lucerne fibre-optic network, providers who do not wish to invest in the new network will nevertheless have access to it, which will further promote competition on the telecommunications market. Customers in particular will benefit from supplier diversity, as they will be able to choose from a number of different offerings.