Berne, 21 June 2011
The communications infrastructure in the Upper Valais is to be substantially expanded over the next few years. Swisscom, RWO Regions- und Wirtschaftszentrum Oberwallis AG and the Upper Valais Fibre-Optics interest group have agreed to join forces in building a fibre-optic network in the region with a view to providing fibre-optic connectivity to permanent residences and businesses in the 72 municipalities of the Upper Valais.
The expansion will be pursued as a joint effort, with around 16,000 residences and businesses in the Upper Valais being connected to the fibre-optic network in the initial phase. This first step will kick off in early 2012 and is scheduled for completion by 2015. The consortium is currently defining the municipalities in which the network is to be built. Swisscom will bear half of the investment cost, while the other 50 per cent will be borne by the cooperation partners.
At the same time as laying fibre-optic cables to residences and businesses (FTTH), Swisscom is aiming to substantially increase bandwidth throughout the Upper Valais region, using different technologies such as fibre to the curb (FTTC) or high-speed data connection over the mobile network. Swisscom connects more than 500 municipalities with FTTC every year, providing the capability for high bandwidth and Swisscom TV. By 2013, 80 percent of households in Switzerland and the Upper Valais will be able to receive Swisscom TV in HD quality while also enjoying ultra-high-speed broadband Internet access. By 2014, coverage for Swisscom TV and high-speed Internet access will reach 95 percent.