Berne, 22 December 2011
Expansion of the fibre-optic network in Lucerne can now proceed at speed and without delay. The joint venture partners, ewl and Swisscom, have held intensive negotiations to amend key points of their partnership agreement in the wake of the negative report from the Competition Commission (ComCo).
Over the last few weeks partners have responded, resulting in major changes to the agreement so Lucerne's fibre-optic network can be developed at speed. The clauses on both investment protection and layer 1 exclusivity were completely removed. Both partners are now offering passive, unlit fibre-optic cable, and have therefore complied with one of the ComCo Secretariat's key requirements. The mechanism for compensation payments was also clarified. This will kick in at the earliest once basic connection has been completed, probably in 2015. Swisscom is investing around CHF 54 million in fibre-optic expansion in Lucerne.
Following the report published last September by the Secretariat of the Competition Commission on the partnership agreements, Swisscom has worked with partners to review the agreements entered into. This was necessary as the Secretariat's final report called key components of the underlying partnership model into question. Swisscom has already made similar amendments to agreements in Berne and Basel. Negotiations with other partners are still ongoing.