Berne/Geneva, 31 August 2012
The compromise between the contractual partners meant that important amendments could be made to the agreement in the shortest possible time. Investment protection was removed entirely. In response to one of COMCO's main demands, SIG and Swisscom both suggest the implementation of dark, passive fibre (layer 1). Meanwhile, the compensation payment mechanism has been more clearly defined.
Swisscom and SIG are happy with the agreement as they can now proceed with the extension rapidly and with reasonable entrepreneurial risks. Swisscom will provide approximately 60% of the investments necessary for the extension of the fibre-optic network in the city of Geneva and its suburbs, while SIG will invest the remaining funds. Both parties will have access to the necessary fibres over the whole area covered by the network.
The two partners have agreed a timeframe of three to four years to connect the majority of households and businesses in the communities concerned to the network. Already today, practically the whole of the city of Geneva has been connected to the network and thousands of residential and commercial customers are enjoying telephony, super-fast broadband and HD television services delivered via this new fibre-optic network.
Swisscom has already made similar amendments to the agreements for Basel, Berne, Fribourg, Lucerne, Lausanne and Zurich. The changes were proven necessary when COMCO published its final report in September 2011, questioning some important elements of the cooperation model. Thanks to this arrangement between Swisscom and SIG, the contracts that were initially affected by COMCO's decision have been renegotiated.
In Switzerland, one more home or business is connected to the fibre-optic network about every two minutes. This year, Swisscom is investing 1.7 billion in the Swiss infrastructure, which is 400 million more than in 2010. By June 2012, Swisscom and its cooperation partners had laid cables to the basements of approximately 420,000 households and businesses. By 2015, the number of homes connected to the network should reach a million. That's one third of all Swiss homes. The proportion of homes currently connected is approximately 10%.
* The suburbs comprise Carouge, Chêne-Bourg, Chêne-Bougeries, Grand-Saconnex, Lancy, Onex, Vernier, Thônex and Meyrin.