Berne, 14 November 2012
Over the next few years, Swisscom will be laying fibre-optic cabling all the way to individual homes and businesses (Fibre to the Home, FTTH) The first property-owners were contacted this week. Construction work is due to begin in the Bourg district of Martigny in the second quarter of 2013. In all, 9000 homes and businesses in the town - about 95 percent of the total - will be connected with FTTH in the coming years. The first customers in Martigny should be able to receive fibre-optic-based services by the second half of 2013.
Swisscom is laying the fibre-optic network itself, but is open to offers from potential cooperation partners. At least four optical fibres will be laid per household and business. This is in line with
the recommendations of the roundtable led by the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom). Thanks to non-discriminatory access to the fibre-optic network, providers not wishing to invest in the new network will also have access. This will further promote competition on the telecoms market and enable customers to choose from a wide variety of offerings from different telecoms providers.
In Charrat, Swisscom will be testing the new FTTS (Fibre to the Street) broadband technology which will enable customers living outside major urban centres to benefit from the fibre-optic network much sooner than they would otherwise. Thanks to FTTS, Swisscom can offer its customers initial bandwidth speeds of up to 50 Mbps and up to 100 Mbps by the end of next year. Swisscom TV customers will therefore be able to receive several HD channels simultaneously and transfer data over the Internet at ultra-high speed.
As part of this pilot project, Swisscom will connect nearly all the households and businesses in Charrat to the FTTS network. Swisscom customers will be able to benefit from the faster connections as early as the first quarter of 2013. To achieve this, fibre-optic cables will be laid from the exchange in Fully all the way to a small neighbourhood distribution box situated only about 200 metres from the building, which is considerably closer to customers than would be the case with a conventional VDSL upgrade. The remaining distance to homes will be covered using the existing copper cables.
Charrat is one of three Swiss pilot communities piloting the FTTS technology. The other two are Flerden (GR) and Grandfontaine (JU). Swisscom plans to test the new technology extensively in these communities and collect information for a wider roll-out. Country-wide expansion of FTTS is set to begin in the second half of 2013. By 2020, Swisscom aims to provide about 80 percent of the households in Switzerland with ultra-fast broadband using a mix of FTTH and FTTS. Swisscom is investing 1.7 billion Swiss francs in expansion of the infrastructure this year alone.