“The point-to-multipoint network architecture that we rely on for the optical fibre expansion is internationally proven and established, but in Switzerland has been criticised by a small number of competitors, which could, in the worst case scenario, slow down the network expansion by several years. There is competition at all levels, and numerous cooperation partners are involved in the expansion, which entails billions of euros in investment,” commented Swisscom CEO Urs Schaeppi. “We are convinced that our conduct is fair and in line with competition law and will now consider our next steps.”
Swisscom offers all of its competitors broad, non-discriminatory access to its networks under regulated or commercially agreed conditions. Swisscom is continuously expanding its network and invests around CHF 1.6 billion per year in the expansion and maintenance of these networks. Competitors also benefit from this as it reduces their own investments and costs.
For the further expansion of FTTH (Fibre to the Home), Swisscom is primarily relying on the point-to-multipoint (P2MP) architecture from the manhole, as is used in many countries. This approach continues to allow for competition with a wide range of offerings. It is the ideal architecture to promote the optical fibre expansion throughout Switzerland as it builds on the existing network. Both end customers and wholesale customers benefit from this due to the purchase of wholesale input products.
The precautionary measures of COMCO have jeopardised this cost-effective and efficient P2MP approach and, in the worst case, risk delaying the planned expansion of the fibre-optic network by several years. Swisscom’s goal is to double the number of FTTH connections by 2025.
Swisscom offers providers without their own network a wide range of network access options with different bandwidths. These offerings have existed on the market for many years, are continually being further developed and enjoy a high level of acceptance among wholesale customers. Providers without their own network always have access to the maximum available bandwidth and, thanks to the fibre-optic partnership and wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) network access model, have additional access options to the lowest network level Layer 1. These two access options were originally put forward by COMCO itself. In addition, Swisscom intends to continue to expand the network wherever possible in cooperation with partners.