Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR / Optical fibre

Federal Court upholds precautionary measures ordered by Competition Commission (COMCO)

In December 2020, the Competition Commission (COMCO) opened an investigation into the optical fibre expansion (FTTH) by Swisscom and ordered precautionary measures against the company. In October 2021, the Federal Administrative Court upheld these measures. In its judgement of 29 November 2022, the Federal Court concluded that the measures ordered by COMCO are not arbitrary. Swisscom acknowledges the judgement. To counteract the stalled optical fibre expansion resulting from the proceedings, Swisscom decided in October 2022 to rely largely on the point-to-point topology permitted by COMCO.

Swisscom Group Headquarters

Since 2020, Swisscom has been using the point-to-multipoint (P2MP) topology between the exchange and the neighbourhood cable duct (manhole) for the expansion of the fibre-optic network. This expansion method, which builds on the existing network, allows faster, nationwide expansion throughout Switzerland with fibre-optic technology (FTTH).

Stalled expansion and marketing of optical fibre access

Since December 2020, COMCO has been investigating the extent to which P2MP topology impedes competition. It also ordered precautionary measures, which meant that, other than in a few exceptional cases, Swisscom was unable to put connections using this topology into operation and had to cease marketing them. As of the end of September 2022, almost 500,000 connections had been affected by this. To enable customers to use the fast FTTH connections, Swisscom already decided and announced in October 2022 that it would install the majority of new connections in the point-to-point (P2P) architecture and convert some of the already existing P2MP connections to P2P.

Swisscom offers all of its competitors non-discriminatory access to its networks under regulated or commercially agreed conditions. Swisscom is constantly expanding its network and invests around CHF 1.7 billion annually in the expansion and maintenance of these networks in Switzerland. Competitors also benefit from this by reducing their own investments and thus saving costs.

COMCO’s decision in the main proceedings is still pending and is expected in 2023.

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