After prolonged debates, the revised versions of the legislation which is central to our work, the Radio and Television Act (RTA) and the Telecommunications Act (TCA), entered into force during the reporting year. They include substantial innovations and in some areas they are having a decisive influence on developments in both the broadcasting and telecommunications markets.
Also, a new performance mandate was given to the SRG, the national public service carrier in the radio and television sector. In the areas of information, culture and education above all, the new SRG licence demands enhanced services and provides for a new quality assurance system. A major step has been taken to strengthen the public service at local and regional level: from this year onwards, more fee revenue, linked to new performance mandates, will be available. This is also associated with a new invitation to tender for the licensing areas for local and regional broadcasters. We have received numerous candidatures which – despite the growing number of online offerings – bear witness to continuing serious interest in the traditional mass media of radio and television.
In telecommunications the so-called ‘last mile’ has been opened up. Thanks to Swisscom’s cooperative attitude, it has been possible to begin technical implementation. However, the remuneration for the use of Swisscom infrastructures continues to be contested. The complaints lodged by several of Swisscom’s competitors transfer the determination of prices to the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom). But it is the consumers who suffer, as they are (still) unable to benefit from significant price reductions because of the delay.
OFCOM is eager to make its contribution to the implementation of the Federal Council’s e-government strategy. For some years it has been possible to order telephone numbers via the OFCOM website; now it is also possible to apply and pay for certain radio communication licences electronically. After these successful pilot projects we are in the process of further extending our services over the internet. Our very name obliges us to strive for modern and innovative communications: we are willing to rise to this challenge.
Dr. Martin Dumermuth, Director