The construction of high-performance telecommunications infrastructures is of great importance for the development of Switzerland. The roll-out of high-speed broadband connections is forging ahead and the preconditions for new applications such as cloud computing are constantly being improved. The Round Table organised under the aegis of the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) has also made a major contribution to this. Within this framework, OFCOM has set up working groups with representatives of the telecommunications industry that have developed common ground for important points which in particular facilitate the construction of fibre-optic networks and the marketing of corresponding products and services.
The Round Table has completed its work, now that its original objectives have been achieved. Whilst the development of high-performance networks is taking place primarily in urban areas, the question of how the whole country can be provided with adequate infrastructures is increasingly being posed. In this context, OFCOM launched a working group last summer which deals with the high-speed broadband networks from the viewpoint of coverage policy. It involves participants from the industry, the government, associations, cantons and communes.
The examples show that the government's activities are far from limited to actual enforcement activity, i.e. the application of the law. It is increasingly a question of difficult processes in which many players with quite different viewpoints participate and seek solutions together with the administration.
In the middle of the year the Federal Council submitted a report on the status of the press in Switzerland. OFCOM prepared the report on the basis of scientific studies. The report points to the structural changes in the media and shows above all that as a result the traditional funding models have faltered. The media companies are aware of the changes and are currently involved in a challenging process to try and reposition themselves. Last but not least, this concerns the development of viable business models which will fund the high-quality journalism upon which a democratic society depends. The Federal Council recognises that this process will take time, and for the time being has resolved not to take any concrete measures. However, it does envisage a renewed assessment of the situation. The corresponding preparatory work is currently in hand in OFCOM.