The scope of the universal service

The scope of the universal service is reviewed periodically by the Federal Council. It consists mainly of the public telephone service, a broadband internet connection and specific services for the disabled.

Services

Telephony and internet access

Consumers receive a multipurpose connection allowing them to benefit from:

  • the public telephone service (making and receiving of national and international telephone calls in real time, with one or three telephone numbers),
  • an entry in the public telephone service directory (households are entitled to two free entries),
  • an internet access service guaranteeing a transmission speed of 3000/300 kbit/s (in exceptional cases, this speed may be lower).

It should be noted that the universal service licensee is not obliged to provide broadband access when a comparable alternative offering is offered on the market by another operator.

Services for the disabled

Specific services intended for the hearing-impaired, partially sighted and persons with reduced mobility are also provided as part of the universal service. These are transcription services, relaying of short messages (SMS), relaying by videotelephony (a new service) and directory and switching services. The services forming part of the universal service must in effect be provided in such a way that they can be used by the disabled under conditions which are qualitatively, quantitatively and economically comparable to those offered to those who are not disabled.

Quality

The universal service licensee must analyse the quality of the universal service it provides. Technical and administrative regulations regulate the (annualised average) target values to be achieved in terms of quality. The various measurements of quality are contained in an annual report intended for OFCOM.

Ceiling prices

Some services forming part of the universal service are subject to ceiling prices. From 1 January 2018, the maximum amounts (excluding VAT) are as follows:

  • connections: putting a connection into service: CHF 40.00 (a one-off charge),
  • public telephone service with one telephone number and one or two entries in the subscrber directory (including connection): CHF 23.45 per month,
  • public telephone service with three telephone numbers (including the connection): CHF 16.55 per month in addition to the amount charged for the public telephone service with one telephone number (CHF 23.45 per month)
  • internet access service (including the connection): CHF 45 per month,
  • public telephone service with one telephone number and one or two entries in the subscriber directory and internet access service (including the connection): CHF 55 per month,
  • Calls
    CHF 0.075 per minute for national calls on the fixed network.
    CHF 0.034 per minute for transcription services for the hearing-impaired.
    Calls are billed by the second and rounded up to the next 10 centimes.

Technical and administrative regulations (TAR)

These technical and administrative regulations are based on Art. 17, para. 1 of the Telecommunications Act (TCA) and on Art. 21, para. 2 of the Ordinance on Telecommunications Services (OTS). They apply only to the licensee for the universal telecommunications service and regulate the quality-related aspects of the services offered, as well as the format and precision of the quality report.

These technical and administrative regulations are based on Art. 62, para. 2, TCA and on Art. 16, para. 5, OTS. They describe the technical and administrative specifications which the universal service licensee must comply with at the network termination point (NTP).

Specialist staff
Last modification 01.01.2018

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