The foundations for the expansion of very high-speed data networks have been laid
Bern, 14.01.2011 - At the seventh of a series of Round Tables, the market players discussed progress on implementation of fibre-optic networks in Switzerland. The co-operation work, which was launched two years ago, is now entering a crucial phase, for example with the testing of a common operating platform in order to enable processing of orders between service and network providers. The participants expanded the discussion to address possible scenarios for comprehensive coverage with next generation broadband networks (fibre-optic networks, cable networks and mobile communication networks such as LTE).
The participants at the Round Table confirmed that the discussions to date have laid down a good foundation for the expansion of next-generation broadband networks. The technical standards for fibre-optic network connections in domestic settings are available. Five urban electricity utilities have developed a common platform to process orders and customer switching for fibre networks; this platform is ready for trial operation and will enable cooperation between service and network providers. Thanks to cooperation agreements between network operators, many areas have already seen fibre deployment. In addition, questions relating to competition law are currently under review.
The need for broadband expansion in areas with a lower population density was also fully acknowledged. This will be ensured using various technologies, as in the example of the fibre project in canton Obwalden, which envisages universal coverage. The role of cable operators in the construction of next-generation access networks was also discussed in detail.
Other points of discussion concerned cooperation between network operators and commercial opportunities for telecommunications companies without their own network. The next Round Table will take place in September 2011.
In autumn 2008, ComCom decided to conduct discussions with market players about equipping businesses, multi-occupancy dwellings and houses with fibre-optic networks; in this way it seeks to prevent the creation of monopolies which make access more difficult for other telecommunications providers and could hinder competition. At the same time, network construction should take place as efficiently as possible, to allow economically appropriate investment.
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