Round Table on fibre networks: the participants take stock

Berne, 06.09.2011 - At their eighth Round Table on fibre-optic networks, market players exchanged views on how the deployment of telecommunications networks with very high bandwidth is progressing and how cooperation in constructing optical fibre networks is evolving.

The participants at the Round Table discussed how the expansion of fixed and mobile networks providing very high bandwidths (VDSL, cable TV, fibre optics and LTE) is progressing. They welcome the progress in relation to the availability of offers for the various service providers, and in particular the deployment of optical fibre networks in some cities. The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) outlined the approach being taken by the NGA working group, set up at the beginning of July, in order to provide as many regions as possible in Switzerland with modern telecommunication networks.

Furthermore, the participants noted that in May the operational start-up of the joint platform for customer orders and customer switching in the fibre sector could take place. The participants support the ongoing efforts in relation to the joint development of this platform which is important for dynamic market development.

Finally, the director of the Competition Commission secretariat explained the assessment, published yesterday, of the cooperation agreements between Swisscom and electricity utility companies.

The next Round Table will take place in January 2012.  

Fibre to the Home (FTTH)
Fibre to the Home (FTTH) describes a telecommunications network which extends via fibre-optic cable into every business, multiple dwelling or family home.  Glass-fibre is a well-proven transmission medium for high data rates and will be necessary in the next few years as access networks evolve, because the old copper cables will no longer be adequate to meet the growing demand for high bandwidths for internet applications, especially high-definition television.

In autumn 2008, The Federal Communications Commission ComCom decided to conduct discussions with market players about this form of development; in this way it wishes to prevent the creation of monopolies which make access more difficult for other telecommunications providers and obstruct competition. At the same time, network construction must take place as efficiently as possible, to allow economically appropriate investment.

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