The Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) is the independent regulatory authority for the telecommunications market. Established by the Law on Telecommunications (LTC) of 30 April 1997, it consists of 7 members - who must be independent specialists - nominated by the Federal Council. However, it is not subject to any Federal Council or Department directives.
The Commission is independent of the administrative authorities and has its own secretariat. It informs the public of its activities and produces a report each year for the attention of the Federal Council. The president convokes the Commission as required or upon a request by a member. The Commission may also take its decisions by way of circulation.
As provided for in law, the Commission instructs the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) to prepare its business and implement its decisions. The Commission has moreover delegated some of its tasks to OFCOM.
Main activities and competencies of the commission
- Granting licences for the use of radiocommunication frequencies
- Award of universal service licences
- Laying down the access conditions (unbundling, interconnection, leased lines, etc.) when service providers fail to reach an agreement
- Approval of national numbering plans
- Fixing the terms of application of number portability and carrierselection
- Decisions about supervisory measures and administrative sanctions
Where are the boundaries between OFCOM and ComCom?
OFCOM prepares the commercial transactions of the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom), makes the necessary applications and implements its decisions. In the telecommunications sector, OFCOM grants inter alia those radio licences which do not involve any telecommunications services, e.g. company radio and amateur radio licences. In addition, OFCOM licenses all providers of fixed network services (without a tender procedure).
ComCom, for its part, awards the basic provision licence and licences for the provision of mobile telephone and other radio services where the licence is awarded on the basis of an invitation to tender. It also rules on interconnection disputes. ComCom additionally approves frequency and numbering plans.