Federal Communications Commission (ComCom)

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.

The Federal Media Commission (FMC)

The extra-parliamentary Media Commission (FMC) is an independent expert commission appointed by the Federal Council in November 2012. By creating the Media Commission, the Federal Council was responding to developments in the media sector in Switzerland.  Rapid changes in this sector have placed increasing demands on the Federal Council and the administration. In its advisory role, the FMC contributes to sustainable solutions for shaping the future Swiss media landscape.

The Commission consists of 15 members appointed by the Federal Council. The FMC members are experts external to the administration and represent the most important professional groups, institutions and associations. The FMC has been operational since mid-2013 and is entrusted with the following tasks:

  • monitoring and analysing the Swiss media landscape
  • advising the Federal Council and the administration in relation to the media and its development
  • making recommendations on selected issues and topics
  • communicating FMC recommendations and results to the public
  • promoting open discussions on current topics.

The Federal Media Commission meets for six plenary sessions per year. In addition, the FMC works on specific topics in temporary working groups and performs other activities outside the plenary sessions.

The FMC Secretariat is administratively assigned to OFCOM.

Specialist staff
Last modification 12.09.2014

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