The purpose of the universal service is to guarantee that a basic telecommunications services offering is made available to all categories of the population and in all the regions of the country. These services must be affordable, reliable and must be of a certain quality. The universal service includes the public telephone service, broadband internet connections and the provision of special services for the disabled.
The universal service licence
On 19 May 2017, ComCom designated Swisscom as the holder of the universal service licence for the next period. This document lays down the obligations of the universal service licensee.
For the universal service license from 2018 to 2022, traditional analogue and digital connections (ISDN - Integrated Services Digital Network) have been replaced from 2018 onwards by a multi-functional connection based on IP (Internet Protocol) technology. Until 31 December 2021, Swisscom offers free of charge an interface for analogue and ISDN equipment at the network termination point, for customers who request it, so that they have sufficient time to change their equipment.
With regard to internet access, the minimum data transfer rate is 10/1 Mbit/s from 1 January 2020 onwards.
Every household can benefit of two entries in the subscriber directory.
Services for the disabled have also been extended: in addition to SMS transcription and relay services, and voice access to directory services, the hearing-impaired also benefit from a sign-language relay service for conversations via video telephony.
Some services where technological progress makes it possible to offer advantageous alternatives, or which the Federal Council no longer considers to be essential to enable the population to communicate, ceased to form part of the universal service (e.g. transmission by telefax, public telephone boxes in each municipality, barring of outgoing calls). Telecommunications service providers may, however, still offer these services at market rates.
Future universal service licence
Last modification 28.01.2021