Swisscom will retain telecommunications universal service

Bern, 15.12.2016 - The universal service in relation to telecommunications will continue to be provided by Swisscom from 2018: the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) has taken this decision because Swisscom alone had expressed interest in providing the universal service.

At its meeting on 13 December 2016, ComCom decided to award the licence for the Swiss universal service (the US licence) from 2018 onwards to Swisscom once again, for a term of 5 years. A clarification of interest addressed to the major providers in the Swiss market who are in principle capable of providing the universal service revealed that Swisscom alone was interested in providing the telecommunications services which constitute the universal service. A bidding procedure for the US licence for the period from 2018 to 2022 cannot therefore take place under competitive conditions and ComCom will award the licence to Swisscom in June 2017.

Swisscom's current US licence expires at the end of 2017 and therefore must be awarded anew by ComCom. On the basis of the statutory provisions, the US licence is in principle put out to tender in the form of a competition based on criteria (beauty contest). However, if it is foreseeable that multiple telecommunications service providers are not interested or not eligible, ComCom awards this licence to a suitable bidder in accordance with Article 14 of the Telecommunications Act (TCA), without a tender procedure. This is the case here.

On 2 December 2016 the Federal Council adopted the revision of the Telecommunications Services Ordinance (TSO), which defines the scope of the universal service in telecommunications from 2018 (Website OFCOM, see link). Thereafter the classic analogue and digital connections will be replaced by a multi-functional connection. In addition, the minimum data transmission rate for internet access will be increased to 3000/300 kbits/s and services for people with disabilities will be expanded.

Address for enquiries

Marc Furrer, President of ComCom,
Tel. +41 58 463 52 90


Federal Communications Commission ComCom