ComCom awards telecoms universal service licence to Swisscom
Bern, 19.05.2017 - The universal service in relation to telecommunications services will continue to be provided by Swisscom: the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) has awarded the universal service licence for the period from 2018 to 2022 to Swisscom.
Swisscom's current universal service licence expires at the end of 2017. In 2016, ComCom conducted a survey among providers in the Swiss market who were in principle able to provide the universal service. It became apparent that Swisscom was the only provider interested in providing the universal service in relation to telecommunication services.
ComCom therefore decided to forego a tender procedure and to call on Swisscom to provide the universal service (cf. also the ComCom media release dated 15.12.2016).
ComCom has now awarded the new universal service licence to Swisscom (Schweiz) AG. This enters into force on 1.1.2018 and will run until 31.12.2022. The universal service, with affordable telecommunications services available to all households in Switzerland, will therefore continue to be provided by Swisscom for the next five years.
The telecom services forming part of the universal service from 2018 onwards were redefined by the Federal Council on 2 December 2016 (cf. also the Federal Council media release dated 2.12.2016 concerning the revision of the Telecommunications Services Ordinance). In accordance with the Telecommunications Services Ordinance (TSO), the following services will be included in the universal service:
- From 2018 onwards, the classic analogue and digital connections will be replaced by a multi-functional IP-based connection. Until the end of 2021, Swisscom must provide an interface for analogue and ISDN equipment free of charge at the network termination point, to allow sufficient time for terminals to be replaced.
- For the internet access included in the universal service, the Federal Council increased the minimum data transmission rate to 3000/300 kbit/s from 1.1.2018.
- Furthermore, each household can request an additional directory listing entry free of charge.
- The services for the disabled included in the universal service are also being expanded: in addition to existing offerings such as SMS transcription and the directory service, a sign-language relay service using videotelephony for the hearing-impaired is now included in the universal service.
Some services for which there are affordable alternatives thanks to technological progress, or which in the view of the Federal Council are no longer essential for the population's ability to communicate, will in future cease to form part of the universal service (e.g. a fax connection, telephone kiosks in every municipality, bars on outgoing calls). However, providers will be able to continue to offer these services under market conditions.
Address for enquiries
Stephan Netzle, ComCom President, tel. +41 58 463 52 90
Federal Communications Commission ComCom