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Fibre-optic expansion: Partnership in Winterthur


Winterthur Public Utilities and Swisscom to cooperate on fibre-optic expansion, providing Winterthur with super-fast Internet access in the years to come. Four optical fibres will be laid per household and business. Two will be for Swisscom, the others will be made available by Winterthur Utilities to various telecoms service providers. Winterthur is Swisscom’s seventh cooperation partner in the fibre-optic expansion. The project must be approved by the political authorities and the people in a referendum.

Swisscom has been building the fibre-optic network in Winterthur since March 2010. The expansion will take place in close consultation with Winterthur Public Utilities to prevent duplication and the inconvenience of unnecessary building work for Winterthur residents. Commercial and technical details were covered in the now finalised declaration of intent. Both companies will be involved in the expansion. Swisscom will provide 60 per cent of the required investment, while Winterthur Public Utilities will provide the remaining 40 per cent. Both partners have granted each other long-term usage rights for the optical fibres. For Winterthur’s fibre-optic network, several fibres will be laid per household, thereby enabling competition on an open infrastructure (“open access”). This means that Winterthur, like other cities, is therefore acting in accordance with the fibre-optic principles agreed at the roundtable talks led by the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) in early October 2009.

Rapid expansion in Winterthur

More than 90 per cent of the roughly 52,000 households and business in Winterthur are expected to have a fibre-optic connection by 2017. The existing Winterthur Public Utilities and Swisscom infrastructures will be used for the new fibre-optic network in order to minimise the costs of construction and operation of the network. The expansion started in 2010 in the district of Winterthur-Seen and Mattenbach, and these existing fibre-optic connections will be incorporated in the partnership.

Customers will benefit

Several fibres will be laid per household as part of the joint expansion. Competition in the telecoms market will be further promoted as all service providers will receive non-discriminatory access to the network even if they have not invested in the expansion themselves. Customers will benefit in that they will receive fibre-optic access faster, will be able to choose between offerings from different service providers and will also be able to switch providers easily.


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