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Switzerland’s regulator reviews prices

Responding to requests from Sunrise and Salt, the Switzerland’s Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) has reviewed the prices charged for the regulated telecoms services offered by the incumbent, Swisscom. In many cases, these prices have been reduced with effect for the 2013–2016 period. They have been calculated for the first time on the basis of fibre-optic technology, rather than conventional copper cabling, as in the past. Under the terms of the Swiss Telecommunications Act (TCA), as the dominant provider, Swisscom is obliged to offer certain services to its competitors at cost-based prices. If these competing providers are not satisfied with the prices that are being charged, they can appeal to ComCom, which will then issue its decision. When calculating these prices, ComCom does not apply real costs, but rather the hypothetical costs that an efficient provider would face if it were to set up a new network today using the latest available technology. In calculating prices from 2013 onwards, ComCom for the first time applied a cost model based on fibre-optic cabling, rather than copper. But where the last mile is concerned, Swisscom is required to grant other providers access to its local loop only where this consists of copper cabling. Fibre-optic connections are not regulated in Switzerland. Indeed, only a few weeks ago parliament rejected extending access regulation to fibre-optic subscriber lines. “A review of the prices charged by Swisscom for the shared use of its copper-cable networks nonetheless first requires a calculation of the hypothetical costs of a modern fibre-optic network. Then, to take account of the fact that unbundled copper lines are less efficient than fibre-optic cabling, these costs must be reduced by a correction factor. Adjustments to the cost of laying cables mean that the rates for unbundled copper subscriber lines determined by ComCom are ultimately some 10–25% lower than those offered by Swisscom.” ComCom has also ruled on prices for leased lines, cable ducts and interconnection. Read more

  • Tuesday, 19 February 2019

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