The Swiss Federal Office of Communications (ComCom) has revealed that round table discussions on the deployment of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks are producing concrete results. According to the regulator the major players are now in agreement on uniform technical standards, meaning that there are no technical barriers to the rapid expansion of the fibre network. A consensus has also been reached on coordination, which will prevent the parallel construction of new networks by laying multiple fibres in every building (known as the multiple fibre model). At the same time the participants at the round table have agreed that all providers must have access to the fibre-optic network under the same conditions, so as to protect end-users’ freedom of choice. The participants drew up further recommendations for standardised network access by services. Thanks to an open interface, service providers will enjoy network access to customers at all times via network operators. If, at a later date, the customer opts for a different service provider on the same fibre-optic network, the switch will be possible without any technical complications.
The roundtable discussions involve cable network operators, telecoms companies and electricity utilities. Further roundtables and working groups will be held to clarify points. ComCom will also examine whether new regulatory measures are needed to govern FTTH deployment, with the aim of reporting to parliament by mid-2010 at the latest.