Swisscom has revealed that it is testing fibre broadband technology which it refers to as fibre-to-the-street (FTTS) – analogous to fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) or fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) – in the Swiss municipality of Flerden, giving residents access to DSL speeds of up to 50Mbps initially, with 100Mbps expected to be achievable by next year. The rollout is intended to allow Swisscom TV viewers to simultaneously watch and/or record several high definition (HD) TV channels as well as transfer data over the internet at ultra-high speeds. As part of the pilot project, Swisscom says it is connecting nearly all households and commercial properties in Flerden to the FTTS network, with a commercial service expected to be ready for launch as early as the first quarter of 2013. Fibre-optic cables will be laid from the telco’s exchange in Thusis to neighbourhood distribution cabinets situated around 200 metres from homes, closer to end-users’ premises than in a typical VDSL upgrade; the last mile connection is covered by existing xDSL copper cables.
Along with Charrat and Grandfontaine, Flerden is one of three pilot communities for the FTTS project, with Switzerland-wide expansion set to begin during the second half of 2013. By the end of 2020, Swisscom is planning to provide around 80% of Swiss households with ‘ultra-fast’ broadband using a mix of technologies, while the telco is investing CHF1.7 billion (USD1.83 billion) in expansion of its infrastructure this year alone.