Ofcom triples universal service broadband speed

16 Jan 2020

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Communications (Ofcom, also known as Bundesamt fur Kommunikation or Bakom) has implemented changes to the universal service licence, tripling the minimum broadband speeds to be offered by the licensee to 10Mbps/1Mbps (downlink/uplink) from 3Mbps/300kbps. The new requirements followed a decision from the Federal Council in October 2019 and came into effect from 1 January 2020. State-owned full-service provider Swisscom currently holds the universal service licence, which was issued in May 2017 and covers the period 2018-2022. Explaining its decision, Ofcom commented that citizens in rural or poorly-connected areas would benefit from the measure as ‘the faster connection increases the opportunities to participate in social and economic life’. The regulator notes that the principle of technological neutrality applies to the universal service licence and, as such, Swisscom can – in addition to its fixed systems – use mobile and satellite technologies, or a mix of different platforms to satisfy the terms the licence. As Swisscom is already making use of this option and the expected level of efficiency of the operator, Ofcom did not grant the telco an additional transition period to implement the new obligation. According to the regulator, demand for the minimum speed offering is expected to be in the region of around 11,000 connections.

Switzerland, Federal Office of Communications (Ofcom), Swisscom