Govt plans to lift universal service rate to 80Mbps

13 Dec 2021

Switzerland’s Federal Council has proposed increasing the minimum internet access speed that must be offered by the universal service provider to 80Mbps/8Mbps (downlink/uplink) from 2024 and has initiated a consultation process to consider the matter. State-owned full-service provider Swisscom is the current universal service provider, although the licence is due to expire at the end of 2022. To ensure continuity of service until the new provisions come into force, the regulator will extend the concession until the end of 2023. The current data transfer requirement for universal service provision is 10Mbps/1Mbps and came into force on 1 January 2020, having previously been set at 3Mbps/300kbps (January 2018) and 2Mbps/200kbps before that. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the universal service licence is technology neutral, enabling Swisscom to utilise fixed and mobile solutions to satisfy the terms of the licence.

In a statement from the Federal Office of Communications (Ofcom, or Bundesamt fur Kommunikation, Bakom), the regulator noted that the proposed changes would require an amendment to the Federal Ordinance on Telecommunications Services (OST, or Verordnung uber Fernmeldedienste [FDV]), adding that the changes included an explicit provision for subsidiarity: if an alternative is already available on the market, no universal offer is required. The consultation, meanwhile, is due to until 25 March 2022.

Switzerland, Federal Office of Communications (Ofcom), Swisscom