Swisscom, Energie Wasser Bern agree on Berne FTTH/FTTB network

Energie Wasser Bern and Swisscom have reached an agreement to extend the City of Berne's fiber-optic network into city households. The agreement will see 90 percent of buildings in the city with fiber to the home/business (FTTH/FTTB) access by 2017.

Swisscom will bear 60 percent and Energie Wasser Bern 40 percent of the investments needed for constructing the network.

Swisscom reached a similar agreement with IWB to fund an FTTH/FTTB network in Basel (see “IWB, Swisscom join for FTTP in Basel”)

By signing the cooperation agreement, Swisscom and Energie Wasser Bern have committed themselves to work together to construct Berne's fiber-optic network. Both companies will be responsible for laying the cables. Swisscom will connect 30 percent of households to the network and will also be responsible for laying the fiber-optic cables between the neighborhood cabinets and the telephone exchanges. Energie Wasser Bern will build the fiber-optic network for 70 percent of the city.

Constructing the network will cost CHF 172 million ($178.7 million). Both partners have granted each other long-term usage rights for the fibre-optic network.

Four fibers will be laid per household. Swisscom and Energie Wasser Bern will receive one fiber each for their sole use. The others will be assigned as required or made available to other companies prepared to invest in them.

It is expected that by the end of 2011, more than a third of Berne's residents will be able to use the new services. By 2017, 90 percent of properties will have a fiber-optic connection, and by 2020, the network will cover the entire city of Berne, the two companies assert.

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