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Swiss Lawmakers Pass Law Further LiberalisingTelecoms Sector

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

21 October 2004


It emerged earlier this month that the Swiss House of Representatives has taken a further step towards the liberalisation of the country's telecoms market by ending Swisscom's monopoly of what is known as the "local loop".

Currently, consumers in Switzerland can choose their telecoms provider, but must still pay a monthly fee to Swisscom for the use of the telephone cables connecting their house to the nearest sub-station.

According to the Swissinfo news service, under the terms of the plan, which has yet to be passed by the Senate, Swisscom will be obliged to allow its competitors to physically access its cable network. The telecoms giant must also reportedly allow rival firms to provide broadband connections using its fast bitstream access network, albeit just for a two year period.

Swisscom has criticised the planned unbundling of the local loop, arguing that it will be left to bear an unnecessarily large portion of the telecoms sector's investment burden if other firms are allowed to benefit at its expense.


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