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Actor in public debates

As a responsible “corporate citizen”, Swisscom actively participated in public discussions on the following issues during the year under review:

  • Education policy: Swisscom provides ICT training places, promotes Switzerland as an ICT location, supports schools in the area of youth media protection and is continuing to develop the Internet for Schools project. It also supports the Digital Switzerland initiative, which hosted Digital Day 2018, among other things.
  • Digitisation: through the switch to All IP, Swisscom is putting in place the technical requirements for digitising communication and ensuring the competitiveness of Swiss business. All IP transfers all services such as voice telephony, TV, Internet and data to Internet Protocol (IP) technology.
  • Broadband expansion: the majority of the Swiss population should have access to increased bandwidths by the end of 2021. Swisscom is thus providing a solid basis for digitisation and for ensuring Switzerland’s future as a business centre.
  • Basic service provision: Swisscom was the only provider to apply for the universal service licence, which it was granted by ComCom. The new licence came into effect on 1 January 2018 and will run until 31 December 2022. As part of this universal service, as of 1 January 2018 the Federal Council increased the minimum download speed for Internet access from the previous 2 Mbps to 3 Mbps. Swisscom will also extend universal services for people with health issues.
  • Customer friendliness: Swisscom is continually improving its customer information systems, for example with services such as Swisscom Cockpit for Swisscom customers who are travelling abroad.
  • Sustainability: Swisscom is involved in a variety of projects concerned with the energy transition, such as the Work Smart Initiative and the tiko product.

The expansion of the 5G network, the fifth generation of mobile communications, was a key topic for Swisscom in 2018 – and will continue to be so in the years ahead. 5G makes smart cities, networked factories and intelligent houses technically feasible, unites diverse technologies and lays the groundwork for a digital Switzerland. If Switzerland is to remain a pioneer in the use of new technologies, the framework conditions for areas such as non-ionising radiation (NIS-V), assessment methods for radiation from antennas and building regulations need to be amended (i.e. liberalised). Swisscom raises these concerns to politicians and authorities both directly and via the industry association asut (Swiss Telecommunications Association). The administration has announced that it will introduce a minor amendment to the ordinance in spring 2019. In this context, the allocation of new frequencies required for the construction of the 5G networks at the start of 2019 is also of great importance for Swisscom. Swisscom will be a bidder at the planned auction. It will demand that the frequencies auctioned should subsequently be capable of being quickly put to use.

During the year under review, as in the previous financial year, Swisscom submitted numerous statements as part of consultations at federal level. Among other things, it submitted an opinion as part of the consultation process on the new Federal Act on Electronic Media (EMA). The EMA is intended to replace the current Radio and Television Act (RTA). Swisscom welcomes the fundamental thrust of the revision.

It has taken part in (specialist) hearings of the parliamentary advisory committees: for example, hearings on the revision of the Federal Act on Public Procurement (PPA) and the Telecommunications Act (TCA). Swisscom also spoke at the conference of the cantonal directors of economic affairs on optical fibre expansion in the cantons.

Swisscom’s position is based on the principles of self-regulation and competition in an open marketplace. Numerous attractive new customer offers and large investments made in network expansion in the year under review underscore this principle.

See www.admin.ch

To ensure interests are appropriately represented, Swisscom follows a solution-oriented approach, both for the common good and in the interests of the company. The positions Swisscom takes are based on clear facts. Swisscom is committed to maintaining transparent and trusting relationships with politicians, public authorities and the community. It participates in public hearings and events and plays its part in the political process by issuing written statements. In line with our own anti-corruption directive and based on the relevant ethical codes (the Code of Lisbon and the Code of Professional Conduct of the Swiss Public Affairs Society, SPAG), Swisscom rejects unlawful or ethically questionable practices aimed at exerting influence on opinion leaders and decision-makers. Moreover, Swisscom is a non-denominational, politically neutral organisation and does not support any political parties, opinion leaders or decision-makers financially.