GA Weissenstein and Swisscom embark on joint venture to connect Solothurn to the fibre-optic network

Berne/Solothurn, 24-12-2012 — / — GA Weissenstein GmbH and Swisscom have reached an agreement for the joint expansion of the fibre-optic network to the homes and businesses of their customers. In a declaration of intent, the two partners resolved to connect the towns of Solothurn, Biberist, Zuchwil and Langendorf to the new network over the next few years.

GA Weissenstein GmbH (GAW) and Swisscom aim to connect the approximately 11,000 homes and businesses in the town of Solothurn to the high-speed fibre-optic network in the next two years. In the following eight years a further 11,000 homes and businesses in the municipalities of Biberist, Zuchwil and Langendorf are set to follow suit. This means further cooperation in Switzerland between Swisscom and a cable network provider for the expansion of FTTH. Both companies have already signed a declaration of intent. Swisscom will expand the network in the town of Solothurn while GAW will implement the expansion in the three neighbouring municipalities.

As this is a joint expansion, additional costs and unnecessary disturbances to local residents can be avoided. Swisscom and GAW will each cover 50% of the cost. Homes and businesses in Solothurn that are already connected to the fibre-optic network are a key part of this cooperation.

Four optical fibres per connection enables competition
Both partners will lay at least four optical fibres per home and business. This is in line with ComCom recommendations. The fibre-optic network allows customers to choose between services from Swisscom, GAW or other telecommunications providers who have access to the new network thanks to the four optical fibres. This means that customers can benefit from attractive offers from various different service providers.

About GA Weissenstein
GA Weissenstein GmbH (GAW) is an independent, regional communication service provider. Included in the coverage provided to Solothurn and the neighbouring areas of Berne are 32 municipalities with an overall population of around 90,000 people.

With this joint venture, the GAW is working towards its goal of replacing the RF network with a FTTH network over the coming years, and continuing to provide an efficient communication network in the region of Solothurn.

Customers can still use the tried and tested Quickline products with Internet, telephone and digital television from GAW regardless of the network infrastructure (RF or FTTH).

About Swisscom’s fibre-optic network expansion
The fibre-optic network is rolled out to a new household or business in Switzerland roughly every two minutes. By the end of September 2012, Swisscom and its joint venture partners had connected approximately 465,000 households and businesses to the network by running fibre-optic cables into the basement. This figure is set to rise to around a million by the end of 2015 – one-third of all households in Switzerland. Swisscom has invested 1.7 billion Swiss francs in the expansion of the infrastructure this year alone.



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