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Summary:

The banking haven of Switzerland is looking to mandate broadband as a universal service for all Swiss citizens. The country is going to issue a new license to ensure this mandate is carried out. The universal service license is currently granted to Swisscom and will expire […]

The banking haven of Switzerland is looking to mandate broadband as a universal service for all Swiss citizens. The country is going to issue a new license to ensure this mandate is carried out. The universal service license is currently granted to Swisscom and will expire at the end of 2007.

The Swiss FCC notes that from January 1, 2008, the entire population will be able to access at speeds of 600 kilobits per second. The uplink speeds are capped at 100 kilobits per second for this network. It is not quite fast, but for a mandatory service, it is still a great first step.

The connection costs are capped at $46, and the service includes phone service and phone numbers which are also listed in the phone directory. The new network’s upper price limit will be reviewed in 2010 and can be lowered there after.

It is an enlightened approach taken by the Swiss, something politicians in the US should pay attention to. Of course we understand that US is much larger country and the challenges are huge, but so are the collections from our Universal Service Fund, and they should be put to better use. The problems with USF are explained in great detail here.

  1. At the same time Iran limited all the Internet connections to lower than 128 kilobits per second!!! Broadband is forbidden now in Iran!
    it’s a big shame an we are trying to make a campaign against it. it needs some World Wide consideration.
    I really don’t know how these damn politicians think in Iran!

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  2. My brother lives in Switzerland, and he told me that everyone he knows there have a high-speed internet connection 15 mbits. Now I know that he was lying to me.

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  3. @Dexter There is now way we all could have 15Mbits, no ISP offers that for a good and payable price. In Germany yes, you get 15Mbit for about 40 dollars.

    Back to the article. That regulation is a joke. The only company that can offer such a service is the Swisscom. And they already offer it. Thats no big move for us over here.
    And if you compare the prices to our neighbours, it is way to expensive and we have no real competition.

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  4. I just read your column on CNNMoney.com regarding online applications. I applaud your enthusiasm over the new found freedom from proprietary formats. However, no one will want to work for an extended period of time on a 2.8 inch screen (Nokia E61). The laptop will be around for quite some time.

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  5. I’ve been thinking about this in the South African context. Our Bill of Rights entrenches certain services as socio-economic services that citizens are entitled to by right. At the moment these rights include the right to adequate housing, health care, water, food and social security. Surely broadband or some form of meaningful Internet access will eventually be regarded as an essential service that people will need just to survive in this increasingly connected world?

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  6. In India, the state-run BSNL offers DSL Broadband connection @256kbps (if i can say that as a broadband) and a phone connection for about $20 (Rs.900).But to tell the truth, this service is a God-send, and the cable Internets are spotty and frustrating to say the least, often topping off @100kbps.

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  7. Bruno Heufelder Monday, October 23, 2006

    I work in Switzerland in http://www.swisscom.com, the former PTT. Most of Broadband users have 2000/100 kbps (IP Rate, with ADSL or Cable). Highest rates are 6000/600. And soon comming VDSL2.
    The broadband universal service is for a standard price, for the whole population, regardless of the distance to the Central Office. Most can be done with ADSL, but also people more than 10Km away will have now access to 600/100 at the standard rate.

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