Fibre connections in Switzerland

Percentage of fibre connections in total fixed broadband

OCDE BB Fibre 4Q2021

In contrast to its superior ranking in the provision of broadband services via hybrid fixed networks, Switzerland is still not a world leader when it comes to fibre to the home (FTTH). It is catching up a little, however, having joined the middle of the European field in terms of rollout and use of fibre-optic access.

Over several years, within a framework of co-operation between Swisscom and local utility providers, FTTH networks have been constructed in numerous cities and regions. In other locations, individual political municipalities are going it alone with investment in FTTH. In addition to cooperation, Swisscom is also currently working alone on investments to modernise the fixed network in many locations. Numerous CATV operators also have constantly invested in fibre expansion. And Since 2013 Swiss Fibre Net (SFN), a network consortium consisting of numerous utility providers which have constructed local fibre networks, offers service providers who do not have their own access network (e.g. Init7, 1tv,, GGA Maur, Salt, Sunrise and VTX) the possibility of sourcing uniform FTTH products nationwide via a common platform for resale.

As far as subscriptions are concerned, we note that the number of optical fibre connections (FTTH/B) in Switzerland is expanding less quickly than it has in recent years. With around four million connections, the broadband market is almost saturated. Growth in the fibre-optic segment is primarily the result of DSL and CATV subscribers migrating to this new technology. Estimated at just under one million, these lines represented just over 24% of all broadband connections in Switzerland at the end of 2021. The country is therefore still a little behind by international standards, as the fibre-optic penetration rate in OECD countries was almost 35% on average during the same period. That said, Switzerland is in a better position than most of its neighbours, with 14.2% FTTH/B reach in Italy, 7.1% in Germany and 5.7% in Austria. Only France has a relatively high proportion of fibre subscribers, at 46%. In Europe around ten countries have fibre subscription rates of over 50%, such as Spain (79%), Sweden (78%), Lithuania (78%), Latvia (72.6%) and Norway (65.7%).

Switzerland also recorded significantly slower growth in the number of fibre subscriptions (+12.1%) between 2020 and 2021 compared to the OECD average (+18.6%) or its neighbours Italy (+43.3%), France (+39.3%), Germany (+28.1%) and Austria (+21.3%).

Last modification 05.08.2022

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