Internet access is now one of our basic needs. For residents’ quality of life and the economic attractiveness of the city, the Municipality would like Pully to have high-performance telecommunication infrastructures. Since 2001, the year when the Pully City Council chose to sell the municipal telecom network to what has now become UPC, the City of Pully has not owned or operated such a network. Today, Pully has two broadband networks on its territory: Swisscom and UPC, each of which is adapting and modernizing its network in response to changing demand. Is this the right model? In any case, the question has been asked several times in recent years and will continue to receive a great deal of attention in the future.
While internet use was booming in the early 2000s, the infrastructure in the hands of the existing operators in Pully struggled to meet the exponential growth in user bandwidth requirements. In any case, it was the mapping that raised the many grievances that the Municipality received from the population regarding the means of telecommunication available in Pully.
The City, which plans to develop even more “smart” municipal services, has sought in various ways to improve the situation in recent years. In particular, it has on several occasions undertaken advanced discussions with the main players in the market, for example to co-build a FTTH fiber optic network (the most powerful technology to date) in Pully.
The FTTH (Fiber to the Home) network provides very high-speed internet access, with the fiber optic cables terminating at the subscriber’s home. This terrestrial network is gradually replacing our historic telephone and television cables. As of now, it is the most advanced technology to meeting the growing needs of homes and business.
The last time these discussions took place, it emerged that one of the major operators is planning major changes to its infrastructure to establish a FTTS (Fiber to the Street) network. The City intends to take advantage of this intervention on the public domain to integrate FTTH fiber optics and is thus undertaking a technical and economic study as well as discussions with the operator to co-build the network. But while the agreement is about to end, this partner is carrying out a strategic shift by announcing the abandonment of the systematic deployment of FFTH fiber optics in Switzerland. The cost of continuing FTTH wiring on Pully soil is too much for the City to bear, which signals the end of the negotiations.
Fortunately, network performance has improved in recent years as operators have modernized their infrastructure. The solutions currently being proposed by the operators in place in Pully are not, however, fully satisfactory: since fiber optic connections have not been made in all neighborhoods, some customers cannot access competitive offers that are accessible only with FTTH. Without a satisfactory partnership, does the City have to build and finance an FTTH network alone, even though two telecom networks are already in place and wireless telecommunication, with 5G, is still gaining importance? The extremely high costs (30 million CHF) seem unreasonable for the Municipality’s finances. The City nevertheless remains attentive to the changes in technology and means of telecommunication and continues to do reflection and analysis work in this field.