Swisscom and SGSW Completes Fiber Deployment in St. Gallen

Switzerland’s incumbent telecommunication service provider Swisscom and SGSW (St.Galler Stadtwerke) has completed fiber optic network deployment in St. Gallen. The city of St. Gallen updated the completion of the installation work in its website.

As planned, the city of St.Gallen have got a fiber-optic network at the end of February 2019. The completion took more than nine years from the first proposal to the completion. St.Galler Stadtwerke (SGSW) has implemented this major project in cooperation with Swisscom.

The St.Galler Stadtwerke (SGSW) is a dependent public company, which manages the technical service operations of the City of St. Gallen. SGSW employs more than 270 people and generates sales of around CHF 210 million.

The regular expansion work of the open access fiber optic network has been completed in the city of St.Gallen. Using this open access network around thirteen service providers are ready to offer their services to the potential subscribers in St. Gallen.

The network covers more than 48,000 households and businesses and any of them can have a connection and can choose from a variety of Internet, TV and telephony services from the fiber optic network. By the end of this year, fiber coverage will be extended to individual properties will be added which is planned as a regular expansion phase. With this regular expansion, by the end of this year, 99 percent of the St. Gallen would be covered with fiber optic cables.

St. Gallen fiber optic network expansion has been a significant project for the city and Swisscom.

On February 8, 2009, more than 82% of the St.Gallen voters approved for a nationwide expansion of the urban fiber optic network. At no cost to the owner or tenant, around 5,000 km of fiber optic cables were routed to every home and commercial space during this period (Fiber To The Home).

A total of 190,000 kilometers of optical fibers are used in the cables. The optical fiber cables incorporates optical fibers ranging from 4 to 432 fibers.

As part of the fiber optic network construction, electric cables were also rerouted. The right of way and rerouting of utility infrastructure have taken time. A team of more than 150 people were deployed during the peak of deployment work. This includes network technicians, civil engineers, installers and fiber optic specialists.

The SGSW was able to implement the fiber expansion with a loan of CHF 78 million. In the long term, the network will return the investment, hopes the company and the city officials. Already more than 50 percent of the St. Gallen had started using the fiber optic connection and high-speed broadband services.

SGSW and Swisscom implemented the expansion project together by cooperating each other and shared the investment costs. The cooperation was one of the first of its kind and has set the contractual framework for numerous other collaborations throughout Switzerland.

On the one hand, the completion of this project is an important part of Swisscom’s strategy of expanding the ultra-broadband network in each Swiss municipality by the end of 2021. The extension of nationwide fiber optic network in St. Gallen plays an important role in St.Gallen’s Journey to become a smart city.

The city officials and people also realize the fact that the fiber optic network is of prime importance for the development of the city of St.Gallen. A high-speed network would bring a bundle of benefits to the region beginning from seamless internet connection, distance education, IoT, Video streaming services and smart management of utilities in homes and businesses. The fiber optic network also ideally complements future technologies such as 5G in mobile communications.

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Author: Thomas Mathew

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