The Swiss municipality of Pontresina is preparing a fibre-optic network construction project, budgeted at CHF 2 million, to pass 2,381 households by spring 2019. Inhabitants will have their say on the project twice, first in November as members of the electorate voting on the budget, and later as consumers by deciding whether they want a broadband connection at all, and if so, from which operator.
The infrastructure is owned by the municipality and its residents have a free choice of which operator's services to take up. An advantage of Pontresina is that empty ducts cover about 80 percent of the territory, so little excavation work will be necessary. In contrast, e.g. in St, Moritz, only 20 percent of the area is covered with empty ducts.
According to the mayor of Pontresina, Martin Aebli, it is a pity that there are several companies with a network but which are not willing to cooperate. The examples of the companies with existing fibre-optics networks include electricity companies, the Rhaetian Railway and the mountain railways.
The municipal council organised a public meeting, during which some people raised concerns that one particular operator would have a monopoly in the new broadband network. The mayor explained that it is the council that will own the grid and the operators will only offer their services. The choice of a provider will remain up to each customer. Customers of Swisscom who do not want to change supplier, do not have to change.
Pontresina has decided to cooperate with UPC Switzerland, because this operator has responded to the invitations for the discussions, ideas and the negotiations, which the municipality has proposed together with the Metelcom in Samedan, unlike Swisscom.