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The current Telecommunications Act (TCA) is being overtaken by rapid technological developments in the telecommunications industry. For example, the current Act is based on the copper network, which will increasingly be replaced by new fibre and cable networks and mobile radio systems. This means that there is a risk that the current Act may not have its full impact, as noted by the Federal Council in its supplementary report on the evaluation of the telecommunications market. It therefore intends to take in hand the drafting of a consultation paper on the partial revision of the TCA during the current legislature. In the process, rules will be drawn up which will be available in good time if problems occur and which will allow a more flexible approach than at present.
The provision of technology-neutral, open and fair access to networks, the universal service, protection of users, and a functioning internet are at the centre of telecommunications policy. In all these areas it is important to create legal certainty for the future.
Federal Council report on the evaluation of the telecommunications market
On 17 September 2010, the Federal Council published an evaluation report on the telecommunications market which it had produced on behalf of Parliament. At that time it indicated possible adaptations of the existing law, in order to respond to the shortcomings which had been identified. However, in the overall assessment, it refrained from proposing a revision of the Act to Parliament. At the same time it indicated that it would closely monitor developments and continue to examine any possible need for action.
At Parliament's request, the Federal Council has now produced a supplementary report on the evaluation of the telecommunication market. In it, the Federal Council comes to the conclusion that the challenges of the future are now emerging more clearly.