The contractural requirement for Swisscom to provide every commune with a telephone box comes to an end at the end of next year. Late last week, the Federal Council adopted a new plan that will come into force in 2018. Internet subscriptions without a fixed phone contract should also be part of the new plan.
The current deal with Swisscom, which requires the company to provide universal coverage for ten years, comes to an end on 31 December 2017.
One casualty of the switch to a new contract will be public pay phones.
According to Swiss broadcaster RTS, the telephone box in Braggio, a town of 70 people in Graubunden, generates revenue of only CHF 1.40 a year.
In 1998, 111 million calls were made from public phone boxes, by 2014 only 7 million were. Along side this, the number of phone boxes has been in steep decline. At the end of 2000 there were 10,761 across Switzerland. By the end of 2014 there were 4,412. 880 communes have already voluntarily let Swisscom off the hook and given up their right to one.
According to Le Matin, calls from phone boxes in 2014, represented only 0.2% of all fixed line calls, only 8% had used a public phone during the year, and 25.5% of those between 15 and 29 years old had never used one.
In addition, under the new plan, from 2018 it should be possible to get an internet connection without a fixed phone subscription. The number of fixed phones has been declining in Switzerland. In 2000, there were 6.2 million. By 2015, there were 4.1 million, a fall of 34%.