If you have cable TV like 80% plus of Swiss homes, than you can have cable internet from CableCom's HiSpeed Internet. Although Cable Internet was available in 1997 before ADSL, CableCom have lost their advantage. ADSL at least has made cable more competitive. In 2008 HiSpeed further increased the downloads speeds of most of their packages. The fastest is 25,000kbps. HiSpeed is an established and reliable service ideal for heavy Internet users. Look out for competitive packages that include their digital phone system. Hispeed supply a modem and new cable TV/ radio /internet sockets.
If you do sign up for cablecom, don't forget to use the refer-a-friend (member4member) scheme, that way you both get one month's subscription for free.
In order to have aDSL, you have to have a Swiss landline, which runs through Swisscom. aDSL can end up costing more than a cable modem, since you end up having to pay the monthly fees for the phone line and the aDSL connection, but this is the only option for the small percentage of households that are not connected to CableCom.
As Swisscom still owns the "last mile" (" die letzte Meile"), all ADSL is essentially provided by Swisscom. However, Swisscom does not sell ADSL directly to end-users, only to resellers, such as Econophone, Bluewin, Green, Easynet, Solnet, Genotec, et al.
Although you might have expected dial-up internet access to be a thing of the past, not every household has the option of having ADSL. ADSL services are not part of the Grundversorgung that Swisscom is obligated to provide.
The general ADSL coverage is very good, but it's not 100%. We initially used dial-up access over ISDN as ADSL was not available to us on our overhead telephone-line. At the time (2001-2002) we found sunrise to have the best offer, but as we later changed to ADSL, I cannot add much regarding current conditions and pricing for dial-up customers.
Things to watch out for....
- Quoted Cable Internet speed can often not be obtained in reality because cable access is divided between households that share the same cable. However, I have not found this to be a problem. I understand that ADSL speed is per line/user so this does not apply. [not true, all ISPs will have *some* contention ratio. There are overheads on funnelling a TCP/IP connection over cable modem, though - resulting in around 8% "loss".]
Please note - none of the above is specific to Switzerland, it applies to any country. Also, when discussing internet speed, what is quoted is always the connection speed to the next router, never the end-to-end speed.
- There are "minimum" periods for most ADSL and Cable Internet Providers. If you do not cancel your subscription in the "initial trial period" you are often stuck for a minimum of 1 year.
- You must give notice to cancel your contract (assuming you are outside the minimum contract period) often many months in advance.
- It may be the case that some of these conditions can be waived if you are leaving the country for good. This applies to many such services (phone, insurance, etc) however you need to supply your "leaving the country" paper which is obtained when you de-register with the Gemeinde (ie. local community).