About us → 30 years

30 years of experience for a promising future

Timeline of success: from the beginnings of the Internet to networking the universities and now creating a lifelong identity.

2016

SWITCH-CERT celebrates 20 years

Philipp Metzger, Director of the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), at the “20 Years of SWITCH-CERT” symposium. (Photo: SWITCH)

SWITCH-CERT organised a celebration and symposium on 21 September to mark 20 years since it was formed. The theme was “The history and future of incident response”.

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The SWITCH-CERT Story

SWITCH wins tender process for .ch

According to OFCOM communication, the SWITCH candidature stood out for the combination of an excellent concept for combating cybercrime and a good price/performance ratio. (Illustration: SWITCH)

Winning the tender for the registry vindicates SWITCH’s many years of hard work in ensuring the security and stability of .ch and .li. More Info

All stakeholders represented on Foundation Council

All the main stakeholders are represented on SWITCH’s Foundation Council. (Photo: Giorgia Müller)

SWITCH is adapting its structures in line with new legislation and increasing the size of its Foundation Council. The universities of applied sciences and teacher education have up to now been underrepresented. More Info

Joining forces against cybercrime

IT security expert Mikko Hyppönen at Domain pulse. (Photo: SWITCH)

The Domain pulse conference brought together Internet experts and opinion leaders to discuss the topics of online surveillance, security and governance. Switzerland is playing a pioneering role with its secure .ch domain and legislation on dealing with malware. A particular highlight was the keynote speech by IT security expert Mikko Hyppönen.
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Community Work

SWITCH’s community work is divided into 17 groups, with some 1,400 people taking part every year. (Photo: Mauro Moschetta)

One thing that sets SWITCH apart from most companies is the way we work in very close partnership with our customers. They play a key role in helping to design and optimise our services as part of the SWITCH community. The community is organised into various working groups, expert groups and advisory committees for every field in which SWITCH operates. More Info

2015

Handover of direct sales of domain names

Detailed transfer instructions for domain name holders. (Illustration: SWITCH)

The SWITCH foundation will stop selling .ch domain names as of the beginning of January 2015 and successively hand over the related client support to its business partners, the registrars. The basis for this change is the new Ordinance on Internet Domains (ODI). More Info

SWITCH edu-ID goes live

Main building of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland in Windisch. (Photo: Alex Spichale)

The pilot of the academic identity SWITCH edu-ID begins. It is a significant evolution of the successful authentication and authorisation infrastructure SWITCHaai. More Info

Cloud services launched

Computing and storage hardware for the cloud services SWITCHengines and SWITCHdrive. (Photo: Frank Brüderli)

The cloud services SWITCHengines and SWITCHdrive make life easier for universities by offering flexible computing power and storage space. SWITCHengines comprises virtual machines with capacity that can be scaled at the touch of a button. SWITCHdrive allows users to synchronise and share documents. All files are stored securely on SWITCH servers in Switzerland. More Info

SWITCH wins Security Award for .ch

Awards ceremony in Brussels: Urs Eppenberger, Head of Commercial Customers at SWITCH (second from left) with Andreas Musielak, Chief Operating Officer of DENIC, and Richard Wein, Chief Executive Officer of nic.at. (Photo: CENTR)

SWITCH and its counterparts in Austria (nic.at) and Germany (denic) are rewarded for their joint efforts to protect the Domain Name System. They win the Security Award from the Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries (CENTR). More Info

2014

100 gigabits per second

With the upgrade of the fibre-optics infrastructure throughout Switzerland, the new SWITCHlan backbone can transport up to 100 gigabits per second and has ample bandwidth in reserve. More Info

Swiss Internet Security Alliance formed

Representatives of SISA’s founding members. (Photo: SWITCH)

SWITCH is a founding member of the Swiss Internet Security Alliance SISA. Working together with telecom and financial firms, it aims to make the Swiss Internet the safest in the world. More Info

CERN joins AAI-Federation

CERN’s particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). (Photo: istockphoto.com/xenotar)

CERN is now using SWITCHaai to simplify access to online services. The Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure (AAI) connects researchers around the world with a single login. More Info

Critical infrastructure

Over 60 computers around the world ensure that websites can be accessed in an instant even from the most remote locations. (Illustration: Christoph Frei)

All users take it for granted that the Internet is stable and never breaks down. If it were to break down, many areas of day-to-day life would come to a standstill. The Federal Council acknowledges this fact and declares the Internet a critical infrastructure. SWITCH is tested to verify that it can guarantee security and stability in the operation of a critical infrastructure for Switzerland, and it passes with flying colours. This is hardly surprising as security and stability are in its DNA. More Info

2013

SWITCH receives Best of Swiss Web Honorary Award

SWITCH’s Managing Directors accept the Honorary Award: (left to right) Dani Fohrler (presenter), Bernhard Plattner, Peter Gilli, Andreas Dudler and Thomas Brunner. (Photo: Peter Neff)

For the first time ever, the Best of Swiss Web Association presents its Honorary Award not to an individual but to an organisation: SWITCH. One reason the jury cites is the fact that SWITCH has been a dependable centre of IT expertise for more than 25 years, serving the entire national Internet industry as well as the academic community.

Parliamentary Services places trust in SWITCH-CERT’s know-how

Parliamentary Services looks after 200 National Councillors and the 46 members of the Council of States. (Photo: Parliamentary Services 3003 Bern)

Parliamentary Services ensures that both chambers of the Swiss parliament – the 200-member National Council and the 46-member Council of States – can rely on secure and stable IT systems. It is expertly advised on security aspects by SWITCH.

2012

Agreement with Principality of Liechtenstein for .li

Left to right: Constantin Tönz, Director of SWITCH; Kurt Bühler, Head of the Office for Communications; Thomas Brunner, Managing Director of SWITCH. (Photo: SWITCH)

Many years of successful cooperation between the Principality of Liechtenstein and SWITCH lead to a new agreement under which SWITCH acts as the registry for the top-level domain .li.

New centre of expertise for IT procurement

Meeting of the SWITCHprocure Working Group in the Kuppelraum at the University of Bern. (Photo: SWITCH)

With SWITCHprocure, the new centre of expertise for IT procurement, universities benefit from improved pricing, standardised contractual terms, a central point of contact and coordination as well as complete transparency. More Info

2011

SWITCHaai: international pioneer

SWITCH Journal October 2011

SWITCHaai attracts a great deal of interest internationally. More and more countries around the globe are constructing and developing similar infrastructures. SWITCH participates in eduGAIN to create a worldwide academic passport.

SWITCH Journal October 2011

2010

Combating domain abuse

The chart shows that, among the European registries with an open policy, .ch is in first place for security. (Statistics compiled by Architelos)

The malware process is enshrined in law by the Ordinance on Addressing Resources in the Telecommunications Sector, since replaced by the Ordinance on Internet Domains (OID). It allows SWITCH to deactivate infected .ch websites quickly. The first of its kind, it is instrumental in making .ch one of the most secure top-level domains in the world.

Radio Zürisee talks to Serge Droz, Head of Security at SWITCH, about the change in the law.

2009

switchplus formed

The switchplus start-up team: (left to right) Wolfram Schmidt (Managing Director), Gaby Lörtscher and René Maurer. (Photo: SWITCH)

SWITCH sets up a subsidiary, switchplus AG, to offer customers additional domains besides .ch as well as web hosting and e-mail services.
Website switchplus

2007

Fostering skills among the next generation

SWITCH Junior Web Award ceremony at the Kongresshaus Zurich. (Photo: Frank Brüderli)

Some 2,000 schoolchildren from more than 100 classes all over Switzerland compete for the first ever SWITCH Junior Web Award. The website competition encourages them to learn web design and other skills.

Video of award ceremony 2013

2002

Regulating .ch

OFCOM building in Biel. (Photo: OFCOM)

The Ordinance on Addressing Resources in the Telecommunications Sector regulates the registration and administration of .ch domain names. As of April, this is the responsibility of the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), which appoints SWITCH as registry for a further five years.

2001

Gigabits for universities

New fibre-optic cables along the motorway in Effingen. (Photo: SWITCH)

Dark fibre comes to the Swiss universities as the 2.5-Gbit/s fibre-optic data highway for the academic community enters operation. SWITCHlan links CERN, the universities of Lausanne, Bern and Basel and ETH Zurich with cables laid along the motorway network.

2000

Extending SWITCH’s services to the universities of applied sciences and the universities of teacher education means that all tertiary education institutions in Switzerland are connected to the SWITCHlan academic network.

1996

SWITCH-CERT operational

Hannes Lubich, then a SWITCH employee, founds SWITCH-CERT. (Photo: SWITCH)

The first computer emergency response team in Switzerland, SWITCH-CERT, commenced operating activities.

1990

SWITCH becomes the first Internet service provider in Switzerland and the registry for .ch.

With the Swiss Internet still in its infancy, the number of requests for domain names can be counted on the fingers of one hand. So far, only the Swiss universities and a few large companies have Internet access. Each company is allocated just one domain name, and the global rules do not even provide for private individuals to hold domain names of their own.

The first three .ch domain names:

  1. cern.ch
  2. switch.ch
  3. ethz.ch

1989

Launch of SWITCHlan

The SWITCHlan academic network is created with a maximum bandwidth of 128 Kbit/s, bringing the Internet to Switzerland.

The original SWITCHlan backbone. (Illustration: SWITCH)

1987

SWITCH foundation formed

Excerpt from SWITCH’s Foundation Deed.

On 22 October, representatives of the Swiss Confederation and the eight cantons that have universities (Basel-Stadt, Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Neuchâtel, St. Gallen, Vaud and Zurich) sign the Foundation Deed for “SWITCH – teleinformatics services for teaching and research”.

Switzerland receives its own top-level domain: .ch

Bernhard Plattner brings .ch to Switzerland. (Photo: ETH Zurich / Inken De Wit)

Professor Bernhard Plattner is the "father" of the Swiss domain. He submits a request to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on 20 May 1987 to have .ch entered in the Domain Name System.

Shortly after this, Plattner is appointed Managing Director of SWITCH and hands .ch over to the foundation. Ever since, SWITCH has been responsible for both constructing the academic network and administering the .ch domain.

 

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