Google lettering on the wall of the internet giant's base in Zurich.
Zurich is home to Google's largest base outside the United States. © FDFA, Presence Switzerland

Switzerland has a state-of-the-art internet infrastructure. This, and the country's political stability, access to top-ranking higher education institutions and low corporate tax, has made Switzerland an attractive base for IT companies like Google and for the operation of data centres. More and more Swiss people are using and spending an increasing amount of time on the internet.

Switzerland has one of the most highly developed internet infrastructures in the world. Some 93% of households have access to the internet, about 30% over fibre optic broadband. While most of this infrastructure consists of fibre optic networks, in rural areas homes still rely on copper cabling with lower bandwidth.

Highly developed infrastructure and leading research institutions such as ETH Zurich make Switzerland a sought-after location for IT companies. Zurich is home to Google's largest base outside the United States. Geneva hosts some two dozen international organisations, such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), concerned with internet policy and governance.

Data centres in decommissioned army bunkers
Its political stability, internet infrastructure and reliable power supply make Switzerland attractive for the operation of servers from within data centres. There are 62 data centres in Switzerland in addition to those of large companies. Some of these centres, hidden deep underground in bunkers built during the Second World War, are ideal for the storage of sensitive data. In Attinghausen, a private operator runs a computer centre in a 15,000m2 decommissioned command bunker located 1,500m below ground.

Swiss internet habits
Internet use among the Swiss population is on the rise, with 90% of adults surfing the web in 2018. The amount of time Swiss people spend online is also increasing. Internet use has grown the most among the over-65s. Increased internet use is changing buying habits, and online retail is experiencing a boom.