FILE PHOTO: Internet LAN cables are pictured in this photo illustration taken in SydneyMore

By John Miller

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss telecoms operator Sunrise Communications Group and Iliad’s Salt unit on Tuesday pledged to invest up to 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.09 billion) in a broadband partnership aimed at reaching 1.5 million homes by 2027.

Sunrise, blocked by shareholders last year from buying Liberty Global’s Swiss UPC unit, is again pursuing a outside help, this time through a joint venture, as it seeks to compete with state-owned Swisscom, Switzerland’s largest telecommunications provider.

Chief Executive Andre Krause, the former CFO who survived the UPC deal’s failure to become Sunrise’s top manager, said this new project, called Swiss Open Fiber, would be a joint venture co-owned equally by Salt