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Case Study - Poland - Impact of the regulations on the stimulation of the infrastructural investments and actions concerning development of the information society
 
  1. Introduction
  2. Broadband Internet in Poland
  3. Performance of the telecommunication investment with the use of the EU funds
  4. Activities and actions accompanied with the act on supporting the development of telecommunications services and networks
    1. National Broadband Plan
    2. Performance of the project: Information system concerning broadband infrastructure and the Internet portal: Broadband Poland and inventory of the infrastructure
    3. Amendment to regulation concerning the technical requirements for the buildings and their placement
    4. Broadband Roundtable
    5. National Broadband Forum
    6. Internet in public libraries
  5. Conclusions

1. Introduction

The actions concerning establishment of the new regulatory framework for the investment process were one of the guidelines adopted by the Polish Government plan “Stability and development – strengthening the economy of Poland due to the World Financial Crisis”. It was shown that the demand in the telecommunication sector shall be enlarged for example through the action that will speed up the investments co-financed from the EU funds and lifting the investment barriers in the teleinformatical infrastructure to achieve the broadband Internet through the country and in particular faster the construction of the new generation networks (NGN/NGA) to ensure the end-users with the Internet access mostly through out the fiber optic.

As an answer to those questions, the Prime Minister in the regulation nr 144 from 23 of December 2008 from the intergovernmental team “Digital Poland” developed the draft of the act on supporting the development of telecommunications services and networks, (O.J. 106.675, farther refer to the “act”)

The act contains the legal-economical regulations necessary for the development of the new generation networks and specific regulations for the pursuit of the economic activity by the local self governments.

2. Broadband Internet in Poland –statistics after the New act on supporting the development of telecommunications services and networks was introduced.

This report contains the data from the period of 2008-2009 (when the new act was developed) as a basic information and also the data from the last period of the legislative work and finally the data after the act was introduced until end of 2010.

The preparation of the guidelines to the act and then the draft of the act was a time of a broad discussion between the market players in the telecommunication sector and a large interest in infrastructural investments was noticed. First part of 2010 was the time of concluding the legislation work for the establishment of the act. The text of the act was discussed and commented by the representatives of the public and private sector. The arrangements and the time of coming into force of the legal bases that allow the local self governments to pursuit  economic activity  and establishment of the new investment environment for the private sector was a stimulation for all the players on the market to take the action toward the performance of telecommunication infrastructure investments. The legislative works were finished on 7 of may 2010, when the new act on supporting the development of telecommunication services and networks was passed by Polish Parliament.

The impact of this regulation towards the development of the broadband infrastructure in Poland had horizontal meaning because the legislation that was introduced raised a question about the future models of functioning of the market and the new players on it, like for example local self governments. Taking this into consideration, a lot of meetings and conferences were held including the National Broadband Forum, project team meetings Information System for Broadband Poland, meetings of the Round Broadband Table and many meetings organized by the private entities, which will be mentioned further in the report. The discussion about the act is still ongoing . It is very important to mention that the awareness about the act and the investment possibilities has grown. It is visible that not only the use of the funds ( part 3 of the report) but also the indicators showing the investment process have risen.

The collection of information data drown to the positive conclusions of the legal solutions included in the act and the investment changes that the act stimulated and the potential interest of all interested parties and the potential once, like local self governments, in the access to the broadband Internet and the role in the economical, social and educational level.

Penetration of the fixed and mobile broadband links per 100 inhabitants.

Taking into consideration the data of the International Telecommunication Union 2009 the penetration level of the fixed broadband lines ( per 100 inhabitants) in Poland  was 12.93 % with the EU average on the level of 25,6 %, which place Poland on the 25th  position. Even with the 25th  position it is important to note that the penetration growth was higher than the EU average. Looking at the graphs it is visible that there is an increase from the 0.03% in 2001 to 12.93% level. During this period only Malta, Greece and Slovak Republic reported higher growth.. This also gives the impression that if Poland remains on the high level of growth, much bigger than the EU average, in the next couple of years Poland has a chance to join the countries with the high penetration of the broadband lines.  The new act has provided the favorable environment for this assumption and also with the investments co-financed from the EU fund the assumption can be even more favorable. In this matter it is most likely that the biggest growth in the development of the broadband infrastructure will happen in 2013-2015, when those projects will be finished and when the newly developed infrastructure will be ready to offer high quality services.

 Fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants
 

2001

0.03

2002

0.32

2003

0.51

2004

2.29

2005

2.47

2006

7.63

2007

10.95

2009

11.65

2009

12.93

Source: ITU

It is also very important to notice the situation concerning the mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants with an significant increase in a recent years. The growth reached  from 2001 to 2009 the amount of 26.02 %.

Mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants
 

2001

0.00

2002

0.00

2003

0.00

2004

0.02

2005

0.21

2006

1.06

2007

7.84

2008

16.94

2009

26.02

Source: ITU

Percentage of the households with broadband access to the Internet in %

The situation of Poland was even more optimistic when the indicators concerning the penetration of the broadband access to the Internet per household was investigated. According to Eurostat in the first quarter of 2010, 57% of Polish households had the broadband access to the Internet, which means 15th  position within 27 EU countries ( ex aequo with Spain).  The EU average was at the level of 61% which means that the difference was only 4 p.p. At the same time in comparison to 2009, the difference was at 6 p.p., which was a middle increase in comparison to the whole European Union. Only 6 countries has reported bigger dynamic in the growth in this indicator. Similar to the data penetration of the fixed broadband lines – in upcoming years we can predict the significant improvement. In this matter besides the absorption of the EU funds, the positive role can be assigned to the action accompanied by the act, for example ‘SIPS’ project for the inhabitants of the regions in danger of the digital exclusion (included in the section 4 of the report).

Percentage of the households with broadband access to the Internet in %

Country

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Country

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Sweden

51

67

71

79

83

Ireland

13

31

43

54

58

The Netherlands

66

74

74

77

*

Spain

29

39

45

51

57

UK

44

57

62

69

*

Poland

22

30

38

51

57

Denmark

63

70

74

76

80

Lithuania

19

34

43

50

54

Germany

34

50

55

65

80

Czech Republic

17

28

36

49

54

Finland

53

63

66

74

76

Latvia

23

32

40

50

53

Luxemburg

44

58

61

71

70

Hungary

22

33

42

51

52

Belgium

48

56

60

63

70

Cyprus

12

20

33

47

51

Malta

41

44

55

63

69

Portugal

24

30

39

46

50

France

30

43

57

57

67

Slovakia

11

27

35

42

49

Estonia

37

48

54

62

64

Italy

16

25

31

39

49

Austria

33

46

54

58

64

Greece

4

7

22

33

41

Slowenia

34

44

50

56

62

Bulgaria

5

8

13

24

26

EU 
(average )

30

40

47

55

61

Rumania

10

15

21

26

23

Resources: Eurostat.

Penetration of the broadband lines in different kinds of access points

The major position of the access technologies in Poland belongs to the xDSL but the use of this technology has been dropping systematically for the last 3 years. In 2009 the second most common technology was the access to the Internet through mobile technologies like (modem 2G/3G), and the next through the cable technology (TVK). In the new regulations the biggest attention was put to the FTTx technology.

The data concerning the techniques providing the access to the Internet include the 2010 and indicators that all of the indicators improved. The special attention should be drown to the new broadband access, performed throughout more modern access techniques. The data indicates that the DSL and TVK technology is not developing. In particular the fiber optic techniques which ensure the high data transfers became more visible. If it comes to the development of the fiber optic techniques it is possible that like in other middle European countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia) the numbers of the lines will increase because of the absorption of the EU funds and on the other hand because of the legislative approaches concerning the obligation to equip the new buildings with the fiber optic installations, which is in line with the act on supporting the development of the telecommunication services and networks.

Penetration of the fixed broadband lines according to the used techniques (OECD – 2009) in %

Penetration of the fixed broadband lines  according to the used techniques (OECD – 2010) in %

Fixed broadband lines according to the bit rate

The similar situation concerns the bit rate of the fixed lines in the country. Together with the above indicated growth in the newest access techniques the improvement of speed of the connections is observed.  Despite still significant participation in Poland of the fixed lines with the speed below 2 Mbit/s, it can be predicted that with the stronger absorption of the EU funds (section 3 of the Report), assigned for the development of the modern telecommunication infrastructure, the fiber optic techniques offering the high quality of the connection will grow.

The graphs below are indicating the quality of the broadband lines in the EU Member States in 2009 and 2010.

Fixed broadband lines according to the bit rate in UE (OECD – 2009 .)

Fixed broadband lines according to the flow in UE (OECD – 2010 )

In conclusions to the information provided the significant growth in 2010 of the particular indicators responsible for the level and stage of the development of the broadband Internet in Poland should be underlined. The statistic data, showing the possible Internet access services in the country, shall gradually improve with taking into acount the regulations introduced in the act on supporting the development of telecommunication services and networks and the particular investments planned as parts of operational projects. The biggest growth of all indicators is predicted for the period of 2013-2015 when the biggest regional broadband projects will be finalized. Through the specific rules of intervention the access to the Internet will reach also those regions where the services were limited. This will influence the indicators concerning the penetration level of the broadband services. At the same time the services will be performed through modern fiber optic networks which will bring increase of bit rates offered around the country.

3. Accomplishment of the telecommunication investments co-financed from the EU funds

Main reason for introduction of the new regulations concerning the investment process in telecommunication was development of the clear legal basis for the ensuring the investment in telecommunication through the local self governments and ensuring the special conditions for the investment process like shortening the procedures for the localization and construction stage. Establishment of such an environment was identified as a necessity for the purpose of the absorption of the EU funds.

The are special operational programs for the period of 2007-2013 for the purpose of the development of the infrastructure with the following budgets:

  • Budget of the Regional Operational Plan (RPO) assigned for the development of the telecommunication infrastructure – 579 mln EUR- from the EFRR Fund;

  • Budget of the Operational Program for the Eastern Poland (PO RPW) assigned for the development of the telecommunication infrastructure-Priority II- 300 mln EUR and 255 mln EUR from EFRR Fund;

  • Budget Action 8.3 Operational Program Innovative Economy (PO IG) assigned to prevent the digital exclusion -364 mln EUR and 310 mln EUR from EFRR Fund;

  • Budget Action 8.4 Operational Program Innovative Economy (PO IG) assigned for the construction of the access points for the Broadband Internet  - so called “ last mile:- 200 mln EUR, 170 mln from EFRR;

In total in the operational programs for the years 2007-2013 co-financed from the budget of the EU for the purpose of enlargement of the telecommunication infrastructure the amount of 1,443 bil. EUR (including 1,314 bil. EUR from EFRR fund) was assigned.

The total value of all signed contracts is the following:

  • Regional Operational Program (RPO)- 1 333 mln zl (344,8 mln EUR) which is about 60% of the budget (date for 31 of December 2010);

  • Operation Program for the Eastern Poland (PO RPW) 635 mln PLN (164,3 mln euro), about 54,8% of the budget (date for 21 of January 2011);

  • Action 8.3. (PO IG)- 254  mln PLN (65,7 mln euro), about 18% of the budget (date for end of November 2010);

  • Action 8.4. (PO IG) – 18 mln PLN (4,7 mln euro), about 2,35% of the budget (date for end of November 2010).

For the comparison, in May 2010 the above data were as follow:

  • Operational Program RPO and PO RPW -131 mln PLN, which was about 4% of the budget (for PO RPW the absorption level at 0%),

  • Action 8.3. (PO IG) –110 mln PLN, 8% of the budget,

  • Action 8.4. (PO IG) - 5,4 mln PLN, 1% of the budget.

The data above indicates the significant change in the absorption of the EU funds and in particular in the RPO and PO RPW fund. At the same time in the upcoming period it is predicted that the growth will further develop in particular in the PO RPW, in which according to the information from the local authorities, the procedure of assigning the subvention is being finalized. For example as for 27 of January 2011 the project Broadband network for eastern Poland is planed to be signed. The total subvention for this project is predicted at the level of 158 mln PLN.

At the same time in many local governments more advanced actions concerning the broadband projects are being conducted. The examples are as follows:

  • 3rd of December 2010 –wielkopolskie voivodeship – Project for the development of broadband network – first time in the country, the contract was signed together with the private investors. The main objective of the project is to provide until the half of 2014 all communes with the access to Broadband Network for Wielkopolska . The total cost of the project estimates at the level of 368 mln PLN.

  • 22nd of October 2010 - dolnośląskie voivodeship announced the auction for designing and constructing the broadband network for the region. It will provide about 1800 km of the fiber optic and over 100 loops. The winner of the auction will create and design the backbone – distributor network. The budget is established at the level of 204 mln PLN and the deadline of the project is 2013.

  • 14 January 2011 - łˇdzkie voivodeship as the first one in Poland announced the tender for the operator of the infrastructure of the teleinformatical network after which all inhabitants will be able to have the Internet at their homes. The mentioned network will provide the universal access to the Internet for the Lˇdź region and it is in the stage of tests.

The information mentioned above is only an example of the variety of the projects which were introduced after the new act on supporting the development of the telecommunication services and networks came into force.

It is also important that many of the local self governments is conducting various projects against with the digital exclusion, through which the less privileged inhabitants receive for the free for example computer it equipments and the Internet Access. 

4. Activities and documents supporting the Act on the Development of the Telecommunications Networks and Services.

As already noted above, the beginning of the legislative process of the Act to promote the development of telecommunications networks and services, was one of the most important milestones for the initiation of wide-ranging measures, to be effective complement to the new regulations. As a continuation of the work associated with the development of broadband Internet in Poland, a number of assistance measures have been taken, such as:

  • National Broadband Forum,

  • Poland Broadband Information System (SIPS),

  • Broadband Roundtable,

  • Other legislative actions.

In particular, educational activities to introduce the local governments in the subject of telecommunications infrastructure’s construction should be emphasized, as well as their focus on issues of information society development. In this regard, a series of meetings were initiated under the National Broadband Forum, Poland Broadband Information System and the Broadband Roundtable. Legislative interventions have also been taken in the framework of  amendment to the regulation on technical conditions to be met by buildings and their location. Moreover, a regulation was developed for the inventory rules governing telecommunications infrastructure in Poland. What is more, the National Broadband Plan was developed as a document that sets directions and provides specific actions to be taken in order to support all elements of the development of broadband Internet in Poland.

As the growth of the various indicators showing the state of broadband infrastructure in Poland present, these legislative, regulatory or planning activities to accompany the Act, have already started to affect the increasing availability of modern telecommunications services. They give a major changes in the telecommunications market, which in the near term, should result in increased development of information society. It should be also emphasized, that the regulations, which entered into force or were revised not only apply to facilities, and therefore consequently increase the pace for investment in construction and modernization of telecommunications networks. They also will help identify areas of low penetration of telecommunications networks and services, where efforts to change this situation should be strengthened.

4.1. National Broadband Plan

The need to define policy objectives of development of the telecommunications sector, resulted the fact that for the balanced and orderly development of modern society it is necessary to ensure a continual secure and immediate exchange of information. In the current world, information allows to create new opportunities, it becomes the driving force for further change, and one of the most important assets, and access to information becomes a determinant of the level of development of society and its prosperity. Poland as a major European country, a member of the European Union must respond to these new trends, especially since we talk about revolutionary changes, which cover all areas of life ranging from new forms of work, means of access and use knowledge, through the development of new business models based on the exchange of information and ending with the entertainment industry.

The plan is strongly embedded in the context of a harmonized and horizontal actions at the European level, among which the access allowing to the growing Internet, in principle, is the most important because it lies at their core and all the success of the priorities of Europe 2020 depend on it.

4.2. Implementation of the Information System Project on broadband infrastructure and broadband portal Poland and infrastructure inventory.

The project "Information System on broadband infrastructure and broadband portal in Poland under the axis 7 of the Operational Program - Innovative Economy 2007-2013", is implemented jointly by the Institute of Telecommunications - National Research Institute, Office of Electronic Communications and the Ministry of Infrastructure.

Its aim is to create a database on ICT infrastructure across the country, providing support to state and local government in the management and coordination of projects relating to the construction of regional broadband backbone and access areas that require intervention. This database will assist the operation of both government and local government, creating a base for electronic public services for citizens and businesses. Moreover, in the framework of the project, information system for broadband infrastructure will be launched, through which the results of the inventory will be published, which in turn will facilitate and streamline the investment in the construction of broadband infrastructure to the Internet. With a rolling maps, it will be possible to extract the so-called areas: "black" "gray" and "white", which will help to identify areas where telecommunications infrastructure investments are in agreement with the rules of the state aid.

Because of the public nature of the inventory and the possibility of access to it by all market participants, the investments in telecommunications infrastructure will be rational, they will not be mirrored, and entrepreneurs will consciously choose the place of its activity, including through the sharing of investment risk in many places. In this way, a reliable source of data on Polish territory to cover existing telecommunications infrastructure and providing public telecommunications networks or to enable to provide broadband Internet access will be provided, with a separate marked on the optic links and wireless networks cover, as well as enable co-location buildings. This will significantly improve the planning and construction of telecommunications networks, including the rationalization of their course and taking into account the course of the existing network. Entrepreneurs and local governments will have information that allows more efficient investment in the construction of telecommunications infrastructure throughout the country.

As a consequence, the availability of broadband Internet access for end users will increase, which will have a positive impact on the development of commercial and public services and other applications of information technology in society.
The present inventory will be conducted by the President of UKE on the basis of Article. 29 of the Act to promote the development of telecommunications networks and services.

The project in 2010 held a series of meetings with representatives of local governments, small and medium businesses and citizens, in which were presented information on new legislation in the field of telecommunications investment, as well as the issue of digital exclusion and the ability to use applications available on the network and their role in everyday life. The main purpose of the meetings for local government and business was to explain the various provisions of the Act to promote the development of telecommunications networks and services, while meeting the citizens of the digitally excluded areas were to encourage the use of the Internet, by providing the benefits arising from it.

4.3. Amendments to the Regulation on technical conditions to be met by buildings and their location.

The main objective of the latest amendment of the Minister of Infrastructure Regulation of 12 April 2002 on the technical conditions to be met by buildings
and their location (Journal of Laws No. 75, item. 690, as amended. d..), it is:

  • An obligation to install fiber optic telecommunications system in newly constructed multi-family residential buildings, buildings of collective residential and public buildings.

  • An obligation to equip the above mentioned buildings in the interior-buildings’ cable sevage, having free resources for installation of extra cables or fiber-optic and microcables, cables and wires based on technologies other than the fiber (mainly coaxial cables or twisted-pair).

  • Ensuring that in the above mentioned buildings, there are suitable spaces or cabinets for mounting above mentioned installation and use of drains.

Currently, there are public consultation on the project. The amendment regulation is one of the tools leading to the increased penetration of high-speed fiber optic networks in the long term. Ensure the existence of modern fiber optic systems in buildings will also impact on the stimulation of private initiatives of entrepreneurs who, thanks to the fact that they will have available, at no additional cost, the most expensive to build a section of the access network, will likely chose to bring the network's building in the art fiber. It should be noted that the amendment of the regulation lied in the provisions of the Act to promote the development of telecommunications networks and services, in which the Article 30 Paragraph 6 written that in order to ensure the provision of telephone services to users, providing data services, broadband internet and digital distribution services, radio and television programs in high definition by the various service providers, building should be equipped in accordance with the provisions on the construction and technical conditions issued pursuant to the Act of 7 July 1994 - Construction Law (Journal of Laws of 2006 No. 156, item. 1118, as amended), with the installation of telecommunications enabling connection to public telecommunications networks used to provide these services, while respecting the principle of technological neutrality.

At the same time it should be noted that this will be another change in this regulation during this period. Regulation of 12 March 2009 amending the Regulation on technical conditions to be met by buildings and their location, introduced new rules for telecommunications installations in apartment buildings, inhabited places and public buildings. Regulation introduced rules for the telecommunications installations in buildings. The most important change brought about by above mentioned act, is to require the investor to equip the building in the installation of telecommunications, including the entire stretch from the junction with the public telecommunications network to the subscriber outlet. Under the former provisions, the  building did not have to be fitted, and only suitable for equipment it in the installation of telecommunication. Introduces provisions explicitly require investors to properly prepare the buildings for the purposes of access telecommunications networks, in particular the use of telephone services, radio, television and broadband Internet access. With the present rules, the additional costs faced by telecommunications companies in order to connect end users to their networks, were limited. Moreover, in order to protect the installation of telecommunications by the destruction, illegal connections, the requirement for a telecommunications installation in separate channels or windows installation was introduced. Thus, the protection of telecommunications networks from intrusion by unauthorized persons is ensured.

4.4.Broadband Roundtable.

The Minister of Infrastructure took the initiative to organize the "Round Table of Broadband", which is implemented in the formula of regular meetings to allow the exchange of views on the ongoing development of telecommunications infrastructure and identify practical problems in the application of the Act, which promotes both the nature of their work, and focusing on pre-selected themes. The meetings shall be attended by representatives of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Regional Development, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, Office of Electronic Communications, the local government and telecommunications companies.

4.5.National Broadband Forum.

In the context of activities supporting the act, it should also be mentioned about "The National Broadband Forum", managed by the President of UKE, and serving as a platform for cooperation of state administration, operators, financial institutions and NGOs. Forum is an important tool of communication, knowledge base and pull factor for activation of all parties involved in accelerating the development of broadband Internet access in Poland. Thus, the creation of this forum implements a recommendation contained in the so-called: the first report of the Interministerial Group for the Implementation of the Program Digital Poland, namely to strengthen the coordination of investment in infrastructure. The main priorities of the "National Broadband Forum" can include, among others, development and upgrading of infrastructure, promotion and development of skills, safety of users of telecommunications network and the development of content and functionality on the Internet.

4.6.Internet access in public libraries.

Polish Telecom S.A. together with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration and Information Society Development Foundation signed an agreement on the establishment of the Polish Internet access in public libraries. Its purpose is to convert municipal libraries in the modern, multi-information, cultural and educational centers. In the framework of the project, the libraries will be provided with broadband Internet access. This action is particularly important from the perspective of the digital divide and building an information society, especially taking into consideration that the analysis carried out prior to concluding the Agreement indicated that nearly 40% of the 8500 Polish libraries did not have access to the Internet. This problem applies particularly to facilities located away from urban centers- areas under the biggest risk of digital exclusion.

The idea of this project was closely related to the developed by the Ministry of Infrastructure, the amendment to Regulation of 24 March 2005 of the Ministry of Infrastructure, on detailed requirements for universal service provision and requirements for the provision of broadband Internet access to authorized individuals (Journal of Laws No. 68, item . 592), designed to change the parameters of the link bandwidth for broadband Internet access to authorized individuals (such as: public schools, private schools with public school rights, where compulsory education or compulsory education is implemented, teacher training establishments, public centers for lifelong learning, practical training centers, youth educational centers, youth centers, social therapy, a special school and care centers, specialty centers, educational and psycho-pedagogical Clinics, public-service teacher training establishments and public libraries with educational, public libraries, higher education institutions). With this amendment, required link bandwidth for broadband Internet access for individuals entitled to be not less than 2 Mbit / s to a unit authorized and 1 Mbit / s per unit entitled, while in the previous legislation parameters were respectively 256 kbit/s to the unit authorized and 64 kbit / s of such an entity. This action stimulates the process of implementation of the idea of an information society, which in turn will cause a reduction in disparities between the Polish and other European Union member countries in Internet access and contribute to the development of information society.

5. Conclusion

Looking at the role of the act on promoting the development of telecommunications networks and services for the implementation of infrastructure projects, as well as activities for the information society, it should not be limited only to look at specific provisions of the relevant paragraphs of  act. The act is extremely important, focusing on building a modern information society policy of the Polish Government, and thanks to described in this report measures, both from the public and private sector, all her potential beneficiaries were preparing to apply it since the beginning of legislative work.

Although the entry into force of the act passed relatively short period, the domestic telecommunications market shows significant signs of recovery. With each passing month the level of sophistication of individual projects financed from European funds increases. As of 31 November 2010, 65 grant agreements for both small local projects and for those covering the whole of their regions of the country were signed just under the 16 regional operational programs. For an accelerated efforts the beneficiaries of EU funds tare encourage both by the needs of local communities, that want to use the opportunities offered by broadband Internet access, as well as friendly investment environment created by the Act and all its accompanying activities. Notable acceleration throughout 2010, has been particularly intensified in the second half. Currently, local governments prepare themselves to start location and construction procedures for individual broadband projects. In this respect, the Roundtable Meeting, the National Broadband Forum Broadband and current activities of the government administration, explaining the rules to keep track of new, simplified procedure, play an important role.

At the same time it should be noted that the beneficiaries of the Act are not only local governments implementing broadband networks and using EU funding. Private entrepreneurs, from the entry into force of new regulations, have gained new opportunities and conditions for the conduct of its telecommunications investments. By the provisions of the Act, the access to buildings and its telecommunication installations, is open. For managers of public roads, the obligation of localization in the lanes, certain categories of public roads, canals, technology for the placement and operation of such telecommunications infrastructure, was imposed. In this regard, during the period from 25 August 2010 to 26 January 2011, 254 notice of the President Office intention to build the channels and opportunities for expressions of interest in its access, has been placed on the website of the President Office of Electronic Communications.

The Act also removes significant barriers to the pursuit of investment, resulting from the unjustified prohibitions location of telecommunications infrastructure in local land use plans, and also significantly reduces the scope of obligations under the construction regulations. Moreover, with a clear recorded on the prohibition of additional (outside of the sewer tax) real estate tax cables placed in duct (which until now was applied in the judicial practice of tax authorities), also significantly decreased the cost of maintaining telecommunications infrastructure liner. The views of representatives of major domestic telecom operators shows that by the provisions of the Investment Law, investment process can be reduced almost by half. At the same time it is possible to provide that the local government through investment, will boost competition among private entrepreneurs, which in turn will result in lowering the prices of services offered and the increase in bandwidth links. Even at the present time access to Internet service links with speeds of 100 Mbit /s are offered on a large country. As it is well known, realization postulate on universal access to the Internet in Poland and to evaluate the effectiveness of the act on supporting the development of telecommunications networks and services, comprises a number of initiatives undertaken by different players, and the implications of the actions in this regard are not instantaneous.

At the same time, given the relatively short period since the entry into force of the regulation, it must be assessed that significant progress has been made, particularly when it comes to telecommunications operators approach to development of broadband networks in Poland. Recognizing the recent growth of the various indicators describing the development of telecommunications infrastructure in Poland, the regulatory environment, including in particular the favorable provisions of the Act and the increasingly satisfactory condition of the absorption of EU funds, it can be assessed that by the end of 2015, 90% of Poles will have access to fixed broadband Internet access.

 

 

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