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Legislative Know-How: Guidelines to the draft act on supporting the development of telecommunications services and networks
 

The telecommunication services and in particular the broadband services are one of the key communication, information, knowledge, services source worldwide. At the some time as indicated in the many reports, Poland is behind in terms of the infrastructure development and access in comparison to other EU Members. The situation is not changing even with the additional fund allocated from the EU funds for the use by the local self governments and the investors and the growth in the housing and road construction. Limited numbers of the Road systems is equipped with the technological channels and many of the new housings have no inside the buildings technical infrastructures or telecommunication access. Energy, savage and waterworks infrastructure is not used for the public telecommunication system and even with the need the right of way and the co-sharing of masts and towers is not join by any procedures. In the resent years, it was noticed that more prohibitions and limitations were included in the local development plans and uncoordinated and dispersed plans are causing rational planning and constructing of the networks as a part of the larger scale projects which violates the guaranties of the right of way included in the EU Directives. More visible became the lacking part of the visible, transparent rules for the local governments in the telecommunication sector, which is limiting the absorption of the regional funds and also dissimulated the local governments to undertake the activities in the sector.

The resent situation need the strong legislative involvement which will became a part of the bigger action plan towards the development of the Internet access. The main goal of the act is to ensure the development access to the telecommunication with the special focus on the broadband access and with barring in mind the prevention of the digital, geographical and social exclusion.

The concept of the act on supporting the development of telecommunications services and networks fulfill the 5 following objectives:

  • Open access to the properties and buildings (right of way)

    • simplification in the access to the land owned by the State Treasure and the State legal entity for the purpose of the telecommunication infrastructure ( for example public roads, railway, bridges, public forests, lands regulated by the water law);

    • simplification in the access to land owned by the local self governments ant the local self governmental legal entity in particular belonging to the board of those entities;

    • simplification in the access to the private property through through the optimization of licensing procedures for setting up equipment;

    • simplification in the access to the buildings through establishment of the additional responsibilities for the owners and mangers of the property;

    • opening for the investment purposes areas which are subject to disproportionate and inappropriate restrictions and prohibitions established by local plans, as well as establishing the limits of freedom in planning for telecommunications infrastructure;

    • strengthening of the powers of the national regulatory authority in the procedures concerning right of way and solving the disputes in this matter;

    • decreasing (at least temporary) charges and taxes connected with right of way, use of the property and owning the telecommunication infrastructure;

  • Effective investment process

    • elimination of legal barriers;

    • shortening and adjustment the administrative procedures;

    • adjustment of the procedures necessary for the development of the telecommunication infrastructure;

    • releasing of “unrelevant” telecommunications equipment from the requirement to obtain permission from the local self government;

  • Open access to the infrastructure and infrastructural competition among the operators

    • waterworks, savage and energy;

    • other telecommunications operators on the basic of co sharing or access to the services including in in and out the property;

    • telecommunications public entities including the local self government;

  • Active local governments

    • establishment of the transparent legal basis for the local self governments for the purpose of performing the telecommunication services;

    • defining the basic rules of the intervention of the local self governments on the local telecommunication market without competition interference, including concluding the agreement for the purpose of performing the publicly open telecommunication services;

    • simplification of the procedures of the joint performance of the duties within the scope of telecommunication by the local self governments and the investors (concession concerning the construction works and services, public procurement , public-private partnership, accessibility of the parts of the assets in particular the technological channels;

  • Open access to the infrastructural information and other actions

    • introduction of the requirement to provide information about the infrastructure under the request from the public administration or local self government entity which are performing the activities with the scope of telecommunication;

    • introduction on the annual basis obligation to make publicly available information concerning the infrastructure and to provide this information to the National Regulatory Authority;

    • introduction of the obligation for the National Regulatory Authority to publish the report concerning the development of the infrastructure in Poland.

Above mentioned actions are connected with all consideration upon the investment in telecommunication infrastructure and its use, developing the good environment for such investments. Together with no legal matters, in particular connected with the simplifications in the absorption of the EU funds and the performance of the operational plans, guaranties and subventions and establishment of the reliable and specialized entity for the purpose of obtaining the funds for the telecommunication investments, educational actions, training programs and services like free Internet) which will stimulate the awareness, skills and the needs of the society in the field of the use of the broadband telecommunication and the support for the people with the lowest income (special prized packages, computer equipment purchases). The mentioned activities shall elaborate to the significant development of the telecommunication in the territory of Poland and elimination of the territories and groups in danger of digital exclusion.

 

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Updated : 2011-06-24