Summary of broadband development in Poland
Poland’s national broadband plan reflects the Gigabit Society targets: universal coverage by 100 Mbps (upgradable to gigabit), Gigabit connectivity for socio-economic drivers and 5G connectivity along major corridors and urban centres. The Operational Programme Digital Poland 2014-2020 provides funding for investments in digitally excluded areas. A multi-stakeholder Agreement for the Strategy 5G for Poland has been formed to respond to challenges, identify and implement measures aiming at coverage by 5G networks.
National broadband strategy and policy
- The Department of Telecommunications of the Ministry of Digital Affairs (Ministerstwo Cyfryzacji), a policy maker, supports the development of telecommunication networks and services, coordinates the construction of broadband networks and co-operates with international telecommunication organisations.
- Digital Poland Project Centre (Centrum Projektów Polska Cyfrowa) is responsible for spending structural funds, i.e. organising calls for proposals under the Operational Programme Digital Poland (Program Operacyjny Polska Cyfrowa 2014-2020, POPC) funding broadband network development.
- The Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy is responsible for implementation of European Funds and regional development. The Department for Digital Development (Departament Rozwoju Cyfrowego) deals with digitisation and e-government.
- The Office of Electronic Communications (Urząd Komunikacji Elektronicznej, UKE) is the national regulatory authority for the market of telecommunications and postal services.
Main aims for broadband development
- universal access to 100 Mbps, with the possibility to upgrade to gigabit speed,
- at least 1 Gbps for all socio-economic drivers, e.g. schools, transport hubs, major public service locations and companies with intensive Internet activity, as well as
- 5G connectivity on all major communication routes and in major urban centres. The national broadband plan mainly focuses on promoting broadband investments and expansion through initiating regulatory, legal and financial measures.
Poland has adopted a programme for Nationwide Education Network (Ogólnopolska Sieć Edukacyjna), which aims at providing all schools in Poland (about 19,500 locations) with free of charge access of at least 100 Mbps, along with advanced cybersecurity measures and educational e-resources and e-tools.
Poland has also established an Agreement for the Strategy 5G for Poland as a multi-stakeholder platform, gathering entities from central and local governments, telecom operators, research institutions, technical universities and tech suppliers, working in different thematic teams for the development of 5G networks in Poland.
Main measures for broadband development
- The 2016 revision of the MEGA-act implemented Cost-Reduction Directive and envisages further broadband-oriented measures.
- The Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) offers models of building broadband networks for local governments, providing direct services and making infrastructure accessible for new providers. In addition, it aims at reducing administrative burdens for telecommunication operators and public authorities. The UKE supports the development of broadband networks, i.e. by providing access to properties and buildings, while assuring as much infrastructure sharing as possible between telecom operators.
- The Office of Electronic Communications’ annual infrastructure inventory and the Ministry of Digital Affairs’ open public consultations help identify the areas (down to individual addresses) with no NGA access on a commercial basis within the next 3 years.
National and regional broadband financial instruments
- Under the financial perspective 2014-2020, the dedicated Operational Programme (OP) Polska Cyfrowa (Digital Poland) includes funding for broadband. The programme is funded through the EU cohesion funds and is used to provide support to projects implemented in areas where NGA networks do not exist and are unlikely to be established on a commercial basis in the next 3 years. The overall budget for the OP Digital Poland is €2.57 billion, of which more than €1 billion is dedicated to broadband. Polish authorities plan to continue the ‘Digital Poland’ Operational Programme in the period 2021-2027.
- Under the thematic objective Universal access to high-speed Internet, more than 1.3 million households and almost 10,000 schools will be provided with Next Generation Access (NGA).
- Access to services related to the Nationwide Education Network is financed by state budget (approximately €310 million by 2027). The implementation phase (2018-2020) is also co-financed by the OP Digital Poland.
- The Broadband Fund, which began its operation at the end of 2020, will also support investments in the deployment of NGA networks. The Fund is financed through charges borne by telecommunications firms for numbering resources, rights to use radio spectrum, etc.
- In its Roadmap implementing the Common Union Toolbox for Connectivity6, Poland identifies as desirable a range of reforms concerning e.g. digitisation of permit-granting procedures, issuing guidelines on access to physical infrastructure, and further strengthening the Single Information Point.
Data on broadband development and technologies in Poland
For the latest data on broadband coverage, subscriptions and penetrations, coverage of different broadband technologies and costs, check the scoreboard reports and the country reports of the Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI).
Spectrum assignments for wireless broadband
For details on harmonised spectrum assignments consult the European 5G Observatory.
National and EU publications and press documents
- Study on National Broadband Plans
- Guide to High-Speed Broadband Investment
- Broadband Connectivity Reports and Analyses
- Mobile and fixed broadband prices in Europe
- Study on broadband coverage in Europe