Time for investment facilitation for telecommunications operators


The largest telecommunications chambers jointly appealed to public administration to eliminate bureaucratic and formal obstacles that hinder the construction of modern telecommunications infrastructure and prevent the rational spending of funds for this purpose. Earlier, the chambers diagnosed the most common and significant problems and prepared a package of demands, which were accepted by Minister Janusz Cieszyński, responsible for digitalisation, on behalf of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, during the 49th PIKE International Conference and Exhibition in Toruń.

The National Chamber of Commerce for Electronics and Telecommunications, the Polish Chamber of Electronic Communication, the National Chamber of Ethernet Communication, Mediakom and the Open Allies Foundation have prepared a joint set of ready-to-use solutions and proposals for public administration, aimed at optimising and accelerating ICT investments in Poland.

Onerous paperwork was identified as the main problem in carrying out work within the road lane, construction of a telecommunications connection, as-built inventory, construction of mobile network base stations and access to real estate to run a fibre-optic network. The postulates also include clarifying the provisions on equipping buildings with the necessary telecommunications infrastructure. The proposals aim to streamline ICT investments limiting digital exclusion by providing access to broadband internet.

"All EU bodies recommend taking action to develop the market and increase the availability of quality telecommunications services. The investment facilitation we are proposing is part of achieving such stated objectives. Some of our postulates relate to the correct application of regulations already in force. Our comments are addressed to administrative authorities, such as the President of UKE, public road administrators, local government units, construction supervision authorities, and developers," said Stefan Kamiński, President of the Polish Chamber of Commerce for Electronics and Telecommunications.

The European Union's strategic goal is for all European households to have internet speeds of at least 100 Mbps by 2025, with the possibility of upgrading to rates measured in gigabits. In Poland, the percentage of households meeting the speed condition at the end of 2021 was 34.2 per cent. The highest saturation of high-speed fibre-optic internet is in large agglomerations, and the lowest - in small towns and rural areas.

According to UKE's report on the state of the telecommunications market in Poland, 60 per cent of households will be using fixed-line internet in 2021, which translates into around 8.7 million

users. Among the fastest growing access technologies are fibre optics, used by almost 20 per cent of households. Last year, the number of FTTH (fibre to the home) users increased by 32 per cent, and over the previous two years by 79 per cent. EU funds under the Digital Poland Operational Programme contributed significantly to developing fibre-optic networks. Still, the lack of enforcement of existing legal solutions and tardiness in introducing new provisions may substantially slow down this process, making it more challenging to combat digital exclusion.

As a member of the Open Allies Foundation, NEXERA is one of the signatories of the industry demands.