Cabinet to tackle broadband internet project

The creation of a public system with information about the availability of the internet is foreseen in a bill that will be discussed by the government on Tuesday. The regulations should also make it possible to designate the so-called broadband coordinators who would represent municipalities on issues related to the development of the internet network.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the cabinet will consider the draft amendment to the law on support for the development of telecommunications networks and services.

The project’s Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) shows that thousands of kilometers of broadband networks have been built in Poland for many years – both as part of commercial investment and financed from public funds. “Up to 2029, and as part of the investments from the National Reconstruction Plan up to 2026, i.e. in a period half as short as in the previous perspectives, we will all have to deal with investments of at least 2 billion euros, but not less than EUR 10. 11 billion PLN (taking into account the entrepreneurs’ own contribution) “- added.

It was pointed out that in addition to public investment, the investments financed entirely from the operators’ own resources would be carried out. “Such large investments require appropriate legislation, as well as the implementation of system solutions, especially those aimed at citizens” – it was noted.

At the same time, it was admitted that there is currently no public system that would present continuously updated information about address points within the range of broadband networks as a database.

“Therefore, citizens do not have sufficient access to information about whether or not they will be able to use the broadband networks built (in their absence), what kind of services are provided, what broadband internet access is on offer – including price list, and who to contact to arrange a to conclude a contract “- was noted.

It added that citizens also have a right to know who is investing in their area and when services will be available.

The RIA also indicates that telecom companies currently have no knowledge of vacancies, ie address points, where they will certainly not find a customer for their services.

The proposed change is to change this, inter alia, by creating a legal framework for the operation of the Information System for Access to Fixed Broadband Internet Services (SIDUSIS), which would respond to the identified challenges.

According to the project, SIDUSIS would be a public and free database of address points where: provision is possible; it is intended to provide the opportunity to provide benefits as a result of the implementation of investments financed by public funds; the intention is to provide the possibility of making distributions within three years as a result of the implementation of investments from private funds; there was a demand for the provision of – data transmission services for fixed broadband internet access via fixed or mobile telecommunications networks.

The Chancellery of the Prime Minister also announced that thanks to the law, a free database will be made available with information on the availability of the network in each Polish municipality.

Thanks to SIDUSIS it will be possible to report the needs for wireless and wired data transmission services for fixed broadband internet. The search function must also be provided for the request of the submitted service provider who can fulfill it, and for the provider to automatically send such request.

The new regulations also allow the so-called broadband coordinators who would represent local authorities on issues related to the development and maintenance of broadband networks.

“In particular, such a coordinator would give the inhabitants of the municipality the possibility to verify and confirm the conformity of the information in the SIDUSIS system with the current state of affairs and to report vacancies or the need for broadband Internet access, a point of contact for telecommunications companies with broadband networks in the municipality or plans to build such networks, and would undertake support, information and promotional activities for the ongoing or planned broadband investments in the municipality” – explained in the justification of the project.

The Minister responsible for automation can provide municipalities with subsidies from the Broadband Fund for the activities of these coordinators.

In the RIA of the design change, it was estimated that the construction and maintenance costs of the SIDUSIS system will be PLN 6.1 million. In turn, the costs associated with subsidies for the functioning of broadband coordinators (average PLN 500 gross per month of compensation for one employee in a municipality) was estimated to be less than PLN 15 million per year.

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