In the previous year we noted 15 percent increase in the length of network in comparison with 2013. The data provided by operators, local governments and public utility companies show that at the end of the previous year the length of optical network in Poland was almost 315 thousand kilometres.
As every year, the President of UKE presents a report containing information on the coverage of the territory of the Republic of Poland with telecommunications infrastructure and publicly available telecommunications networks enabling broadband Internet access. The inventory is a tool that saves time, and therefore money, in taking investment decisions (especially concerning the localisation) by both telecommunications entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs from other sectors. The data are also used in the assessment of projects that apply for financing from the EU funds for the development of telecommunications infrastructure.
A very positive tendency that can be observed is that from year to year the length of fibre optic lines in our country grows. In the previous year we noted 15 percent increase in the length of network in comparison with 2013. The data provided by operators, local governments and public utility companies show that at the end of the previous year the length of optical network in Poland was almost 315 thousand kilometres. There are almost 90 thousand fibre optic nodes in almost 10.5 thousand towns. In comparison with the previous inventory there are over 3 thousand nodes more, which signifies an increase by 33 percent.The report shows that today over 30 percent of buildings in towns with over 5 thousand citizens have access to the Internet with speed of at least 30 Mb/s. The data collected by UKE show that the number of towns where none operator declared coverage with fixed or mobile network (which is not tantamount to lack of network coverage) decreased by 2.5 percent, while 99 percent of those are the smallest towns with not more than 100 citizens. Implementation of projects under Operational Programme - Digital Poland (OP DP) on the one hand, and on the other the mobile operators' investments in the development of LTE networks resulting from the obligations imposed by the President of UKE, give a chance to change this situation
– emphasizes the President of UKE, Magdalena Gaj.
There are a lot of indications that the next year's inventory will show even more impressive results, as the current year is when the big regional network projects and the EU-financed last-mile network projects implemented by the operators are finalised. From the analysis of the data from the declarations contained in the applications for project financing, it may be expected that after finalisation of the projects implemented under Measure 8.4 of the Operational Programme - Innovative Economy (OP IE) and Measure 2.1 of the Operational Programme - Development of Eastern Poland (OP DEP) over 280 thousands households will gain broadband access, of which over 200 thousands - in the NGA networks.
The fifth edition of the Report on coverage of the territory of the Republic of Poland with telecommunications infrastructure presents the state of infrastructure on the basis of data collected at the end of the preceding year, therefore in this case as of 31 December 2014. In relation to the scope of information presented in the previous editions, this year's Report does not contain information on the infrastructure investment projects completed in 2014 and planned for 2015 (according to the planning stage as of December 2014). It is connected with the fact that in the current year the Ministry of Administration and Digitization, in connection with the implementation of 1st Priority Axis of the 2014-2020 Digital Poland Operational Programme (OP DP) - "Universal access to high-speed Internet", has conducted public consultations and collected information on the investment plans for a three-year period, in accordance with the EU recommendations.
The report summarizes the data collected and processed in the System of Information on Broadband Infrastructure (SIIS) launched in March 2011, which was developed and is continuously extended by UKE and the National Institute of Telecommunications. The President of UKE in that way fulfils the obligation imposed by the Act on supporting the development of telecommunications networks and services. In the SIIS system UKE collects and stores data provided by telecommunications undertakings, local government units and public utility companies. Pursuant to the binding Ordinance of the Minister of Administration and Digitization of February 2014, the data collected in the system are determined in the ordinance and concern:
- telecommunications infrastructure providing or enabling to provide broadband access to the Internet;
- public telecommunications networks providing or enabling to provide broadband access to the Internet, including the data concerning:
buildings that enable co-location;telephony services, data transmission services providing broadband access to the Internet and services of radio and television programme distribution provided with the use of telecommunications infrastructure and public telecommunications networks that provide broadband access to the Internet.
- public telecommunications network nodes,
- public telecommunications network transmission systems,
- public telecommunications networks interconnection points;
The Ordinance, according to the extended scope of collected data, expanded also the scope of the data presentation (visualisation) - maps will now include information not only about the network routes, nodes location and coverage with infrastructure of particular technology, but also about services provided on this infrastructure. The course of this year's inventory describing the situation as of the end of 2014 is presented in chapter 2 of this report, and its results - in chapter 5.
Detailed overviews for individual provinces are contained in the annexes to the report.
Key objectives of collecting infrastructure data
The importance of the inventory was underlined in the National Broadband Plan (NBP) adopted by the Council of Ministers in January 2014. Point 3.1.1. of NBP (Investment incentives for the telecommunications operators) discusses ensuring access to the information on infrastructure, projects and demand as the action that shall stimulate operators' investments. Ensuring access to the information on infrastructure and tools enabling publication of investment plans will allow for cooperation between telecommunications, energy, road building and railroad companies, as well as water-sewage network operators, as regards network investments. A very important advantage of the access to information is the possibility to coordinate investment plans of private and public entities, minimisation of the investment demand risk and investment rationalisation, i.a. thanks to avoiding infrastructure duplication.
In the previous year's Report it was underlined that the infrastructure inventory is perceived as one of important measures of implementing the 1st Axis of OP DP, because detailed maps showing coverage with broadband networks give a basis for directing public investments in efficient way, to the places where they are the most needed. The SIIS system, together with SIP (Information System on Projects) and SIPS (Information System on Regional Broadband Networks) systems have a key role to play in this respect.
The need to use the results of annual inventory was also proved by the experience gained in the implementation of support programmes in the years 2007-2013 - especially in the implementation of Measure 8.4 OP IE, the 2nd Axis of OP DEP, in some regional programmes and in the Rural Development Programme - where the problems resulting from the lack of broadband infrastructure inventory at the time of preparation of project proposals occurred. Therefore, in OP DP a strong emphasis is put on the availability of detailed and reliable data on the presence and parameters of the existing infrastructure and availability of services. A close coordination of actions concerning broadband network deployment and regular updating of the system supporting implementation of the programme with knowledge from main external sources: from the system of cooperation under the "Memorandum for cooperation on deployment and development of passive broadband infrastructure" and the inventory carried out by the President of UKE, were assumed in the implementation of OP DP. It is the more important that under specific objective 1. of OP DP (eliminating territorial differences in terms of access to high-speed and ultra-fast broadband Internet) projects related to building, extending or restructuring access networks with parameters of at least 30 Mb/s will be supported, including activities that supplement infrastructure deployed under previous financial perspective (2007-2013).
Emphasis on the proper allocation of public aid under OP DP programme is a characteristic feature of the current development of infrastructure registry in Poland, similar to many countries of our region of Europe that are making up for many years of infrastructure negligence. This is i.a. proved by results of survey carried out under „SMART Study 2012/0022 Broadband and infrastructure mapping” project that resulted in, among others, analysis of 45 different initiatives and projects of infrastructure inventory and mapping in the EU-28 countries and Switzerland, as of mid-January 2014. The study concerned the assessment of inventory objectives' importance by the surveyed entities. The assessments cited in the last year's Report clearly show that the respondents from 31 entities (a vast majority of whom - over 20 - were entities from counties with developed infrastructure) considered streamlining infrastructure deployment as the most important objective of the inventory. In general, most of the inventory initiatives were concentrated on the inventory of technical network infrastructure and access services provided on it. Geospatial location of the public aid and monitoring of its allocation - issues extremely important for the implementation of the Polish OP DP programme - took the 4th - 5th place in the answers given by respondents from the European countries with highly-developed telecommunications infrastructure. The full report is available in Polish.