In 2013, 7,100 km of new fibre-optic networks were deployed in relation to 5,300 km planned, and the investment expenditures exceeded PLN 350 million, 53 million of which came from the EU funds – reveals the Report on the coverage of the territory of Poland with telecommunications infrastructure and public telecommunications networks.
In 2013, in almost every city with over 100 thousand inhabitants, there were more than ten undertakings providing fibre-optic networks. However, it is even more important that competitiveness at the level of at least three undertakings, constituting a good basis for the accomplishment of goals of the Digital Agenda for Europe, emerged in almost 240 smaller towns, with between 5 and 20 thousand inhabitants and in almost 100 towns (including bigger villages), with between 1 and 5 thousand inhabitants.
The number of towns with less than 500 inhabitants, in which no undertaking declares to own a telecommunications network node has decreased significantly – in 2013 the share of such towns fell to 30%.
According to the plans, over 338 000 households in total will be connected in 2014 to broadband Internet, of which 70% - already through the next-generation access networks (NGA). There is also a clear trend of investing in new access technologies of NGA class that guarantee the speed of Internet access at the level set by the Digital Agenda for Europe.
The report provides some good news crucial for the market. We are building the infrastructure faster than planned, with practically no increase in public spending, competition is growing and modern infrastructure is becoming available in ever smaller towns – says Magdalena Gaj, the President of UKE. What is more important, a very positive trend is visible – the undertakings are investing their own money in the development of infrastructure. This means that the market of telecommunications infrastructure in Poland is becoming stronger and it is constantly developing. This will be beneficial mostly to the consumers – she adds.
The report also indicates that in 2013 many more new fibre-optic networks were deployed than assumed in the plans which provided for the deployment of 5 300 km. This increased scale of investment was accomplished with practically the same level of public funds (around PLN 53.3 million). This means that the operators have recognized, that in many areas it is worth to invest their own funds. The investment plans for 2014 show that a significant growth in the length of networks can be expected as it is planned to deploy almost 7 500 km. The length of the planned network sections is also growing. In 2013, the average length of a built section was 1.18 km, in 2014 it grew to 3.8 km and most of the plans concern sections up to 10 km long.
This report is published at a crucial moment for the development of broadband in Poland. Investment plans for 2014, at the level of over PLN 760 million, and significantly increased allocation of the EU funds (at the level of PLN 440 million), indicate that the projects that are key for the whole country entered their decisive phase. The National Broadband Plan was adopted, which sets out the guidelines for the development of information society and assumes providing broadband access at the speed of at least 30 Mb/s to all households by 2020. Simultaneously, we are entering the new financial perspective, which gives Poland 1 billion from the EU funds for the completion of this goal – underlines Magdalena Gaj, the President of UKE.
The Report was prepared on the basis of data submitted by telecommunications undertakings, local government entities and public utility enterprises, to the Information System on Broadband Infrastructure (SIIS). It is worth emphasizing, that this year the information was provided by 3,425 entities, which constitutes an increase in comparison with the previous year when the data was obtained from 3,221 eligible entities. SIIS is a unique tool, most of all for the undertakings, because it shows the location of points that are ready for co-location of telecommunications equipment (in 2012 there were 2,800 of these, in 2013 already 7,500). Providing this information – together with co-location parameters and declarations on the possibility to grant access to space at a site, the possibility to install antennas for the radio access network or antennas for the radio-relay system – clearly facilitates connecting new networks and launching services.
UKE as the regulatory authority constantly encourages all entities, in particular local government authorities, to submit data on the coverage of telecommunications infrastructure. The experience of the previous financial perspective has already convinced everybody that accurate data - collected, processed and made available in the Information System on Broadband Infrastructure - provide the necessary basis for up-to-date economic analysis. Thanks to the trustworthy and reliable information, the undertakings receive clear criteria for selection of investment areas, and this translates into tangible results: good planning and optimal use of public funds or long-ranging investments, stimulating the demand for services.
The complete Report is available in the English language.