President of UKE: We have delays in the construction of broadband networks

President of UKE: We have delays in the construction of broadband networks

– We are at levels of 80-90 percent. implementation of the Digital Decade plan – says Jacek Oko, president of the Office of Electronic Communications, and admits that Poland has some delays, including: in the mobile space.

One of the strategic documents that is intended to support the development of digital transformation at the infrastructure level is the National Broadband Plan. It comes down to ensuring universal high-quality broadband Internet access.

– When we talk about the National Broadband Plan, depending on its fragments, we are on the way, because it is still part of the road we have to reach. Because the plan itself is not one point, there are many elements to be implemented and what we are definitely increasing is the penetration of fiber optic techniques in the telecommunications infrastructure space. We have some delays, says Jacek Oko, president of the Office of Electronic Communications.

Delays affect the mobile space. We are talking about the 3.4-3.8 GHz and 700 MHz bands. Another thing is the pace of changes, which currently looks satisfactory.

– I think that the pace over the last two or three years has been high enough that we are able to achieve the expected results – says the head of UKE.

The “Report on the state of the Digital Decade 2023 – Poland” published on the CyberPolicy NASK website shows that in the area of ​​digital infrastructure, despite the positive changes observed, further actions are necessary. In 2022, only 71 percent households were covered by a fixed-line network with very high capacity. At the same time, only 63 percent of them were within the range of the fifth generation (5G) mobile network. In this case, the average in the European Union is as much as 81%. It is worth noting that at the time these statistics were collected, this network operated in frequency bands other than the priority ones for 5G. The explanation for this situation is the fact that the 3.6 GHz frequency auction started only in mid-2023. Individual operators started to install the first transmitters on dedicated bands only at the turn of 2023 and 2024.

– We have three areas: investment, i.e. operators, consumer area, i.e. users and the state as a regulator and law creator. Each of these elements has its own tasks and roles in building a broadband system or broadband networks, perhaps least of all the customer, who is the recipient, but he also has to want, i.e. demand. If we are talking about supply, i.e. availability, then of course the main task rests with the operators, they simply have to physically build this network, while the state, government, government agencies and regulatory agencies must support this development – explains Jacek Oko.

In the opinion of UKE, we are currently best able to redistribute funds for the construction of a broadband network. They are spent almost 100%. for your purpose. The dynamics in this area are influenced by many factors, including macroeconomic ones.

– COVID-19 did not favor certain solutions, but it was a slowdown of the entire economy, we have inflation, we have a loss of labor force. It would seem, but what does this have to do with telecommunications? These optical fibers need to be built, these are investments. The war that is taking place abroad is also causing a loss of labor in many places. As it turns out, these are not dramatic situations yet, but they are already noticeable and have an impact on the pace – emphasizes the regulator.

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