Major investment extends broadband services in eastern Poland

A major digital communications project in one of Poland’s less developed regions has the potential to provide an additional 220 000 people with access to broadband services. The construction of the broadband network infrastructure helps to eliminate the digital divide in areas that have previously been deprived of basic broadband services.

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The project provides open and non-discriminatory access to providers of wholesale and “last-mile” broadband services. It also makes it easier to invest in Next Generation Access (NGA) services, which aim to provide a faster and better quality broadband experience.

In addition, the scheme brings Poland closer to reaching the objectives of the EU’s Digital Agenda for Europe in terms of basic broadband and NGA access – and provides the region with impetus to develop the digital economy.

Boosting access

Project delivery means that 92.3 % of the local population is in reach of basic broadband infrastructure, up from 74.7 %. In addition, about 53 % of the population have the potential to access NGA services compared to a pre-project 41.6 %.

The main technical component is the installation of a 1 410 km-long fibre-optical network, which is interlinked through a number of distribution and regional “backbone” nodes.  Physical implementation in eight distinct areas corresponds to the number of backbone nodes in the network. In order to provide an even spread of capacity and penetration, one such area typically covers 100 000 to 200 000 inhabitants. In addition to the infrastructure, the project provides training to raise awareness and increase uptake of broadband services.

Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship owns the network and was responsible for its design and construction. Operation of the network is mandated to a private infrastructure operator, which pays a rent to the Voivodeship for leasing the broadband infrastructure. The operator has the right to retain part of the revenues gained from managing and operating the network. Any surplus revenue will be returned to the Voivodeship through a pre-defined claw-back mechanism.

The project is expected to generate about 500 jobs after implementation.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project "Broadband network in Eastern Poland – Swietokrzyskie region" is EUR 50 023 402, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 34 744 832 for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. The project falls under the Development of Eastern Poland Operational Programme, priority “Information Society Infrastructure”.

Draft date