Opening the door to the digital economy

Faster and more reliable Internet is coming to Podlaskie region in north-east Poland, contributing to the “Digital Agenda for Europe”. The new network will provide broadband coverage for a further 173 000 people.

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The project involves the building of a fibre-based regional backbone and distribution broadband infrastructure. These will complement the telecoms infrastructure of existing operators in the region and will provide open and non-discriminatory access to providers of wholesale and last-mile services.

A major goal is to reduce the cost in Podlaskie of investing in services for so-called Next Generation Access Networks (NGA), which aim to bring very fast broadband to all Europeans by 2020. This will help to eliminate the ‘digital divide’ in those areas of the region that are currently deprived of even basic broadband services.

Fibre-based network

The infrastructure will comprise both passive and active components. Together these will form a fibre optical network with a total length of around 1 852 km, interlinked between more than 170 network distribution and eight backbone nodes. Each regional backbone node will be a distinct investment area, in terms of the project’s physical implementation.

After the project’s completion in 2015, close to 88 % of the region’s population will be within reach of basic broadband structure, an increase of almost 12 %. More than two-thirds of the region’s population will also have access to NGA services at speeds up to 30 megabits per second; that is a rise of approximately 12.5 %.

Management and monitoring of the network will be done through a separate network management centre. The project also features a training component, to maximise the final number of users of the new network and awareness of its services.

The initiative is part of an EU investment to develop 6 100 km of broadband infrastructure across Eastern Poland, the other two regions being Podkarpackie and Warminsko-Mazurskie.

The project is expected to create 600 new jobs.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Broadband network in Eastern Poland – Podlaskie region” is EUR 51 185 574, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 43 507 737 through the "Information society infrastructure" priority of the “Development of Eastern Poland” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date