Widening broadband access in eastern Poland

An extra 150 000 people have the opportunity to hook up to broadband in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie region of eastern Poland thanks to a major project backed by the European Regional Development Fund. The scheme also brings advanced broadband services within reach of a further 180 000 local residents.

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The project provides for the construction of a fibre-based broadband network that can be used to deliver both wholesale and “last mile” internet services to local homes and businesses. The new network helps to eliminate the digital divide in areas that lack basic broadband services. It also provides a platform that makes it easier to invest in Next Generation Access Network (NGA) services. NGA offers an upgrade of current broadband through increased speeds and improved service quality.

Because it improves access to both basic broadband and NGA services, the investment makes a contribution to the EU’s Digital Agenda. Launched in 2010, the Agenda aims to ensure that Europe’s citizens and business can make best use of the latest digital technologies.

Major scheme

The work delivers a 2 241 km-long fibre optical network, which is linked to 214 distribution nodes and ten “backbone” nodes. To ensure the best possible capacity and penetration, the network has been split into ten areas which correspond to placement of the backbone nodes. When deciding on areas for intervention, the project carefully mapped and analysed the region, following recommendations from the European Commission. Some training is also provided as part of the project in order to improve uptake of broadband and raise awareness about services.

The new network makes broadband potentially accessible to an additional 158 000 local people; plus, 184 000 people come within reach of NGA services. The scheme therefore makes basic broadband infrastructure available to 91.8 % of the local population, up from 80.7 %. Meanwhile, those with potential access to NGA services increases from 42.4 % to 59.9 %. The project is also expected to create more than 600 jobs.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Broadband network in Eastern Poland – Warmińsko-Mazurskie region” is EUR 64 516 552, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 54 839 069 through the "Information society infrastructure" priority of the “Development of Eastern Poland” Operational Programme for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date