These regulatory activities afford optimism about the future growth of competition on Poland’s telecommunications market and should soon not only provide end-users with a greater choice of their service providers, but also bring about considerably lower retail prices.
REGULATORY STRATEGY 2006-2007
On 4 July 2006 the Council of Ministers approved the “Regulatory Strategy for 2006-2007. How to accelerate the development of Polish telecommunications market, reduce the cost of services for the Poles and improve the availability of modern solutions?” - proposed by the Minister of Transportation.
The fundamental objectives of the Regulatory Strategy are:
- supporting Poland’s economic and social development through a wider availability, choice, enhanced quality and lower prices of telecommunications services;
- eliminating Poland’s civilisational backwardness by ensuring universal and affordable Internet access;
- increasing the number of fixed and mobile telephony users;
- enhancing the effectiveness of the Office of Electronic Communications.
The implementation of the principal objectives of the Regulatory Strategy in 2006 contributed to:
- the opening up of the line rental market through the introduction of wholesale line rental (WLR) by the UKE, which will allow other operators to buy line rental from Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. at wholesale prices;
- the continuing stimulation of the growth of competition on the telephone calls market and a systematic decline in call prices;
- more effective competition on the market for ADSL broadband Internet access thanks to the introduction of Bitstream Access, which allows alternative operators to buy ADSL broadband access services from TP S.A. at wholesale prices. This significantly brought down broadband access prices, by 40% on the average. By December 2006 (comparing to December 2005) the number of lines permitting fixed broadband Internet access rose by about 1 million lines, which represented a 96.34% increase. This increase was due both to new lines being put into operation (more than 750 thousand) and to the adaptation of some narrowband lines to speeds exceeding 144 kbit/s (over 250 thousand lines).
- a greater availability of mobile telephony services and the growth of the population of its users, which, among other things, resulted from the decline in the prices of these services, which also boosted the penetration level to 96%;
- changes in UKE’s organisation, which helped it increase its effectiveness and expedite its actions.
The full impact of the implementation of this Strategy will be felt in the year 2007 and later.
PRINCIPAL REGULATORY ACTIVITIES
The assumptions underlying the regulatory policy of the President of the Office of Electronic Communications translated into specific measures designed to achieve the principal statutory objectives, i.e. assuring universal access to telecommunications and postal services, as well as the protection of consumer interests through the monitoring of the quality of service and prices.
The following ranked amongst the most important achievements in 2006:
- the designation of Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. (TP S.A.) as the provider of universal service in all of Poland’s 49 numbering zones, accompanied by the definition of the detailed terms and conditions for the provision of universal service;
- the imposition of the obligation on TP S.A to publish its cost calculations for 2005 and regulatory accounting instructions for 2004;
- the decision, which introduced ex officio TP S.A.’s reference offer, setting out the terms and conditions for agreements on leased lines concluded with other operators;
- the introduction of the reference offer on the terms and conditions of access to the local subscriber loop through access to telecommunications network nodes for broadband data transmission purposes (so-called Bitstream Access offer);
- the approval of a new offer specifying the reference terms for the interconnection of the TP S.A. network with other operators’ networks (the RIO), including the flat rate;
- the approval of the offer for access to the local subscriber loop (LLU);
- the decision setting out the terms and conditions of co-operation with regard to WLR;
- the imposition of regulatory obligations on TP S.A., which were required to ensure TP’s subscribers access to portals and other Internet services offered by its competitors;
- mandating TP S.A. to ensure the equal treatment of all undertaking, by providing the same conditions for the transport of IP packets for traffic between TP subscribers and undertakings providing Internet portals, electronic mail, Internet communicators, transmission of audio or video signals in the Internet using the lines of third-party operators, from which TP purchases Internet access and communication with the users of these undertakings;
- the designation of TP S.A. as the provider of the national subscriber directory and national directory enquiry services;
- the enquiry into the claim handling procedures for claims associated with universal postal service involving registered items and postal money orders on the basis of the Polish Standard conforming to EU standards.
Here you can find Annual Report 2006