Regulatory activities carried out by the President of UKE in 2008 were grouped into the following subject areas:
• Designation of entities with significant market power and imposition of regulatory obligations upon them as a result of completed market analysis process.
• Increasing competition in the telecommunications market through ensuring optimal provisions in agreements on telecommunications access within the scope of widely understood telecommunications infrastructure.
• Increasing the availability of universal service thanks to, inter alia, the introduction of a special tariff plan.
• Defining areas with the lowest level of penetration of fixed-line services and fixed-line broadband Internet (demand maps).
• Increasing the availability of competitive offers, among others through eliminating barriers and reducing costs related to switching between telecommunications service providers.
• Monitoring the fulfilment of obligations by an undertaking designated to provide universal service.
• Assessing tariffs and rules and regulations for the provision of telecommunications services by telecommunications undertakings with significant market power and by a designated undertaking.
• Verifying and creating new cost calculation models for the provision of services by telecommunications undertakings.
• Ensuring the best conditions for cooperation between telecommunications undertakings through the supervision of effective implementation of reference offers.
• Ensuring the use of non-discrimination principle within the scope of agreements that are subject to regulatory supervision.
• Formation of consumer policy in Poland, inter alia through consideration of subscribers’ complaints and applications for intervention, addressing operators on issues related to consumer protection and cooperation with them within the scope of improving customer service and complaint handling procedures.
• Effective use of frequency resources in the band allocated to mobile telephony by means of granting frequency licences to entities selected in the tender for frequency resources allocated to the GSM 1800 mobile system in order to increase competition in the mobile market, to reduce prices and to increase the availability and take-up of new innovative services.
• Ensuring spectrum resources that promote the development of broadband Internet access based on equipment and radio systems subject to a frequency licence or a radio licence or used without a licence in harmonized "unlicensed" frequency bands.
• Development of competition in Internet access by means of granting frequency licences to entities selected in regional tenders for frequency licences in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band, particularly in regions with poorly developed telecommunications infrastructure.
• Providing conditions for smooth transition from analogue to digital broadcasting via elaboration of details in the strategy of transition from initial digital networks to target DVB-T and T-DAB networks.
• Enforcing, within the framework of legal possibilities, non-discriminating access to high quality and affordable universal postal services, according to the requirements specified in the Polish law and in the European Union directives.
• Providing conditions for improvement of postal services provided to the society and to the economy by promoting further development of competition that enhances market development.
• Monitoring the achievement of national objectives in the area of postal services market, including inspiring amendments to legal regulations according to the European standards and submitting requests in this regard to the Council of Ministers via the minister competent for communications.
Control of products placed on the market
• Ensuring that apparatus place on the market, including radio and telecommunications equipment, complies with the requirements of New Approach Directives and national legal acts.
• Providing an effective system for monitoring the compliance with essential requirements by equipment put into service and covered by New Approach Directives: EMC and R&TTE (transposed to the national legislation by means of the Telecommunications Act and the Conformity Assessment System Act).
• Increasing awareness of customers who use telecommunications and postal services by means of spreading information about consumer rights.
• Creating conditions for ensuring state security as well as safety and public order within the scope of obligations imposed on the President of UKE, by means of achieving the situation in which all telecommunications undertakings and postal operators deliver their obligations under the Telecommunications Act and the Postal Act in a relevant manner.
• Active participation on international forums, including a meeting of the President of UKE with the Commissioner Viviane Reding, a meeting with the management of the French NRA, an intervention in the European Commission on roaming, preparations for the Polish Presidency in the EU Council, permanent work in international institutions.
• Further improvement of quality of the regulatory authority's work, in particular within the scope of increasing effectiveness of cooperation and communication with the external world.
Implementation of the Regulatory Strategy for 2008-2010
In early April 2008, the President of UKE published its Regulatory Strategy for the Polish telecommunications market from 2008 to 2010. Its main objective was to increase the accessibility of telecommunications services for the citizens and to increase their usage. The implementation of the objective defined above, which is both overriding and fundamental, is pursued in the framework of six main tasks, which will be the focus of the activities of the President of UKE in the years 2008-2010.
The Regulatory Strategy, although planned for the period 2008-2010 is currently at an advanced stage of implementation. According to the schedule, work on 32 tasks in total was planned for the period 2008-2010, one task was modified, 7 are continuous tasks, the remaining ones have a specific deadline.
Out of 24 tasks with specific deadlines 10 were fully implemented in 2008:
• a special tariff plan for people in a difficult financial situation was launched,
• a reference offer for co-location of alternative operators' technical equipment in the incumbent's network was revised,
• tariffs for WLR, BSA and LLU were analysed and offers were revised so as to create right price proportions between these services, and in particular to ensure that investment in LLU is profitable,
• prices were compared and adjusted in line with the best benchmarks in the European Union,
• principles of migration between WLR, BSA and LLU were developed so as to give operators more flexibility in devising their offers and stimulate investment intended to expand infrastructure for LLU purposes (activity planned for Q1 2009),
• the Service Provider (SP) model was introduced into wholesale offers (BSA + WLR),
• SLAs in reference offers were extended,
• consultations on introduction of new technologies into wholesale offers were held,
• NDSL wholesale offer was introduced with a clearly lower price than combination of PSTN and DSL,
• spectrum usage fees were reduced, especially with a view to promote investment in rural areas, which required legislative action.
It is also worth stressing that in addition to the completion of one of the tasks planned for 2009, work started on a number of other tasks planned for subsequent years, including:
• drawing up a map of universal service coverage, finding areas with lowest penetration, which require intervention - planned for 2009,
• changes in proportions of MTRs to FTRs in favour of FTRs - planned for 2009,
• transition to LRIC-based MTR calculation - planned for 2010,
• making new frequency bands available below 10GHz (especially for broadband systems) in the entire national territory - planned for 2010,
• monitoring of the level of the understanding of telecommunications offerings by customers. Monitoring of rules and regulations for service provision as well as specimen contracts for the provision of telecommunications services. Preparing a publication comparing offers for telecommunications services. Setting up a website allowing comparisons between the prices of the individual operators - planned for 2009.
Some of the above tasks, planned for the next year, are already at an advanced stage of implementation and will be certainly completed before the deadline.
In addition, all tasks in the Regulatory Strategy were delivered according to the schedule.
Promoting activities related to broadband Internet access
The President of UKE carried out work aimed at making broadband services widely accessible, including:
• periodic meetings with representatives of self-government institutions devoted to broadband network roll-out and participation in tenders for frequencies in the 3.5 GHz and 3.7 GHz bands,
• promotion of a guide to broadband network roll-out,
• participation in a meeting of the Digital Poland Team,
• holding a debate on investments in broadband access.
Participation in legislative work
The President of UKE actively participated in legislative work conducted by the Ministry of Infrastructure, including inter alia, its input to:
• the draft act on the amendment of the Telecommunications Act,
• position paper of the Committee of the Council of Ministers for IT and Communications with respect to barriers to investment processes in telecommunications and proposed amendments to legal acts as presented in this position paper,
• draft executive acts issued under the Telecommunications Act of 16 July 2004, where changes were proposed by the President of UKE:
• draft Ordinance of the Minister of Infrastructure on the tender and contest for a frequency or orbital licence, elaborated by the President of UKE based on the authorisation of the Minister of Infrastructure,
• draft executive acts issued under the Telecommunications Act of 16 July 2004.
Consultations on the list of indicators for the quality of publicly available services
In order to ensure effective and transparent implementation of the obligation to publish information about the quality of publicly available telecommunications services (Article 63 (1) of the Telecommunications Act), guided by the general principle of creating appropriate conditions (in accordance with Article 1 (2) (4) of the Telecommunications Act: "ensuring that users derive maximum benefit in terms of choice, price, and quality of telecommunications services") - in March 2008, the President of UKE held consultations on the list of indicators for the quality of publicly available services.
In April 2008, the President of UKE published on the UKE website its position on the list of indicators for the quality of publicly available telecommunications services and the procedure for publishing information about the quality indicators for these services. Within the framework of its initiative, the President of UKE addressed certain undertakings to submit information if and which of the listed indicators are measured and how the indicators measurements are conducted.
As a result, in June 2008, the President of UKE filed a proposal to the Work Programme of the Ministry of Infrastructure to elaborate and issue an Ordinance, based on a delegation in Article 63 (3) of the Telecommunications Act, concerning the requirements to publish information on the quality of publicly available telecommunications services by the providers of these services.
Market effects of activities taken by the President of UKE
The overriding objectives of the President of UKE included actions aimed at:
• increasing competition of the Polish telecommunications market,
• declining prices for services offered in that market,
• increasing attractiveness and availability of offers for individual customers,
• consumer protection,
• promotion of Poland as an investor-friendly country.
The assumptions of the regulatory policy of the President of UKE translated into specific activities aiming towards implementation of the main statutory objectives, i.e. ensuring universal access to telecommunications and postal services and protection of consumer interests through monitoring the quality and prices of services offered.
As a result of activities taken by the President of UKE positive developments took place in the telecommunications market:
• the value of the Polish telecommunications market and the number of its clients is increasing,
• dynamic declines in prices are observed in all market segments,
• in certain market segments, in addition to a lower price for a given service, customers also receive much better quality,
• the degree of competitiveness is increasing in most market segments
The most important activities in 2008 include in particular:
• publishing the Regulatory Strategy for the Polish telecommunications market for 2008-2010,
• launch of proceedings to impose the obligation of functional separation on TP S.A.,
• debate on developments in VoIP services,
• debate on investments in broadband access,
• starting work on development of nationwide maps of universal service coverage and Internet access,
• starting work aimed at developing an Internet tariff calculator,
• conducting proceedings on the assignment of the 116 111 number for the purpose of providing child helplines,
• conducting work on the development of a Location and Information Platform with the Central Database.
• position on the reduction of the level of asymmetry in MTRs,
• amendment of a TP S.A. reference offer defining terms and conditions in agreements for access to the local loop,
• introduction of a new reference offer defining terms and conditions for telecommunications access within the scope of broadband access,
• work on development of a cost calculation model for fixed networks,
• the approval of the TP Reference Offer on telecommunications access in relation to interconnection.
Radiocommunication and broadcasting
• Report on the implementation of the Frequency Strategy
• preparing draft assumptions to the Act on the "Digital Poland" Foundation,
• proposal for using the digital dividend.
• establishing the Telekceważeni forum on the Gazeta.pl website,
• establishing a virtual telecommunications museum on the UKE website,
• developing graphic signs for certificates of safe services on the web,
• launching a contact number for users of Gadu-Gadu.
On 29 April 2009, the President of the Office of Electronic Communications submitted the attached Report on activities in 2008 to the Minister of Infrastructure.
The Report is available in Polish.