The year 2010 was the fifth year of intense work of the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) to increase competition in the market, reduce prices for services and improve their quality as well as to educate and support consumers in the exercise of their rights.
2010 passed under the motto of investment-oriented measures, including the UKE-TP Agreement and the Act on the support of telecommunications networks and services development (the so called "mega-law").
An undeniable success was the implementation of an investment project aimed at developing new lines under the UKE-TP Agreement. Starting from 22 October 2009, i.e. from the day when the Agreement was signed, TP developed more than 454,000 broadband lines with the capacity of 6 Mbit/s.
An important achievement last year was also to develop administrative and legal framework providing incentives to operators and local government authorities to invest in modern telecommunications infrastructure.
However, it is not only the legislation, but also the practice and cooperation with all parties involved in the network roll-out process that bring expected results. We are trying to assist local governments as much as possible. Our Internet website and the National Broadband Forum website form a valuable source of information for local government authorities. We have created a special section "Investment - guide to local government authorities, where we systematically publish information and opinions which may be helpful in the implementation of investment tasks.
On the UKE website there are different browsers available to facilitate finding e.g. notifications from road management authorities about starting road investment projects or a database of communes covered with investment under measure 8.4 of the Innovative Economy Operational Programme together with classification of areas according to the EU requirements (white, grey and black spots). We have elaborated maps depicting the status of Internet access services development in particular communes of the country. We have also prepared a report presenting progress in telecommunications infrastructure roll-out projects co-financed from the EU funds. We have started cooperation with "Wspólnota" weekly magazine, where we publish our guidance.
We have succeeded in quick implementation of obligations under the mega-law. We have prepared the so called "mega-spider", i.e. a set of procedures under the mega-law shown in the form of diagrams, which facilitates making use of the law by entities which have not performed telecommunications activities before. We have organized conferences, meetings and debates which enabled the parties involved in the implementation of tasks under the mega-law to exchange experience and come up with a consistent approach to difficult cases or the ones raising many doubts.
The year 2010 saw further regulatory activities. The Agreement - along with investment - resulted also in establishing non-discriminatory prices for Internet services leading to a significant decrease in prices for Neostrada services, depending on their type, followed by new offers from other operators.
One of the most important activities was to propose operators to invest in white areas of mobile coverage in exchange for a slower MTR glide path. We have prepared an MTR glide path until 2012. Talks are in progress. We have also presented our position on a new approach to MTRs for new entrants. Thanks to adopted proposals they will be able to construct offers allowing them to effectively compete with entities operating in the market.
Another important event in cooperation between operators was to approve a single reference offer for access to the TP network with respect to interconnection, the BSA, LLU and WLR services. Its provisions result from solutions proposed in the UKE-TP Agreement. They are expected to consolidate and facilitate the process of concluding contracts between the undertakings, encouraging alternative operators to offer services based on TP regulated services.
The year 2010 saw not only investment in fixed-line networks. Mobile users find our interactive map of Poland allowing them to check the quality of particular mobile operators' services in major cities very useful. The results of several measurement sessions were combined for particular cities and analysed in terms of coverage by the GSM900/1800 and UMTS signal and telephone calls made. Information about imperfect network functioning will be used when entering into investment agreements with mobile operators.
We have continued our mission to educate and support consumers. Compared to previous years, the number of complaints, questions and requests for assistance has considerably increased. We have launched a Consumer Information Centre section on our website, where useful information is published. Every day UKE employees answer a lot of phone calls and reply to numerous complaints. Advice is also given on "Gazeta Wyborcza" daily paper forum called "Telekceważeni". Consumer rights and obligations are presented in an accessible manner in the guide for the users of publicly available telecommunications services prepared by UKE. The publication assists the reader in choosing an appropriate offer as well as to comprehend the contents of telecommunications rules and regulations and operators' tariffs.
We are supporting valuable social initiatives, including a number of activities related to network security. Together with F-Secure we have launched the Przyjaznynet.pl portal targeted at Internet users searching for information about network security. UKE has extended its patronage to many initiatives promoting safe network usage, such as the International Conference on Children's and teenagers' security on the Internet or the bezpieczniejwsieci.org website acting as a comprehensive source of information about Internet-related risks. We support campaigns against digital exclusion of the elderly. UKE has extended its patronage to the Digital Coalition in favour of 50+ Generation Inclusion. We have also implemented the senior and without barriers certification programmes. Their primary objective is to facilitate access to telecommunications services for the elderly and disabled persons.
We have reached another milestone in the implementation of digital television. At the requests of commercial broadcasters in July 2010, the President of UKE in cooperation with the Chair of the National Broadcasting Council issued general exclusive frequency licences under which Polskie Media SA, Telewizja Puls Sp. z o.o., TVN SA and Telewizja Polsat SA have acquired the right to have the frequencies in Multiplex 2 at their disposal. The broadcasters have acquired the right to digital terrestrial broadcasting of the following programmes: POLSAT, TVN, TV4 and PULS and additional four programmes indicated in licensing decisions.
We have continued the Location and Information Platform with a Centralised Data Base project for the purposes of emergency services, 112 and number portability. Two data processing centres were built and specialist software for PLI CBD developed. The PLI CBD became operational in February 2011.
The above activities are not exhaustive.
I kindly invite you to read this publication hoping that it will supplement your knowledge about major activities of the Regulator.
President of the Office of Electronic Communications.
The full text of the report is available in Polish in the attached file.