The Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland has just announced that on September 6, 2019, President Andrzej Duda signed the Act on the development of telecommunications services and networks, it will enter into force 30 days after being announced.

The Act on the development of telecommunications networks and services is also often referred to as the mega-act, because it introduces changes to as many as 14 existing ones. As we learn from its justification, the goal is to remove existing administrative and legal barriers that constitute an obstacle to the construction of broadband networks. This reduction of administrative, legal, procedural and financial burdens is to be a condition for Poland to achieve the objectives set out in the National Broadband Plan and commitments to provide access to modern telecommunications services resulting from membership of the European Union.

So what changes should you expect? Expanded among others definition of telecommunications infrastructure with a slight impact on the above-ground cable line, the possibility of local governments financing investment costs, a Broadband Fund was created as an instrument to support the development of broadband Internet access services from domestic funds, and a chapter was added that contains regulations regarding the creation of an Information System for Radiation Generating Installations Electromagnetic, which will be a public, free database containing information about the electromagnetic field in the environment technologi.

Rates for occupying the road lane were also reduced in relation to telecommunication infrastructure facilities and equipment, and the possibility for the local government unit to conclude the so-called investment agreement, under which, in exchange for the investor’s implementation of an investment meeting the community’s collective needs, the rate stipulated in the Act can be further reduced (such investments desired by the local government may not only be broadband networks, but also electricity, water and gas networks). Moreover, access to forest areas for placing telecommunications infrastructure in these areas has been greatly facilitated.

The modifications to the environmental protection law, where the regulation on permissible levels of electromagnetic fields in the environment has changed, cannot be omitted. In addition, from the entry into force of the Act, measurements of electromagnetic fields around installations or devices will be carried out immediately before commissioning of the installation or device, and the manager or owner of the property on which there has been a change in the existing state of development and development of the property, resulting in changes in the occurrence of places available for people around the installation or device, will be able to apply in writing for new measurements.

The Act also increases the possibilities of building infrastructure in areas where until now there was a ban or significant restrictions in this area, such as: health resorts, national parks, nature reserves (e.g. by lifting the bans and restrictions on locating non-linear telecommunications infrastructure in spa areas and enabling – in strictly defined cases and after meeting certain requirements – the construction of non-linear telecommunications infrastructure installations in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčnational parks or nature reserves).

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