Modern telecommunication solutions, enabling rapid transfer of significant amounts of information are, next to traditional transport infrastructure, the basis for the development of economies based on knowledge and information.
The years 2015-2020 may prove to be the last period in which the construction of telecommunications infrastructure is supported with public funds coming from the EU funds. In this context, it is important to make every effort to make the best use of aid funds to fuel investment projects undertaken by operators who also use their own funds.
In the previous financial perspective many large projects were realised, building high-quality backbone and distribution infrastructure. New competitions under Measure 1.1. Eliminating the territorial differences in the ability to access broadband Internet with high bandwidth, launched under the Operational Programme Digital Poland, provide primarily for the construction of a network enabling the connection of end users. The final result of the project must be the creation of a ready passive network and, complementary, passive infrastructure enabling the provision of internet access, cable television and telephone services to end users. Higher tier networks, i.e. distribution and backbone networks can be implemented only in cases where they are necessary to complete the access network, and it is not possible or economically reasonable to use existing resources.
Support is provided for telecommunications companies, both large and those operating in the SME sector.
Subsidies for the construction of this type of network were based on innovative legal solutions, and consequently, all funding areas have a predetermined maximum amount and rate of funding (usually from 50% to 70% of the cost of building the network). More than PLN 4 billion is provided for financing such projects under the Operational Programme Digital Poland!
The criteria for assessing applications for funding primarily provide for financing of projects:
- carried out by entities with experience in the construction of networks;
- connecting the largest number of subscribers.
Eligible costs include
- construction of passive broadband infrastructure (cables, fibre optics, street cabinets, etc.), including works and building materials as well as supplies and installation of components of broadband infrastructure;
- preparation of documents necessary to carry out construction works;
- acquisition and management of real estate necessary for the implementation of the project;
- delivery, installation and commissioning of telecommunications equipment constituting active infrastructure of the NGA network;
- lease of passive broadband infrastructure belonging to other operators, as well as elements of power infrastructure, water and sewage infrastructure and service pits to the extent necessary to implement the project;
- investment costs of construction of NGA networks, including those related to reworking and expanding broadband networks to the standards of NGA network;
- purchase of intangible assets;
- public and legal fees;
- instruments securing the implementation of the contract;
- preparation of as-built documentation within the meaning of the Construction Act.