Telecommunications activities conducted in the territory of Poland are heavily regulated and must be registered with the UKE President in the Register of Telecommunications Undertakings. We are registered in the Register of Telecommunications Undertakings under number 92.

Key legal acts

At the national level, telecommunications activities are regulated by the following key legal act:

Act on Telecommunications Law of July 16, 2004 (Dz. U. of 2016 item 1489, as amended).

At the European level, telecommunications activities are regulated by the following key legal acts:

the set of directives of the European Parliament and of the Council of March 7, 2002, referred to as Directive 2002/21/EC on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services (the “Framework Directive”), Directive 2002/20/EC on the authorization of electronic communications networks and services (the “Authorization Directive”), Directive 2002/22/EC on universal service and users’ rights relating to electronic communications networks and services (the “Universal Service Directive”) and Directive 2002/19/EC on access to, and interconnection of, electronic communications networks and associated facilities (the “Access Directive”) (as amended);

Directive 2009/136/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 25, 2009 amending Directive 2002/22/EC on universal service and users’ rights relating to electronic communications networks and services, Directive 2002/58/EC concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector and Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws;

Directive 2009/140/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 25, 2009 amending Directives 2002/21/EC on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services, Directive 2002/19/EC on access to, and interconnection of, electronic communications networks and associated facilities, and Directive 2002/20/EC on the authorization of electronic communications networks and services;

Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of July 12, 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (the “Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications”);

Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (the “General Data Protection Regulation”);

Regulation (EC) No. 544/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 18, 2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 717/2007 on roaming on public mobile telephone networks within the Community and Directive 2002/21/EC on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services (the “Regulation No. 544/2009”);

Regulation (EU) No. 531/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 13, 2012 on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union amended by Regulation (EU) 2017/920 of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 17, 2017 (the “Roaming Regulation”);

Regulation (EC) No. 2015/2120 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015, laying down measures concerning open internet access and amending Directive 2002/22/EC on universal service and users’ rights relating to electronic communications networks and services and Regulation (EU) No 531/2012 on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union (the “Regulation No. 2015/2120”); and

Regulation (EC) No 1211/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 25, 2009 establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (“BEREC”) and the Office.

Telecommunications regulations are, to a large extent, based on EC regulations and EU directives, but their application is often national and depends on the characteristics of the Polish market and the UKE President’s regulatory policy.
The main legal act regulating telecommunications in Poland is the Telecommunications Law. The Telecommunications Law is implemented together with secondary legislation. In 2004, new provisions were introduced to the Polish Telecommunications Law to reflect the nation’s accession to the European Union and to address technological developments. Substantial amendments were made to the Telecommunications Law, setting out the framework for future development of competition in the telecommunications industry and strengthening consumer protection. This framework identifies types of telecommunications providers that are to be subject to regulation, which regulations include the obligation to provide competitors with access to their telecommunications infrastructure. In January 2013 a significant amendment of the Telecommunications Law came into force providing for changes with an impact on both consumers and telecommunications undertakings. The following are the key changes: obligation to inform consumers on exceeding the data transmission limit, maximum duration of number portability reduced to one day, data retention time reduced to twelve months, new regulations on accessing the telecommunications infrastructure and effective management of radio spectrum resources.

Telecommunications market supervision

Pursuant to the Telecommunications Law, the Minister of Digital Affairs and the UKE President are the administration authorities in Poland responsible for the communications sector in Poland. These authorities cooperate with the players in the telecommunications sector and focus in particular on supporting competition to increase service quality, representing consumer interests, promoting investment in new technology and infrastructure, developing measures to increase the safety and security of the telecommunications system and fostering cooperation at the European level.

Minister of Digital Affairs

The powers of the Minister of Digital Affairs under the Telecommunications Law include, most notably, the power to draft secondary legislation concerning, among other things, tenders, auctions and contests for the reservation of frequencies, the domestic numbering plan, charges for using the numbering resource, the telecommunications charge, specific requirements for the provision of telecommunications access and regulatory accounting and calculations of costs of services, as well as the quality of telecommunications services and the complaint process therefore.

UKE President

Under the Telecommunications Law the UKE President has broad authority to regulate and inspect the telecommunications services markets, radio frequency spectrum management, orbital resources and numbering as well as the right to monitor compliance with electromagnetic compatibility requirements, the development of draft legislation indicated by the minister competent for communications, analysis and evaluation concerning the functioning of the telecommunications services markets and to intervene in matters related to the functioning of these markets, including resolving disputes between telecommunications operators.

The UKE President is also authorized to commence and conduct inspections concerning the compliance of telecommunications undertakings with relevant telecommunications law, regulations, decisions and statements, as well as to inspect equipment being traded or used.
In the event that telecommunications undertakings do not fulfil the obligations imposed on them by the Telecommunications Law or a decision issued by a regulatory authority, the UKE President may, after conducting an investigation, issue recommendations in which the telecommunications undertaking is instructed to remedy any irregularities or to explain within a specified period of time why it failed to remedy such irregularities. If a telecommunications undertaking fails to remedy a particular irregularity or if the explanation it provides is insufficient, the UKE President may order the telecommunications undertaking to remedy the irregularity and may indicate how the irregularity should be remedied, specify the time limit within which the irregularity must be remedied, impose a financial penalty (up to 3% of the revenue that the undertaking being penalized earned in the previous calendar year) and in certain circumstances, impose a fine on the principal manager of the telecommunications undertaking (up to 300% of that manager’s monthly salary calculated in the same manner as the pay equivalent for unused paid holiday entitlement). If the irregularities in question have also occurred previously and are of a serious nature, and if the telecommunications undertaking does not comply with the decision of the UKE President, the UKE President may ban the telecommunications undertaking from performing telecommunications activities.

European Commission

Under Article 7 of the Framework Directive, the EC has certain powers to limit the power of the UKE President in the event a measure taken by the UKE President could affect trade between member states. The EC has, among others, the power to require the UKE President to withdraw a draft measure. The EC has exercised this right on numerous occasions, rejecting draft decisions concerning Former Markets 1 2 and presenting its comments to draft decisions concerning Former Markets 9, 13, 14 and 16(7).