The FTTH Council Europe calls on Poland to put fibre to the home (FTTH) at the heart of its digital strategy. As Warsaw prepares to host the FTTH Conference 2015, Poland’s government is also facing key decisions that will determine how easily its citizens and businesses can become part of the online economy. A strategy based on FTTH will provide the most reliable foundation for the digital world, says the Council.
Historically Poland lacked a modern telecommunications infrastructure, but the situation is changing rapidly. Uptake of broadband services in Poland is still lower than the European average, especially in rural areas. With a total of 77,000 FTTH/B subscribers, Poland did not appear in the previous edition of the FTTH Ranking because – with only 0.51 per cent of Polish homes subscribing to FTTH/B at year-end 2013 – it has not yet reached the 1 per cent threshold. However, Poland is one of Europe’s fastest growing economies: between 2007 and 2013 its gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 18.2 per cent.
In 2014 the Polish government must set the course for the next five years. Thanks to funding from the European Union (2007–2013), long-distance fibre networks have been installed across the country. Now the Government must decide how to connect end users into that network, setting out a comprehensive plan to connect the country’s citizens by the year 2020 – in line with the targets set out in the Digital Agenda for Europe.
“Now is the time to make the right decision for Poland’s future,” said Karin Ahl, President of the FTTH Council Europe. “FTTH is the only future-proof way to build broadband access networks, and it is our strongly-held view that public money should ONLY be spent on future-proof infrastructure. We are encouraged by what we hear, and we hope that Poland will soon join the world’s leading FTTH economies.”