The government hopes to use a combination of public and private funding in order to shrink the nation’s digital divide
According to a statement from the Polish Ministry of Digitalisation, 307 applications have been submitted for a portion of the PLN 9 billion ($2.22 billion) of funding available for national broadband projects.
Of these, 64 are applications to cover 187 areas of Poland that the government has declared ‘white spots’ – areas that have no internet access at all.
Alongside the EU-linked government funding, the private sector is expected to contribute at further PLN 750 million ($185.2 million) to fund the broadband projects.
According to the Polish government, this will be on the country’s largest ever investment in broadband expansion.
Poland launched the Operational Programme Digital Poland (POPC) in 2014, which carries out public broadband funding, and since then has covered more than 2 million households with broadband. In addition, over PLN 4 billion ($990 million) has been invested into broadband coverage for underserved communities.
Poland’s national broadband plan, which was updated in 2020, aims to achieve broadband speeds of at least 100Mbps for everyone in the country, and at least 1Gbps for socio economic drivers such as schools and transport hubs. It also seeks to ensure 5G connectivity is available on all major communication routes and in major urban areas.
In tandem with the POPC, the country has launched for the Nationwide Education Network, which aims at providing all schools in Poland (about 19,500 locations) with free internet with speeds of at least 100 Mbps.
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