Great increase in Internet and telephone payments! Prices for telecommunications services have risen





Author: SHUTTERSTOCK
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If the National Cyber ​​Security Act comes into force, operators will calculate the cost of replacing the necessary equipment. In the case of one of the largest operators in the Polish telecommunications services market alone, they are valued at about 900 million PLN. Telecommunications may want to pass these costs on to consumers, said Dr. Wellesa Forum Chairman Dr. Jacek Janiszewski writes.

The cybersecurity amendment prepared by the Ministry of Digitalization envisages a number of changes related to the operation of the strategic network for the most important government agencies and services. The project will also rebuild the current market of telecommunications operators in the Polish market. The financial impact of this regulation will be felt directly by consumers themselves. Draft amendments to the Law on the National Cyber ​​Security System and some other laws on March 15 this year. Telecommunications entrepreneurs outside Europe and NATO member states have strict provisions, with the exception of the Polish market. Companies known as high-risk suppliers will have to leave the Polish market, and one of the criteria to be considered, inter alia, is nationality. “The likelihood that a hardware or software provider is under the control of a country outside the European Union or NATO will be assessed.” Experts have no doubt that this creates direct discrimination against Asian suppliers.

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The act brings an interesting situation, restricts the principles of free market and competition, and creates serious legal and economic consequences for the Polish state. The draft act stipulates that if a network device and software manufacturer is considered a high-risk supplier, it will have to abandon the existing service and the development of the 5G network in Poland. Telecommunications will not be able to receive additional equipment from it, and the equipment purchased so far will have to be decommissioned within 7 years (in special cases – within 5 years). According to the calculations of Audytel SA, this means an inevitable increase in the price of equipment provided by other market participants, especially the most advanced 5G equipment. I rate them at 17% to 23%.

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Telecommunications companies will have to spend more than ever to replace equipment and buy new ones from approved companies. Finally, consumers will pay for the modernization process in the form of higher payments for telecommunications services. This will mainly apply to customers of operators such as Play, Orange or T-Mobile, which use the infrastructure provided by non-EU institutions. According to the analysis of Audytel SA, such a decision on network equipment of Chinese origin will cost the Polish telecommunications industry (fixed and mobile phone operators) about 13.4 billion PLN in just 5 years. Taking into account the additional costs, this cost increases to 14.9 billion PLN (increased maintenance costs, energy consumption and legal disputes).

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The expulsion of Asian companies from the Polish market also has special legal consequences. Poland is subject to a number of international agreements, including the provisions of the GATT Free Trade Agreement. Companies recognized as high-risk organizations to be targeted by the College of Cybersecurity may seek a refund of some of the funds already invested in Poland or compensation for lost profits as a result of a top-down decision to suspend operations. of a state body.

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In the last, seventh version of the KSC Act of March 15, 2022, a provision was added to admit selected industry representatives to the College of Cybersecurity process at the request of telecommunications companies. The largest companies with annual revenues of more than 100 million PLN will also be able to participate in the process of recognizing a certain institution as a high-risk supplier. This solution was welcomed by the industry at an average level, as this criterion excludes the representation of small and medium enterprises. These are, to a large extent, direct business partners of enterprises that can be considered potentially high-risk suppliers. Thus, the SME sector will not be able to comment on its work.

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