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Experts fear that the cost of telecommunications equipment could rise by up to 23%. This will be the result of proposed changes to the National Cyber ​​Security System Act, which will limit competition by removing cheaper network providers from Asia from the Polish market and increasing the cost of telecommunications services. The bill must be submitted to the Sejm soon.

Telecommunications from Europe are preferred

Work on a new system to regulate cybersecurity began two years ago by the Ministry of Digitalization. As of September 2020, the seventh edition of the project has already been released. Despite industry appeals, the draft amendment to the Law on the CSC (National Cybersecurity System) is still the subject of a number of discussions. The most commented provision is the exclusion of telecommunications companies from outside Europe (mainly from China) for the construction of Poland’s 5G network. For the industry, this means an inevitable increase in the price of telecommunications services, including the restriction of competition, and for consumers, the increase in Internet and software fees.

According to experts, the amendment raises serious suspicions that it violates a number of EU rules (the principle of freedom of entrepreneurial activity), as well as national provisions, including the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. equality before the law). As shown by prof. Maciej Rogalski, rector of Lazarsky University, a short story, inter alia, contradicts. joke. Article 18 of the EU Treaty on Activity or Art. Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of country of origin, has unfortunately been retained in its current form in the March 2022 amendment, despite much criticism.

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There is no appeal procedure

The procedure for recognition as a high-risk supplier does not include an appeal procedure, the possibility of appealing any appeal or decision of the College of Cybersecurity. Recognition as a high-risk supplier will exclude the company from current and future operations in the Polish market. Telecommunications companies that use the hardware or software of such a supplier, which is mainly a small and medium enterprise, will have to withdraw it within the next 5 years, and in special cases within 7 years.

The current draft act on the CSC adopts a provision that the excluded entity may be a party to the process. However, if it is considered a high-risk supplier, it will not be granted access to the justification for exclusion. Due to the lost market influence, companies may claim their rights in the international arena. “In practice, this means mass claims for damages to be paid by the Polish State Treasury and to the consumer or taxpayer. In short, this does not mean that an institution or institutions can be liquidated without any effectKozlovsky of Dentons Law Firm said.

Uncertain criteria for evaluating a topic also raise questions, What is the connection between the need to protect the cyber security of the state and its strategic areas and its exclusion on the basis of nationality?and not in a serious sense.

Equipment costs can increase by up to 23%

“The expulsion of one or more players from countries outside the EU and NATO naturally results in a significant increase in prices. The direct cost is estimated at 3-4 billion PLN, and the indirect cost is estimated at 17-23% due to the increase in equipment costs due to reduced competition in the domestic market.“Dentons’ partner, lawyer Wojciech Kozlowski, said.

The consequences of this act will be especially severe for small and medium-sized telecommunications companies with Polish capital. Carol Skupier, president of the National Ethernet Communications Chamber (KIKE), which is examining the costs of the act in terms of the SME sector, said the burden would fall on local businesses. KIKE estimated them at more than 160 million PLN, of which an average of 3 million PLN was allocated to a small and local operator – the cost of possible equipment replacement in Polish companies.


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Bankruptcy of local Polish telecommunications companies

The biggest losers in the changes will be Polish entrepreneurs who have so far worked with cheaper Asian companies in the telecommunications industry.. If discriminatory provisions are applied, EU and non-NATO bodies will not be able to supply hardware and software to the Polish market. This will destroy the existing activities of Polish telecommunications companies and put an end to their further activities. KIKE President Karol Skupień emphasizes that 100% of local small and medium-sized companies with Polish capital use equipment outside the EU and the US. In a KIKE-commissioned survey, “Do you use equipment outside the EU and the United States?” 100% of companies responded positively. “There is no company among us that does not use equipment manufactured outside the EU or the United States. It shows the scale of the threat to our companies if this law is applied in this form, ”Skupień warned.

KIKE unites about 200 organizations. These are telecommunications entrepreneurs, local small and medium-sized enterprises with only Polish capital, serving a small area of ​​the commune, poviat or several poviat. In the light of the proposed act, as noted by the President of Skupje, “the most discriminated against in this act” are small and medium-sized companies with Polish capital that contribute to the budgets of local governments.

In addition, representatives of small and medium-sized telecommunications companies were excluded from the procedure on whether the company was a high-risk supplier. “Some operators with extremely high turnover may be included in the procedure . All other bodies will not be considered parties to the administrative proceedings“- emphasizes Wojciech Kozlowski.

Will the Ministry of Digitization agree to consultations?

The draft amendment to the CSC was established in September 2020. The current seventh version is still controversial, as not all solutions have been the subject of much public debate. Only the first version of the project was consulted. The controversy over the novel shows that there is a need for discussion, especially between small and medium-sized Polish companies. The industry is urging lawmakers to be open to debate. This was the purpose of the meeting of the Parliamentary Group for Consumer and Entrepreneurship Protection. conference “How much will cybersecurity cost us?” Analysis of the consequences of the amendment to the act on the national cyber security system”Took place on Friday, April 22 this year. At the invitation of deputies, experts, including prof. dr hab. Maciej Rogalski (Rector of Lazarski University), Voyciech Kozlovski (Dentons Partner), Karol Skupień (President of the National Ethernet Communication Chamber), General Włodzimierz Nowak (Telecommunications and Security Expert, former T-Mobile member) and former authorized representative of the government on cybersecurity), as well as a member of the Confederation Krzysztof Bosak.

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