On 15 November 2022, the government approved two legislative proposals; the Electronic Communications Law, to harmonize Polish law with the European Electronic Communications Code, and the secondary legislation implementing the Electronic Communications Law. The deadline for implementation of the EECC was 21 December 2020.
The Electronic Communications Law will take the place of the Telecommunications Law of 2004, the legislation which is currently in effect.
The proposal adopted by the government for the Electronic Communications Law will be submitted to the Sejm, where work on the bill will continue. The new law is to take effect six months from publication, except for certain provisions which will take effect earlier.
The Electronic Communications Law is intended to regulate the entire electronic communications services market. The changes made under the new law will include making entities providing publicly available number-independent interpersonal communication services (such as e-mail or online video call tools) subject to the new rules. This change expands the group of communications service providers covered by the new laws. Primarily, the current Telecommunications Law specifies rules for providing telecommunications services and telecommunications network services, and does not cover electronic communications via online messaging and video call tools.
Another major change under the Electronic Communications Law is enhanced protection of rights of electronic communications services end-users (including end-users of telecommunications services). Electronic communications firms will have new disclosure obligations (providing concise terms of service) and end-users’ rights will be better protected when concluding agreements with service providers.
The changes intended to give end-users better protection include:
- prepaid subscribers being entitled to a refund of their account balance if an account expires or there is a change of service provider;
- a limit of the value of claims for compensation due from a subscriber to service providers if the subscriber gives notice of early termination of the agreement.
Another major change is new rules on frequency and numbering resources management, and on ensuring access to telecommunications networks.