Poland publicised plans to dismantle its current 5G auction and restart the tender process, to avoid any legal ramifications after it delayed the sale due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

In a statement, the Ministry of Digital Affairs said suspending the process on the assumption of continuing when the epidemic subsides was not in line with auction rules, leaving it open to legal challenges.

Poland’s regulator, the Office of Electronic Communications, put the auction on ice in mid-April, but the government noted because operators had already made moves, the postponement undermined the legal status of the process.

“The government’s intention is to introduce a commercially functioning fifth generation network to Poland as soon as possible and meet the deadlines set out in the Digital Agenda for Europe.”

“Therefore, having regard to the possible consequences, as well as the above-mentioned safety issues, it was decided to repeat the entire procedure”, the ministry stated.

Law changes
The ministry also detailed a revamp of Poland’s telecoms law, aiming to improve customer rights as it moves to bring the market in line with the European Electronic Communications Code.

Fresh rules require operators to improve contract cancellation processes, and be more transparent about contract end dates and best tariff options.

To support the new regulations, the regulator will operate a centralised platform for operators and ISPs to communicate with consumers, a move expected to smooth the process of switching services.