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Poland cancels 5G spectrum auction and will resume with new process

News

The Polish regulator, the Office of Electronic Communications (Urzad Komunikacji Elektronicznej – UKE), is looking to head off legal challenges.

Poland’s 5G spectrum auctions for 3.6GHz spectrum will not go ahead as planned later this month due to the disruption caused by the pandemic, the UKE said.

However, when the auction goes ahead at some unspecified time in the future, Reuters reports that it will adopt a new process in an attempt to avoid legal action by any of the parties concerned.

A statement from the Ministry of Digitisation (Ministerstwo Cyfryzacji, MC) noted that the original documentation for the auction process did not include any rules or guidance for what would happen should the auction have to be postponed.

Hence it is open to possible legal action regarding changes to the deadline for bidders to submit preliminary offers.

New legislation

In a blog, Katarína Ondrovičová of legal firm Bird & Bird explained that the Polish government is working on a legal act regulating various matters in relation to COVID-19.

On 25 March, the President of UKE sent a letter to all telco networks providers in Poland requesting them to take all the necessary steps to ensure continuity of data transfer and voice services and prevent network congestion as provided for under Article 3 (3) (b) and (c) of the Regulation 2015/2120 and also alerted them to the joint statement of BEREC and the European Commission of 19 March.

In parallel, Poland’s new Anti-crisis Shield Act does not appear to contain anything specific to the telecommunications sector, but the Act is designed to halt civil law and administrative deadlines until COVID-19 no longer has emergency status in the country.