Partial implementation of the European Electronic Communications Code in Poland

Available languages: PL

As part of the works on the subsequent Anti-crisis Shield aimed at counteracting the economic effects of the coronavirus, Poland decided to partially implement the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC). The Code was introduced under the EU directive of 2018 that established a new regulatory framework on electronic communications. The deadline for its implementation to the national legal systems is 21 December 2020. In April 2020 the Ministry of Digital Affairs presented an initial draft of the Act implementing the EECC - the Electronic Communications Law  (ECL), which we previously wrote about.

In the Act dated 14 May 2020 on Amending Certain Acts with Respect to Protective Activities in Connection with the Spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus a number of amendments have been introduced to the Telecommunications Law. The most important ones, which partially implement the requirements of the EECC include:

  • the possibility of rescinding an agreement for the provision of services or to terminate such an agreement in document form, i.e. not necessarily in writing;

  • the subscriber’s right to terminate an agreement for the provision of telecommunications services at any time upon one month’s notice period if such agreement was initially concluded for a specified period of time and then was automatically extended for an unspecified period of time (implementing Article 105 section 3 of the EECC);

  • the right to maintain continuity of Internet access in the case of changing the supplier of such service; analogously to the right allowing for the transfer of a telephone number to a new operator (implementing Article 106 of the EECC).

A part of the introduced changes may be supported by the current situation (e.g. the possibility of terminating an agreement with an operator without the need to leave the house). However, the remaining changes do not seem to be justified by the current state of pandemic. All the more that in accordance with the Act dated 14 May 2020, the afore-indicated amendments to the Telecommunications Law are to come into force as late as on 21 December 2020. Until that time - according to the plans of the Ministry of Digital Affairs - the new Act is to be adopted (ECL) that is to replace the current provisions of the Telecommunications Law and (as one can assume) the provisions that have just been introduced based on the Anti-crisis Shield.