40% of Poles with insufficient internet speed during pandemic

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According to a report by the Polish Economic Institute, Poland still has unequal access to internet quality, which was even more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, about 15.3 million Poles lived in areas with insufficient download speeds.

Adequate internet quality is a problem for 15.3 Poles

As many as 201 counties experienced at least one form of digital exclusion risk during the pandemic due to inadequate internet speeds. This was a period when Internet users required significantly higher bandwidths that were necessary for their remote lifestyles. However, according to the PIE analysis, in 184 counties (48.4% of all counties in Poland) at least half of the tests conducted on fixed or wireless connections showed insufficient download speed. This means that this problem affected as many as 15.3 million Poles.

The report also states that good quality mobile access could only slightly compensate for the lack of fixed access. This may be due to the fact that 13.4 million people were faced with insufficient mobile internet speeds.

Wielkopolska as the only region in Poland with average speed above 100 Mbps

However, analyzing all internet quality tests conducted between 2019 and 2020, average internet speeds increased by more than 50% (from 40.8 Mbps to 62 Mbps) for home internet and 40% (from 20.7 Mbps to 29 Mbps) for mobile connections. Translating this to counties, 97% gained better access during the pandemic on fixed lines, 75% on wireless, and 94% on mobile devices (using mobile internet directly).

Access to adequate quality of Internet connection, however, depends on individual regions. Only the Wielkopolska province, as the only one in Poland during the tests, achieved an average result above 100 Mbps for all counties. In Poznan alone, the average download speed in the last quarter of 2020 was 114 Mbps.

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