The right to fast Internet has been a hotly debated topic for weeks. The consumer association had demanded at least 50 MBit/s to be able to handle today’s huge data volumes. However, the Federal Network Agency sees things differently. It considers 10 MBit/s to be sufficient in the basic service or universal service.
Basic service of 10 MBit/s
The Federal Network Agency considers a speed of 10 MBit/s in download and 1.3 MBit/s in upload to be absolutely sufficient for basic Internet service. Latency must not exceed 150 milliseconds. That’s according to an expert opinion and initial thoughts on the consultation on minimum requirements for Internet access highlighted.
A total of three expert opinions were published as part of the process, dealing with the technical requirements of online services. The experts consider a download rate of 7.7 Mbit/s to be necessary for the use of the services, while the Federal Network Agency increases this to 10 Mbit/s after all.
“An Internet access that meets these requirements enables, according to the expert opinions published today, the use of all Internet services essential for basic services,” it says on the part of the authority. In addition, also in other European countries, no more than 10 Mbit/s has been specified as a minimum requirement for downloading.
In the Telecommunications Act (TKG) are anchored since December 1, 2021 new rules for basic services. 80 percent of the average used data rate is currently considered the benchmark. However, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZBV) already criticized at the end of November 2021 that no specific minimum bandwidth had been defined so far. It considered a bandwidth of at least 50 MBit/s to be necessary.
Values are only an initial guide
However, the values that the Federal Network Agency has now set are not set in stone. “The proposed values represent only a first way marker, which is to be reviewed annually. Here it is to be expected that the development will take a dynamic course and thus reflect technological progress”, says Jochen Homann, President of the Federal Network Agency.
Furthermore, in addition to the expert opinions, data from a company survey was included, in which the minimum bandwidth used by at least 80 percent of consumers according to the law (so-called 80 percent criterion) was determined. This was based on the minimum bandwidth guaranteed in the respective contracts.
The values for this majority criterion were even lower, at 6 Mbit/s for downloads and 0.7 Mbit/s for uploads, which is why it is not currently applied.