The new Telecommunications Act (TKG), which will be launched in December, brings with it a “right to fast Internet”. But there is no concrete indication of what the phrase “fast” ultimately means. Consumer groups see a placebo effect in the amendment and are calling for at least 50 MBis/s for all.
Consumer centers criticize telecommunications law
Starting in December, the amendment to the Telecommunications Act (TKG) with the right to fast Internet, which was passed in spring 2021, will come into force. The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZBV) criticizes the fact that no concrete minimum bandwidth is mentioned in the process and sees this as a placebo effect, as VZBV board member Klaus Müller said in a statement:
The promised right to fast Internet remains a political placebo without adequate speed. […] As a bandwidth should initially be set at least 50 Mbit / s.
The Federal Network Agency, which has been entrusted with the design of concrete specifications for universal service, must now act accordingly, it continues.
In this regard, the amendment is too vague in many places and is oriented only to the specifications of the European Code for Electronic Communications, which are defined as a minimum. The right to fast Internet promised in the previous coalition agreement is substantially absent, Müller said.
Details on broadband availability
According to VZBV calculations, broadband availability for all technologies was at least 100 MBit/s for 88.5 percent of households in 2020, and even 200 MBit/s or more for 78.5 percent in the same year.
At the same time, according to the calculations, around 28.8 million broadband connections came to at least a speed of only 21 Mbit/s in 2020. By contrast, 18.05 million connections had a speed of 68 Mbit/s.
The call for a minimum bandwidth in the new Telecommunications Act of 50 Mbit/s to start with is therefore a good compromise solution for meeting the associated legally secured claim to fast Internet.