The colloquial “right to fast Internet“, which requires a minimum speed supply, takes effect immediately. If your connection does not meet the specifications, you can demand a reduction or terminate the contract. However, the process is complex.
Right to fast Internet came into force on 01.06
The Federal Network Agency’s new regulation providing for minimum Internet coverage was recorded in a law gazette on June 17. This means that the right to fast Internet will come into force retroactively to June 01, 2022.
“We think the determination is balanced. It’s like the minimum wage: most people already get significantly more bandwidth today, but in the future no one should fall below it. The determination is a start. The value will be reviewed annually and should increase in the coming years,” says Klaus Müller, President of the Federal Network Agency.
In the future, one wants to oblige providers, if necessary, to provide a minimum bandwidth to customers who are “still without a minimum range of telecommunications services – such as voice telephony, video telephony or online banking,” Müller continues.
The recast Telecommunications Act provides for a minimum download speed of 10 megabits per second and an upload rate of 1.7 Mbit/s. The latency should also not be higher than 150 milliseconds. These values will be reviewed annually by the Federal Network Agency and adjusted if it deems it necessary, he added.
The minimum download bandwidth is to be raised to 15 Mbit/s as early as mid-2023. An increase is also to be made in the upload, but no value is given here yet. As early as November 2021 the consumer centers, however, demanded speeds of at least 50 Mbit/s.
How can I assert the right to fast Internet?
To make the legal claim valid, people should contact the Federal Network Agency directly. The further procedure would then be regulated in detail by law. As soon as the Federal Network Agency identifies an undersupply, it will inform the telecommunications providers within two months.
They then have one month to voluntarily offer coverage at the minimum level. If there is no offer, the Federal Network Agency will intervene and, within four months at the latest, oblige one or more companies to provide the relevant household with the minimum Internet connection speed.
A lengthy process
“The obligated providers must begin to create the prerequisite for the connection after three months at the latest. As a rule, the minimum offer should then be available within another three months,” the statement continues. The process is thus significantly more protracted than initially suspected.
The speed to the availability of the fast Internet connection also depends on any construction work that may be required. In the worst case, it can therefore take up to a year before a household is provided with the required minimum bandwidth.
In addition, the revised law on the provision of telecommunications services does not specify the technology to be used to implement the minimum service. Accordingly, there is no entitlement to a connection via fiber optics, for example.
However, the minimum service must be offered at an affordable price that is based on the development of prices for telecommunications services. The development and level of prices is determined and monitored by the Federal Network Agency. Principles for determining affordable prices and the required connection are to be published in good time.
For more information on the right to fast Internet and the minimum offer, visit the overview page of the Federal Network Agency.