The right to a minimum supply of internet can be legally enforced from now on. The ordinance of the Federal Network Agency was published in the Federal Law Gazette on Friday and came into force retrospectively as of June 1st. The minimum requirements stipulate that a download speed of at least 10 megabits per second must be possible everywhere in Germany. For the upload it should be 1.7 megabits per second. In addition, the response time (latency) must not exceed 150 milliseconds.
Affected people for whom no or only extremely slow connections are available can now contact the Federal Network Agency. However, the process is quite complex. The authority first checks whether there is actually an undersupply and informs the providers of the shortage within two months. The providers then have one month to voluntarily offer a supply with the minimum offer. “If no company makes an offer, the Federal Network Agency will oblige one or more companies to provide the household with a telecommunications connection and to offer telecommunications services within four months at the latest,” the authority said.
After three months at the latest, the providers who are obliged to do so must then begin to create the prerequisites for the connection. “As a rule, the minimum offer should then be available within a further three months. How long it takes before a connection is available depends, for example, on whether significant construction work is required.”
New minimum values politically controversial
However, those affected are then usually not provided with the best possible technology, i.e. fiber optic lines. The law does not specify the technology with which the minimum offer is to be provided. How the minimum bandwidth is made available is up to the provider. The minimum supply must also be provided at “affordable prices”.
The technical specifications were politically controversial. The opposition in the Bundestag and above all the federal states of Bavaria and Lower Saxony criticized that the specified values did not meet the expectations of the citizens of “fast Internet”.
Bundesnetzagentur: Decision is “a start”
The President of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, described the values set as “balanced”. “It’s like the minimum wage: Most people already get significantly more bandwidth today, but in the future nobody should be allowed to fall below it. The determination is a start.” The value is reviewed annually and is likely to increase in the coming years.
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