Federal Council decides right to fast Internet – despite criticism of only 10 MBit/s

The Federal Council has approved the ordinance that gives every citizen a “right to fast internet”. There is also criticism.

After the Federal Government and the Bundestag, the Bundesrat also approved the law last Friday, which gives every citizen a “right to fast Internet”. Recently, however, there had been criticism of the law from some federal states because some federal states described the speed specifications for downloads, uploads and latency specified in the regulation as not “up-to-date”. Klaus Müller, President of the Federal Network Agency, promises: “The determination is a start. The value is checked annually and will increase in the coming years.”

With the “right to fast internet”, every German citizen will in future be entitled to a fixed network internet connection with a minimum download speed of 10 megabits per second and upload speed of 1.7 megabits per second. In addition, the rule applies that the latency of the Internet connection may not exceed 150 milliseconds, although exceptions are also provided for higher response times for satellite Internet connections.

All citizens have the right to an Internet connection that meets these minimum requirements, whether they live in the city or in the country.

What the “right to fast internet” means

Faster Internet connections are already widespread in cities and some VDSL users may only smile wearily at a 10 Mbit/s connection. But things are different in many places in the country. In the future, residents will be able to invoke their right to faster Internet and the Federal Network Agency can order the laying of lines that improve the Internet connection.

The new regulation is intended to ensure that the “digital participation” of all citizens who have so far been cut off from the Internet supply is ensured.

10 Mbit/s for everyone is just the beginning

Incidentally, the properties now defined that an Internet connection must meet are not set in stone. These minimum values ​​should be checked and defined annually. It is expected that the lower limit will increase over the years as the grid expands.

The aim of the federal government is to increase the number of fiber optic connections. So far, only a fifth of all households are connected to the fiber optic network. Download speeds of up to 1,000 Mbit/s are possible here and the upload is up to 500 megabits per second. The proportion of households that can surf the net via fiber optics is expected to increase to half of all households by 2025.

A long way to the “right to fast internet”

The introduction of the right to fast internet has been discussed for years. The Bundestag had already approved an amendment to the Telecommunications Act in April 2021, which gives all citizens the right to fast Internet. In the following months, the specifications were then discussed before the Federal Network Agency made its proposal in December 2021, after 10 Mbit/s is initially sufficient. “According to the report published today, Internet access that meets these requirements enables the use of all Internet services that are essential for the basic service,” the Federal Network Agency said at the time ( we reported ).

At the beginning of May 2022, the federal government finally decided on the “right to fast internet” and later the Bundestag agreed. After the decision of the Federal Council, the ordinance can soon come into force.

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