Federal government decides: Everyone has the right to 10 Mbit/s Internet
The federal government has decided on the “right to fast internet” for every citizen. But there is also criticism.
Federal government decides “right to fast internet”
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After some delay, the federal government has now passed the ordinance for a “right to fast internet” for every citizen. In concrete terms, this means that every German citizen will in future be entitled to a fixed-line Internet connection with a minimum download speed of 10 megabits per second and upload speed of 1.7 megabits per second – the federal government is essentially following a draft by the Federal Network Agency. 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.
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.
That’s how it goes now
The original plan was for the federal government regulation to come into force on June 1, 2022. However, after the decision on the regulation was delayed, this is currently considered rather unlikely. The Digital Committee of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat still have to agree.
The opposition has already criticized the regulation. “We have serious doubts as to whether a 10 megabit download rate and a 1.7 megabit upload rate per connection is sufficient for a family with children as the basic service,” explains Reinhard Brandl, digital policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, according to a report the daily news.
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 are to 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 months that followed, the requirements were discussed before the Federal Network Agency made its proposal in December 2021, after 10 Mbit/s was 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 ).