Gbit downloads, fiber optics, 4K video streaming are also available in Germany. But many people have to be satisfied with far less fast Internet connections. The Federal Network Agency has now presented minimum standards. You can use a free program to measure whether the basic Internet service is available on your connection.
In Germany there is a right to be provided with telecommunications services and an amendment to the Telecommunications Act regulates this more precisely since December 1, 2021. There is talk of one Provision of a minimum service, including a telephone and high-speed Internet access.
But what exactly is “fast internet” supposed to mean? There is nothing in the law about this, and that is a good thing, because the requirements for the minimum supply are likely to change over the years. So it makes little sense to write a fixed data rate into the law and keep changing it. However, concrete specifications are necessary; they are to be defined by means of a statutory ordinance that is reviewed annually.
10 MBit/s as basic internet service
The Federal Network Agency is currently working on the specific values for the minimum output, which are expected to take effect from June 2022. A design brings these concrete values into play:
- Downloads: at least 10 MBit/s
- Upload: at least 1.3 MBit/s
- Latency: at most 150 milliseconds
The values given have not yet been approved, so there may still be changes. But that should be roughly the house number that it will come down to from the middle of the year.
What users can do now: If you currently do not have a supply of telecommunications services and no telecommunications provider has promised you a supply, you can use the contact form to contact the Federal Network Agency.
If you have an Internet connection that perhaps does not meet the minimum standards, you can use the Federal Network Agency’s free broadband measurement program to measure your connection.
This is part of the basic Internet service
The minimum offer of a fast Internet connection includes at least the following digital offers:
- search engines
- basic online tools for education and training
- Online newspapers or online news
- Online Orders
- Online Job Search
- online banking
- Online Government Services
- social media and instant messaging services
- Online calls and video calls
- Online content services (streaming)
- Telehome work including the usual encryption methods
- Online offers for professional networking
Correctly measure an internet connection that is too slow
The Internet connection is always felt to be too slow, but that doesn’t always have to be the provider’s fault. You can do two things in the Federal Network Agency’s broadband measurement program, which is free of charge: carry out an individual measurement of the Internet speed provided or start a targeted verification process.
The best way to get an overview is to take individual measurements and then start a verification process. The latter was developed with the purpose of providing targeted evidence of underperformance by the provider. With the measurement campaign, you take at least 30 measurements on three different days.
In the broadband measurement, first accept the data protection declaration and then select the item “To the verification procedure”.
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Verification procedure for slow internet connection
The procedure provides that you take at least 10 speed measurements on at least three different days, i.e. collect a total of 30 readings. It is best to first click on “Complete user input” and check the provider and tariff information. Then the following steps must be observed:
- Disable WiFi: Do not take any measurements in the WLAN, because the wireless networks are susceptible to a lot of interference. Therefore, make the measurement on a PC or Mac and use a LAN connection directly to the router.
- No network brakes: Your network hardware must not slow down the measurement. Example: You should measure a Gbit connection correctly. Then the network card must be at least as fast, otherwise you have a bottleneck in the system.
- Power to the notebook: If you take the measurements using a notebook, you should connect it to a power source to rule out braking caused by energy-saving modes.
- Measure only: When you run the measurements, you should exit all other programs on the system. You should also remove all other network devices from the WLAN for the measurements.
- Current router: Make sure that the WLAN router uses the latest firmware.
- Turn off WiFi: Turn off WiFi on the router and disconnect other LAN devices.
- Disconnect VPN: All traffic redirection must also be turned off, such as a VPN on the router.
If these requirements are met, click on “Perform measurement”. The tool now checks again whether you are measuring in the WLAN or whether the network card could be a brake. With “Ok, noted” you can get started.
Measurements with many pauses
A measurement with the broadband test usually takes less than a minute, so that’s what you want it to be. Download, upload and latency are measured.
After each measurement, however, the tool tells you to wait at least 5 minutes until the next measurement. There is no automatic system that takes over the entire measurement process at the touch of a button. You must start each measurement explicitly and tick off all the points required for the measurement beforehand.
But it gets even more complicated: There must be a break of three hours between the fifth and sixth measurement on a day. In addition, measurements must be taken on three different days and there must be at least one rest day between the measurement days.
The broadband test helps here, because no one can remember the required measurements and pauses. Nevertheless, you are busy with it, so the discount with the provider has to be earned.
If at least 30 measurements have been taken, divided into 10 on three different days, a measurement protocol is created in the program. The PDF document is digitally signed and you can save it in a folder of your choice.
If your connection does not meet the specified values of the new right to the provision of telecommunications services and no provider offers you an appropriate connection, you can use the contact form to contact the Federal Network Agency.
This is how the Federal Network Agency can help
Once you have transmitted the measured values, the Federal Network Agency will take care of the matter. Please note that this will only work when the final values are expected to be available from June 2022. The Federal Network Agency then takes the following steps:
- check details
- Determination of undersupply within two months
- Providers then have one month to offer coverage with the minimum offer
- If no company makes an offer, the Federal Network Agency will take action
- Within four months at the latest, companies are obliged to make an offer for the minimum supply
- The obligated providers must start work after three months at the latest
- As a rule, the minimum offer should be available within a further three months