The federal government apparently wants to expand the right to fast internet in Germany. The minimum bandwidth for uploading and downloading is to be increased. This way, more households could benefit from better internet connections. The background.

More citizens in Germany could benefit from the so-called right to fast internet in the future. Currently, all households must have at least ten megabits per second for download and 1.7 megabits for upload. Many people have significantly better connections. However, there are still users with poorer access in remote areas of the country.

Government wants to extend right to fast internet

According to various media reports, the minimum speed of the Internet is set to increase to 15 megabits per second for downloading this year. Uploading speeds are also set to reach at least five megabits per second. This is stated in a letter from the coalition factions of the SPD, Greens and FDP, which was made available to the dpa.

The adjustment is intended to result in more addresses falling below the Internet minimum. According to the Federal Network Agency, the number of under-supplied households would then rise from 1.8 to 2.2 million. However, some of the addresses appear to be within the range of mobile phone antennas that meet the minimum requirements. Supply via satellite Internet is also conceivable, but would have to remain affordable.

The Bundestag's Digital Committee is scheduled to vote on the amendment to the regulation on July 3, 2024. The Federal Network Agency could then issue a new regulation that would come into force in late summer or autumn 2024.

Is the new minimum speed sufficient for home office and gaming?

Increasing the upload speed to five megabits per second is particularly important to enable standard video conferences. The adjustment could therefore bring about improvements, especially in rural areas. There, snail-paced internet is often the reality. However, the new minimum speed would still not be sufficient for multiple calls taking place at the same time or for gaming.

Overall, the term “fast” should be used with caution in connection with the speed expansion. Most city dwellers already use television and fiber optic cables and thus benefit in some cases from speeds of around 1,000 megabits per second.

Consumer advocates are critical

Consumer advocates have mixed reactions to the increase in internet speed. Felix Flosbach from the NRW consumer advice center welcomed the increase. However, he criticized the delay, as the adjustment had already been promised for last year.

President of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, compared the right to a minimum Internet supply with the minimum wage: “Most people get more, nobody is allowed to have less.” The minimum entitlement is regularly reviewed and further adjusted in line with the increasing demands in the Internet age.

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