Status: 07/26/2022 10:23 a.m.
Many Internet connections in Germany do not provide the contractually agreed speed. Nevertheless, only a few consumers are demanding price reductions, as an analysis by the Federal Network Agency shows.
Few Internet users take the opportunity to register their Internet speed in order to demand a price reduction from their broadband provider. The number of measures has decreased in recent months.
According to the Federal Network Agency, around 22,000 measurements were taken between mid-December and the end of June using the broadband measurement app provided by the authority. This means that the number of measurements has recently decreased, because according to the network agency, around 15,000 measurements had already been taken by consumers by the end of February. In the next four months, only about 7,000 were added.
Most measures show deficits
A majority of citizens could probably impose a reduction in the price of Internet access. According to the Federal Network Agency, the measurements carried out “almost exclusively” determined a demand for reduction.
Such a claim exists if the Internet is worse than contractually agreed. There are specifications for maximum, minimum, and normally available bandwidth. The Federal Network Agency has made available a desktop application that can be used to check this.
Internet too slow is the norm
Only a few weeks ago, the authority again confirmed that in many cases Internet access in Germany does not guarantee the transmission speeds that were contractually guaranteed to customers. Across all bandwidth classes and providers, the contractually agreed maximum download speed was only fully reached or exceeded by 36.5% of fixed network users.
During the measurement period from October 2020 to September 2021, 83.5% of users received at least half of the agreed maximum data transmission rate. According to the information, the general level of mobile communications was even significantly lower than that of the fixed network. Only 2.6% of users fully reached or exceeded the contractually agreed maximum data transmission rate when downloading.
Consumer advocates say measurement tool is too complex
From the perspective of consumer advocates, the price reduction claim is not yet well known to many customers. In addition, the measurement tool of the Federal Network Agency is very complex to use, as Felix Flosbach of the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer advice center says: “It’s too high a hurdle for many consumers – even if their home internet is lousy.” The legally binding measurement option requires 30 tests over several days. Only then is a measurement – also called a “measurement campaign” – completed.
It’s also unclear how much the price reduction will be after a non-contracted internet speed is determined. Users should clarify this directly with their provider and always on a case-by-case basis. According to consumer advocate Flosbach, Internet service providers still often sell unrealistic data rates: “Unfortunately, there is still a big gap between marketing and the reality of communication in the telecommunications industry.”
The industry sees a positive trend
On the other hand, the industry has a different appreciation of the number of measurements. According to a company spokesperson, Vodafone sees the drop in speed test submissions as “a positive sign that our continued network upgrade is being well received by our customers.”
The professional association VATM also considers that the “very low number of complaints” is proof that “the vast majority of users are satisfied with their Internet connections”. Fluctuations in download speed are also normal, especially with copper lines. They do not automatically mean a worse possibility of using the Internet connection.