Internet providers in Germany promise high transmission speeds and stable connections. In practice, however, many consumers surf well below the speed promised.
In the corona pandemic, a functioning internet connection is more important than ever. However, many people in Germany cannot expect a stable home office video conferencing connection or smooth streaming after work.
More than a third of them feel slowed down by internet problems almost every day. This is the main result of a representative poll published on Wednesday by YouGov on behalf of the Frankfurt DE-CIX internet hub.
38 percent of consumers in the Federal Republic are struggling with noticeable delays in using the Internet several times a week or even daily. Only eight percent of those polled said they had never experienced problems with accessing the Internet. According to respondents, in the second year of the pandemic, the quality of the internet even deteriorated slightly. In a comparable survey last year, only 33.5 percent of respondents reported problems, almost five percentage points less than the current figure.
The home office turns into torture
Young adults and homeworkers see themselves as victims of technical problems. However, more than a third (34 percent) of the 55+ age group reported in the survey that internet connections were often delayed.
Surprisingly, city dwellers (over 100,000 inhabitants) are slightly more likely to complain about poor internet than rural residents (cities with less than 20,000 inhabitants). While 38 percent of residents in small German towns and rural areas said they struggled with delays when using the Internet several times a week or every day, 41 percent of urban residents complained about a poor network. In turn, only 35 percent. residents of medium-sized cities (20–100 thousand inhabitants) complain about the poor quality of the network.
Respondents most often encounter problems after work when streaming video or music from Netflix, Spotify, YouTube or other services is unstable (35%). A good fifth (21%) have problems with the speed of work at home, for example during videoconferences, webinars or using cloud applications (21%). But even applications that don’t actually require a lot of bandwidth get disrupted at times. This includes transactions such as online banking and online shopping. Here, 18 percent of those polled complained of having a bad internet connection.
Many external causes
In the survey, victims blame external causes for poor network quality. 41 percent they mentioned network congestion as the cause of delays, 32 percent. poor expansion of the local network, and 19 percent. stated that their ISP did not offer enough bandwidth. 12 percent suspect the cause of problems with slow servers from content providers like Netflix. Only 10 percent of respondents see reasons in their own household, such as using outdated laptops or smartphones.
However, experts still advise affected consumers to also look for possible bugs in their own network. In large apartment buildings, many WLAN routers can disturb each other with their radio signals. Connecting a computer or Smart TV with an Ethernet cable can help, if possible. In addition, users should check that their WLAN router is not transmitting on a channel that is already crowded in the area. Popular routers such as AVM’s Fritzbox offer the option of automatically selecting the appropriate radio channel using the “auto channel feature”.
Consumers have extended rights since December 2021 if any improvement measures do not work. If the internet is consistently too slow, you only pay for the speed you actually get. It is then also easy to switch to another provider. With the Federal Network Agency’s Speed Test, you can measure whether your internet connection is up to the promise of your provider. However, the test is relatively complex. A total of 30 measurements on three different calendar days are required to obtain a legally secured measurement report. (dpa)