Weak Internet: thousands of measurements show deficits | Free press

Good internet at home is extremely important – but what if there is a problem with your connection? Still a completely new law strengthens the position of the consumer. New figures are available now.


In thousands of cases, the native Internet still has serious deficits. From mid-December to the end of June, some 22,000 measurements were made with the Federal Network Agency’s broadband measurement application, nearly all of which led to a reduction request, said Bonn authority, when questioned by dpa.

The aforementioned right to reduce the price exists when the Internet is worse than agreed in the contract. There are specifications for maximum, minimum, and usually available bandwidth. Through the desktop application, consumers can check that their contract is delivering what it promises.

A legally binding measurement option is available from mid-December. The procedure is time-consuming with 30 tests in a few days – only then does the measurement end – also known as a “measurement campaign”. Measurement logs do not specify how high the price reduction should be. Consumers need to explain this to their suppliers. A new computer from the Consumer Advice Center should help.

The number of measurements has been falling recently. According to the network agency, around 15,000 measurement campaigns were carried out in the first two and a half months, and now around 22,000 after six and a half months.

Consumer spokesman Felix Flosbach finds the declining use regrettable. He also attributes this to the fact that the measuring tool is inconvenient to use. “This is an obstacle that is too high for many consumers – even though their internet at home sucks.” In addition, the request for a cut is not yet well known, so many citizens are not yet aware of the possibility, says Flosbach. “Within six months, it was officially established that some 22,000 internet connections are worse than agreed in the contract – not a small amount.”

It urges suppliers to only advertise what is technically feasible for them. “Unfortunately, there is still a big gap between marketing and reality in the communications industry.”

Vodafone is pleased. “We see the decline in the number of uploaded speed tests as a positive sign that our customers are receiving ongoing web updates,” says a company spokesman. In particular, the construction of new fiber optic lines in the network increases stability and ensures even better performance.

There are approximately 37 million internet connections in Germany. If you compare 22,000 measurements with this, the percentage of connections that were found to be faulty is very small. The “very low number of complaints” makes it clear that the vast majority of users are satisfied with their internet connections, says Frederic Ufer of the internet industry association VATM. He points out that fluctuations in the network are normal, especially in the case of copper lines. It is different with fiberglass.

Additionally, VATM’s managing director says fluctuations do not automatically mean poorer usage options: emailing and video streaming may still work. (dpa)

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