Decision in the Federal Council: How lame can the Internet connection be?

Significantly higher goals were also aimed at during the deliberations of the two responsible Federal Council committees. The majority of the transport committee called for a download speed of 30,8 megabits – more than three times as much as the federal government intends. The upload minimum should increase from 1.7 to 5.2 megabits. The consumer protection committee demanded similarly high values.

Consumer advocates support the federal states

The Federal Council committees also want to delete the word “regularly” from the regulation, which would have far-reaching consequences. This would mean that the specified minimum speeds would have to be adhered to much more strictly than in the Federal Network Agency’s draft.

The federal states are supported by consumer protection groups: the Federal Consumer Association (vzbv) also called for improvements, including higher initial bandwidths. The minimum requirements must also always be met. Everyone in Germany must finally have nationwide access to the Internet, explained Jutta Gurkmann, board member of the vzbv. “However, the cabinet draft opens up the possibility of going even further below the specified minimum requirements (…) by means of an opening clause.”

Brandbrief could cause a turnaround

Like the Voting in the Federal Council on Friday is open. Until recently, many observers assumed that the federal government’s plans for the right to high-speed Internet were in danger of failing in the Bundesrat. However, a fire letter from the Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport to the state governments could cause a last-minute change of mind.

In the letter available to the German Press Agency, State Secretary Stefan Schnorr warns the states undiplomatically pointed out that the higher requirements demanded were not possible. “Neither the national nor the European legal framework allows this.” The improvements demanded go far beyond the statutory requirement of a minimum supply and would lead to disproportionate obligations on the part of companies. “In addition, an increase in the values ​​would result in a lasting impairment of the gigabit expansion in the area.”

The decision will be made on Friday

The industry associations had previously made it clear that that the increase in the minimum requirements will slow down fiber optic expansion, because then financial resources and construction capacities would have to be used differently than planned.

Schnorr warned the federal states against setting the number of needy households so high that they would not Priority will be given to helping those who are very badly or not at all connected to the Internet with the minimum values. Whether these arguments will motivate the majority of the federal states to agree to the lower values ​​will be seen in the Bundesrat on Friday.

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