Decision of the Federal Council – basic Internet service: lame 10 Mbit/s must be enough
The gaping gap between the possible maximum speed and the minimum coverage set by the Federal Network Agency then met with sharp criticism, especially in the large states. The fact that state elections are in sight in Lower Saxony and Bavaria and that voters are increasingly making the quality of the digital infrastructure an important election criterion may also have played a role.
Committees had sought more speed
The two responsible specialist committees in the Federal Council had therefore aimed for significantly higher goals. 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 intended. The upload minimum should increase from 1.7 to 5.2 megabits. The consumer protection committee demanded similarly high values.
During the deliberations in the Bundesrat on Friday, however, the critics from Lower Saxony and Bavaria no longer stepped in front of the microphone because it had already become apparent that they would not be able to enforce their demands. So it was up to the Baden-Württemberg Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) to criticize the regulation. “Digitization today means prosperity tomorrow. And for that we need the necessary infrastructure – data highways, fiber optic networks, the latest mobile phone standards, gigabit Internet connections and broadband mobile phone services,” said the CDU politician.
The federal government’s goal is 15 Mbit/s
Strobl called the values presented for the minimum supply “underambitious”. However, he was satisfied that shortly before the vote in the Bundesrat, the federal government had announced that it would increase the minimum service target to 15 Mbit/s in the foreseeable future. “It’s really a very, very, very lowest standard that is laid down here,” said Strobl. With the statement in the minutes, however, the federal government itself has given a clear signal that there is still room for improvement. Therefore, the regulation will also be approved.
The federal states were able to let off steam in a resolution that was adopted together with the ordinance: The Bundesrat criticized that the ordinance did not live up to the expectations of the citizens of “fast Internet”. For equal participation in digital life, it is essential that every household in Germany has the best possible care – even in rural areas.
Technical requirements are constantly increasing
In the resolution, the chamber of the federal states called on the federal government to quickly develop the minimum supply against the background of the constantly increasing technical requirements for Internet access and voice telecommunications services. Stricter parameters and a tighter commitment process for companies are needed.
Above all, the representatives of the federal states fear that the current minimum supply rates in multi-person households are not sufficient to work smoothly in the home office or to use digital educational offers online without disruptions. You now have to hope that the Federal Network Agency will continue to make improvements. Authorities chief Klaus Müller promised on Friday: “The definition is a start. The value is checked annually and will increase in the coming years.”