According to the most recent amendment to the Telecom Act (TKG), consumers have the right to reduce monthly payments if internet performance is below the contractual guarantee. For fixed networks, the Federal Network Agency had set rules for this at the end of 2021. On Thursday, it published comparable specifications for mobile Internet access and put them up for discussion, which gives network operators a lot of freedom.
90 percent deviation tolerable
According to the Federal Network Agency, proof of underperformance in mobile communications is significantly more complex than in fixed networks. This is because here a contract is not fulfilled at a certain place. The deciding factor is how efficient the providers’ networks are in different regions.
The regulatory authority therefore wants his model “differentiated deduction” for the determination of relevant deviations from a contractually agreed service. In urban areas, a deviation of 75 per cent of the promised maximum download and upload speeds may be tolerable before compensation becomes due. In semi-urban areas, the deviation is likely to be 85 percent, in rural areas even 90 percent.
“These discounts may seem high,” admits the network agency. Given the often agreed maximum speed of several hundred Mbit/s, this still results in “high data transmission rates” for most end clients.
Same key point as fixed network
According to the key points, the number of measurements needed to prove the reduction should be 30 – as is the case in fixed networks. However, the authority has a different distribution in mind: the survey should be extended to five calendar days in mobile communications, with six measurements per calendar day. In parallel with the participation process for interested parties, which runs until September 30, the Federal Network Agency wants to work on a special measurement tool for verification. Claus Müller, the head of authorities, emphasized: “The goal at the end of this process is to help consumers be able to claim their rights in mobile communications in the future.”
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