Bonn This right to a price reduction exists if the Internet is worse than contractually agreed. There are specifications for the maximum, minimum and normally available bandwidth. The desktop app allows consumers to check if their contract is delivering what it promises.
The legally binding measurement option has been available since mid-December. The procedure is time-consuming with 30 tests over several days – only then is a measurement – also called a “measurement campaign” – completed. The measurement protocols do not state how high the price reduction should be. Consumers need to clarify this with their suppliers. A new computer from the consumer center should help here.
Number of measurements decreases
The number of measurements has been declining recently. According to the network agency, there were around 15,000 completed measurement campaigns in the first two and a half months, and now there are around 22,000 after six and a half months.
The consumer advocate Felix Flosbach finds the declining use regrettable. He also attributes this to the fact that the measuring tool is cumbersome to handle. “This is a hurdle that is too high for many consumers – even though their internet at home is lousy.” In addition, the reduction claim is not yet known enough, so many citizens do not yet know about this possibility, says Flosbach. “Within half a year, it was officially proven that around 22,000 Internet connections are worse than contractually agreed – that’s not a small number.”
He appeals to the providers to only advertise what is technically feasible for them. “Unfortunately, there is still a big gap between marketing and reality in the communication of the telecommunications industry.”
A positive sign?
Vodafone is pleased. “We see a decreasing number of submitted speed tests as a positive sign that our ongoing network upgrade is being received by our customers,” says a company spokesman. In particular, the construction of new fiber-optic lines in the network increases stability and ensures even more performance.
There are around 37 million Internet connections in Germany. If one puts the 22,000 measurements in relation to this, the proportion of the proven deficient connections is very small. The “very low number of complaints” made 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 for copper lines. This is different with fiber optics.
In addition, the VATM managing Director says that fluctuations did not automatically mean a worse possibility of use: sending mail and streaming video could still work.