The authority published initial “Considerations for Consultation” on December 22, 2021, based on three expert opinions. The background to this is the new version of the Telecommunications Act, in which new rules for universal service have been anchored since December 1, 2021. The Federal Network Agency must issue a statutory ordinance by June 1, 2022, in which the rules are specified. The Bundestag, Bundesrat and the Ministry for Digital and Transport must give their prior consent.
On the basis of the expert opinion, the authority also puts a minimum upload rate of 1.3 megabits per second and a delay time (latency) of a maximum of 150 milliseconds up for discussion. According to the reports, internet access that meets these requirements enables all internet services essential for basic services to be used, announced the network agency.
“The newly created law wants to enable all citizens to use all essential Internet services, teleworking from home and video streaming to the usual extent,” said Jochen Homann, head of the authorities, according to the announcement.
The new requirements concern a minority of citizens. By the end of next year, 98 percent of households are to be supplied with a bandwidth of 100 megabits – that is, ten times as high a speed.
The authority announced that it would review the supply requirements annually and adjust them in line with technological developments. On the basis of the values specified in the statutory ordinance, the network agency also wants to determine undersupply in the future. If no telecommunications company submits a suitable voluntary offer there, companies should be obliged to supply. “In principle, all technologies are to be taken into account, if they are suitable,” it said. (dpa / rw)