German Federal Network Agency publishes annual broadband test report 2019/2020

President Homann reflects on the results: “Improvement over previous years”

The Federal Network Agency has published the findings of its broadband test today.

“Compared to previous years, the trend is positive. Although customers still often do not achieve the speed promised in their contracts, slight improvements can be observed, especially for fixed broadband connections,” says Jochen Homann, president of the Federal Network Agency. “This is welcome news because the telecommunications sector is also facing immense challenges as a result of the corona pandemic.”


Fixed network results

In the current reporting period and across all broadband categories and providers, 73.6% of fixed broadband users received download speeds of at least half the contractually agreed maximum speed (2018/2019: 70.8%). For 24.0% of users (2018/2019: 16.4%), the delivered speed equalled or exceeded this.

Results once more varied between the individual broadband categories and providers. Most customers rated their provider’s service between very good and satisfactory. At 60.7%, the proportion of satisfied customers continues to decline slightly (2018/2019: 61.4%).


Mobile network results

In the current reporting period, customers with mobile broadband connections were significantly less satisfied than fixed broadband customers. Across all broadband categories and providers, 17.4% of mobile broadband users (2018/2019: 14.9%) received download speeds of at least half of the contractually agreed estimated maximum speed; for 2.1% of users (2018/2019: 1.5%), the delivered speed equalled or exceeded this. This therefore reflects a slight improvement in mobile broadband over the previous year.

The findings revealed that the percentage of connections delivering the contractually agreed estimated maximum download speed tended to be lower among the higher performance broadband categories. As in the fixed broadband sector, the findings also revealed differences among the mobile broadband providers.

The vast majority of end customers rated their providers between very good and satisfactory (74.2%). This is more or less the same as last year (2018/2019: 74.3%).

The fact that the calculated broadband measurement percentages remain low suggests that mobile broadband users still rank mobility and availability of service more highly than receiving the promised download speeds.


Special effects of corona

A significant increase in the number of fixed broadband measurements was observed during the first corona lockdown. In the three quarters of the corona pandemic in 2020, it is interesting to note that the number of mobile broadband measurements decreased compared to the same quarters in the previous year.

The quarterly presentation did not show any changes in the download or upload data transmission speeds or the measured latencies as a result of the pandemic for either fixed and mobile broadband connections.


Broadband coverage cannot be inferred from measurements

The broadband measurement results depend on the tariff contract between the user and provider. Consequently, no statement can be made about broadband coverage or the availability of broadband internet services on the basis of the broadband measurement. The sole purpose of the test is to compare the speed actually received by customers with the speed contractually agreed with the provider.


Improved desktop app

From 1 February 2021, in addition to the already available verification procedure, the desktop app can be used for individual measurements. It will be able to measure gigabit connections as well as connections with low data transmission rates.

If the individual measurement indicates a breach of the download speed contractually agreed with the provider, users can proceed to the verification procedure in the desktop app to generate a measurement report for presentation to the provider in support of their case.


Information about the annual report

The report covers the period between 01 October 2019 and 30 September 2020. In total, 949,414 valid measurements were analysed for fixed broadband connections and 448,058 for mobile broadband connections (2018/2019: 829,426 fixed; 527,558 mobile).

The complete report has been published at https://breitband-monitor.de/breitbandmessung/jahresberichte. The corresponding validation, methodology and measurement results are also explained in a separate document.

Further information and charts – especially on all providers – can be seen in the interactive presentation of results at https://breitband-monitor.de/breitbandmessung/interaktive-grafiken-und-tabellen.