The Federal Network Agency has once again published the detailed findings of its broadband measurement tool.
“The results are not yet satisfactory. Often, customers are still not getting the Internet speed they were promised,” says Klaus Müller, President of the Federal Network Agency. “Affected consumers can use our broadband measurement tool to collect evidence of reduced performance in the fixed network in order to make claims against their provider.”
Fixed network results
In the fixed network sector, 84.4 percent of users across all broadband categories and providers received download speeds of at least half the contractually agreed maximum data transmission speed. The maximum data transmission speed was equalled or exceeded for 42.3 percent of users.
The results differed greatly between the individual broadband categories and providers. In terms of the absolute data transmission speed, the providers sometimes differed greatly, due in part to technological factors. For the first time, the report also looked at gigabit connections. A comparison with the previous year, in which only connections under 500 Mbit/s were included in the evaluation, is therefore not possible for the aggregated displays.
Most customers (78.2 percent) rated their broadband connection service between very good and satisfactory. Less than 11 percent of customers said their connection was poor or unsatisfactory.
Mobile network results
The overall standard in the mobile sector is again far lower than that in the fixed network sector. Across all broadband categories and providers, 23.2 percent of users (2020/2021: 20.1 percent) achieved at least half the estimated maximum data transfer rate as per contract, and 3.0 percent of users (2020/2021: 2.6 percent) achieved or exceeded the full speed.
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 network sector, the findings also revealed differences among the mobile broadband providers.
The vast majority of end users again rated their providers between very good and satisfactory (70.8 percent). This is however slightly lower than last year (2020/2021: 75.7 percent). The fact that the calculated broadband measurement percent values are low again this year suggests that mobile broadband users still prioritise mobility and absolute data transmission speed over receiving the promised download speeds.
Broadband coverage cannot be inferred from measurements
The broadband measurement results depend on the tariff contract between the user and provider. Consequently, no statements about broadband coverage or the availability of broadband Internet services can be derived from 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.
The amended German Telecommunications Act gives consumers far more rights. For example, if the Internet access service is below that set out in the contract, customers can reduce the monthly payment to their provider or terminate the contract without notice. A prerequisite for this is a “significant, continuous or regularly recurring discrepancy” between actual performance and the speed agreed in the contract.
The broadband measurement desktop app can be used to gather proof of such reduced performance for stationary broadband connections. The app provides a verification procedure, in which a total of 30 measurements are carried out on three different calendar days. The verification procedure concludes with a measurement log, which can be used to claim a reduction from the provider.
The desktop app can be downloaded here: https://breitbandmessung.de/desktop-app.
To support a reduction procedure for the mobile sector as well, the Federal Network Agency took a first step last year and provided key points for consultation. These contain proposals on the most important parameters of the planned verification procedure. In the next step, the Federal Network Agency is planning to issue a general ruling containing guidelines on substantiating reduced mobile network performance and to provide a monitoring mechanism for gathering proof.
Further information about the annual report
The seventh annual report covers the period from 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2022. In total, 398,747 valid measurements were counted with the desktop app. There were 623,581 valid measurements for mobile broadband (2020/ 2021: 441,233). Since the inclusion of gigabit connections meant a change in the recording method in the fixed broadband sector, a meaningful comparison with the findings of previous years is not possible.
The reports for stationary and mobile broadband connections and a short report are published on the broadband measurement website at https://breitbandmessung.de/archiv-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://breitbandmessung.de/interaktive-darstellung.
About the broadband measurement tool
Developed by zafaco GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), the broadband measurement tool has been in operation since 2015 to test and assess the performance of stationary and mobile Internet access services. Measurements can be carried out independently of both provider and technology.