TKG amendment: Federal Council for “ambitious” right to fast Internet

On Friday, the Federal Council urged extensive improvements to the ongoing amendment to the Telecommunications Act (TKG) and to the federal government’s draft for the reform of the IT Security Act. In principle, the “Telecommunications Modernization Act” should be designed in such a way that “gigabit telecommunications networks” are built as quickly as possible. The Chamber of States emphasizes that “only an ambitious definition of the term ‘fast Internet’ will meet the expectations associated with it”.

According to the government plan, the Federal Network Agency is to determine the bandwidth required for standard applications and use the average of the bandwidth used by “at least 80 percent of consumers in Germany”. This seems too vague to the Federal Council. The federal government is now to examine how the technical requirements for the legal claim can be “best implemented”. Not only upload and download values ​​but also reaction times (“pings”) should be included.

“In particular, it must be ensured that the self-economic expansion” is not slowed down, emphasizes the committee. It also wants to know whether the federal states and the municipalities will “face additional expenditure”. The legislature can best answer the unanswered questions “outside of the current amendment,” says the Federal Council in favor of standardizing the claim separately later. This is not prescribed by the EU, but a goal of the federal government with a time horizon until 2025.

In the course of further considerations, implementation options within the framework of a funding model, for example through the gigabit vouchers preferred by the economy, should also be considered, the states believe. An application by the Consumer Protection Committee to set the initial minimum bandwidth for a high-speed broadband connection to 30 Mbit / s, to be implemented within six months of the law coming into force and then to be dynamically expanded in line with the majority of the bandwidth used, was not approved.

Decoupled from the right to a fast network and the associated understanding that, for example, home office must be technically possible, the legislature should initially only modernize the universal service, emphasizes the Federal Council. He continues to see this as “the central and suitable instrument to ensure affordable telecommunications (TC) services such as functioning Internet access for end users in the interests of basic services”. However, this should not inhibit “the activities of the market players” or targeted funding. Over-the-top providers such as WhatsApp should also be included for financing.

With the amendment, the federal government wants to abolish the possibility of including the fees for TV reception and Internet via cable connection in the apportionable ancillary costs with a transition period of two years. The Housing Committee had recommended that this particularly contested clause be completely deleted, but could not score with it.

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