Telecommunications Act Reform: eco Doubts Consumer Benefits for Right to Fast Internet and Warns against Extending Data Retention

The German Bundestag has passed the reform of the Telecommunications Act (TKG). The Federal Council (Bundesrat) now still needs to approve the amendment. eco – Association of the Internet Industry sees clear points of criticism of the TKG amendment: The legislator has thus squandered the opportunity for a rapid rollout of networks.

On the reform, Klaus Landefeld, Vice-Chair of eco, says:

“Gigabit infrastructures are essential for citizens, the economy and the state, something which has been particularly evident during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, an entitlement to fast internet does not in itself create gigabit connections, and certainly not through supply obligations. These can only be a last resort and must not become the next stumbling block for a gigabit rollout. Instead of providing an individual house with a 30 Mbit/s connection, we would be better off focusing on several hundreds of gigabit connections in a private-sector or subsidised rollout.

On the other hand, telecommunications providers will have to continue to pay or pay anew for data retention. We strongly criticise the Federal Government and the majority in the Bundestag for ignoring the case law of the European Court of Justice on data retention. What is worse, in the modernisation law that has now been passed, data retention has even been extended.”

Klaus Landefeld