Berlin’s problem with slow internet speeds

Does your internet ever seem slower than it should be? Do you ever get the feeling that videos take longer to buffer in the evening? A recent study has shown Germany’s connection speeds are rarely as fast as internet providers advertise.

A study by Germany’s Bundesnetzagentur has shown that most internet users in Berlin are surfing at slower speeds than promised by their providers. This applies to all connection types and providers, according to the study which tested over 200,000 internet connections across Germany.

Only one in five internet users in Germany receive the internet speed promised to them by their provider. Mobile surfing is equally unreliable, with only half of LTE users surfing at more than 50% of the maximum bandwidth.

Berlin’s bandwidth slows by 15% in the evening

Regardless of which connection type they use, an internet user in Berlin can count themselves lucky if they surf at 85% of capacity after 6pm.

German internet providers like Vodafone, Telekom or 1&1 make promises of internet speeds “up to” a certain (maximum) bandwidth. However few providers advertise the minimum guaranteed bandwidth to customers. Switching to a competitor can be slow and complicated for users that are unhappy with their internet speed, especially once a two-year contract has been signed.

In future, providers will be required by the Bundesnetzagentur to inform customers of the minimum guaranteed bandwidth and the average bandwidth for mobile users.

In spite of its growing pains, Berlin’s internet connectivity is steadily expanding. After Hamburg, Berlin has the second-highest percentage of internet users in Germany. Last year the Deutsche Bahn added free wireless access to seven of Berlin’s biggest train stations. For this year E-Plus has announced it is taking high-speed underground into Berlin’s U-Bahn. The internet provider is already delivering LTE-standard bandwidth to mobile users in the U7 and U8 lines, and plans to expand its coverage to the rest of Berlin’s underground network by the end of the year.

Feature image: loading complete via Shutterstock / copyright: Dima Groshev

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