Multiperson households - USO and technical minimum requirements © Photo Credit: YURII MASLAK -

Multiperson households - USO and technical minimum requirements

Specific requirements due to parallel usage in multiperson households

In June 2022, the German Telecommunications Minimum Supply Ordinance (TKMV) entered into force and minimum technical requirements for internet access services were defined for the first time. This report examines whether the values determined by WIK and zafaco in 2021 are still valid and whether they are sufficient to meet the requirements of parallel usage scenarios in multiperson households.

The document is one of four expert opinions in the context of the evaluation of the TKMV, which the consortium of wik and zafaco prepared for the Federal Network Agency. The focus of this report is on evaluating the minimum technical requirements for downstream and upstream data transmission rates.

The service-related minimum requirements for the Internet access service are updated and the requirements for parallel use in multiperson households are analysed with the help of two different methodologies. The first aims to derive a minimum data transmission rate for download and upload based on the service-specific minimum requirements for selected parallel usage scenarios. However, as this static approach is not able to take into account the adaptive, dynamic adjustment mechanisms of best-effort Internet services, a further approach was chosen which examines user satisfaction for different parallel usage constellations for given data transfer rates of Internet access. This is done by the application of measurement methods.

The findings confirm the results of the wik-zafaco report 2021 (Minimum requirements for internet access service) with regard to the service-specific requirements for data transmission rates for downloads and uploads. For the service catalogue defined in Section 157 (3) sentence 3 TKG, data transmission rates of less than 10 Mbps in download and 1.3 Mbps in upload were established on the basis of surveys conducted in 2023.  

An assessment of whether the data transmission rates currently defined in the TKMV also adequately take into account parallel usage patterings of multiperson households was evaluated on the basis of user satisfaction measurements for selected parallel usage scenarios.

It was shown that – within certain limits – protocol based mechanisms of best-effort Internet services are able to compensate for bottlenecks in transmission capacity: In most of the measured parallel usage scenarios - even with five parallel users – a high user satisfaction was revealed at access speeds of 10 Mpbs downstream and 1.7 Mbps upstream – which is in accordance with the current minimum requirements of the TKMV. Observed limitations in the user experience were mainly due to bottlenecks in uplink capacity. The services were persistently observed to function, albeit with a reduced user experience in some cases.