Deutsche Telekom waters down online data throttling plans | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 12.06.2013
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Deutsche Telekom waters down online data throttling plans

Public protests against Deutsche Telekom's recent announcement to introduce online data throttling for some users have made an impact. The company said the limited speed would be higher than originally planned.

Widespread indignation expressed by politicians and on social media platforms prompted Deutsche Telekom on Wednesday to announce a change to its plans to enforce data throttling for landline contracts.

While the German telecommunications giant would stick to its resolve to limit broadband speed after users' monthly data volume boundaries - starting at 75 gigabytes - were exceeded, the company said the limited speed would now be 2 Mbit/s instead of the originally planned 384 kBit/s.

When Deutsche Telekom announced its data throttling plans in early May, it said the regulation would be valid for new landline contracts, but would not come into force until 2016.

Unresolved issues

The firm argued that with the new limited speed of 2 Mbit/s, Internet users would still be able to fall back on a line twice as fast as the lowest high-speed DSL connection on offer and would be in a position to do most of the things they usually did, except streaming high-resolution videos.

Markus Beckedahl from the German VDG pressure group dealing with issues related to the digital world said Telekom's latest concession was only a cosmetic alteration that didn't address the public's main concern of net neutrality.

He referred to Deutsche Telekom's policy of excluding its own Internet services such as its video portal T-Entertain as well as services from its content partners from any data throttling. Beckedahl demanded that the principle of net neutrality be signed into law in Germany.

hg/msh (dpa, AFP)