Many tenants also pay for cable TV connections with their ancillary costs. The costs for this amount to around 10 euros per month. But according to the will of the federal government, this should soon be over. She would like to abolish the ability to pay TV connection fees via the additional costs.
Since the 1980s, landlords have been able to conclude a framework agreement with cable providers and supply apartments with cable TV. They allocate the monthly costs for the cable connection to the ancillary costs that each tenant has to pay in equal parts – whether they use the connection or not. However, the federal government now wants to abolish this apportionment ability and has drafted a corresponding draft law to modernize telecommunications law.
Who will benefit from the new law….
Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) and Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) announced plans for this in the summer. On Wednesday, December 16, 2020, the draft law was also officially passed by the cabinet. The federal government would like to give tenants the opportunity to decide for themselves in future how they receive their television programs. Instead of cables, many users use DVB-T2 or IPTV or streaming, for example. You may then pay twice – your chosen TV access and the fee for the cable connection included in the additional costs.
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With the elimination of the “compulsory costs”, even more people may opt for alternative TV access. The decision has some advantages for them, as it gives them more freedom and reduces their monthly costs. Providers such as Deutsche Telekom should also be happy about the revision of telecommunications law. Unlike Vodafone, for example, the company does not operate a TV cable network itself, but with MagentaTV it offers a package for television over the Internet.
… and for whom the change in the law brings disadvantages
But the change also has disadvantages. Most of them still watch TV via cable – not only because they pay for the connection anyway, but also because it is convenient. It also provides the basis for other services. For example, if customers want to book Sky and use the Sky Q program, this requires a cable or satellite connection for the full scope of the offer. Older people may also shy away from switching to new types of connection methods such as television over the Internet. In addition, coverage is not so good. That the internet speed is sufficient for streaming. So only DVB-T2 or satellite remains here.
Will the cable connection become more expensive?
Sure, customers will stay with cable TV even after the new law comes into force. But the connections may then become more expensive. Currently, the monthly costs are mostly between 8 and 10 euros – relatively low, especially if you look at the TV costs in other European countries. Such a low fee is possible due to the large number of users. Cable providers can offer housing associations inexpensive contracts, as they still earn a lot of money through the large number of connections gained in this way, but at the same time have comparatively little administrative effort. Customers and providers benefit.
But with the change in the law, tenants then have to conclude individual contracts with the network operators. And cable providers fear that not all will. In those cases where they do, the individual support increases the effort, which is associated with higher administrative costs. The providers then probably pass these on to the customers – as can already be seen from the current costs of individually concluded cable contracts. For example, a single cable TV connection with Vodafone costs around 18 euros a month – around twice as much as with a landlord contract.
Problems for Hartz IV recipients
Recipients of government payments would also be hard hit by the change. Hartz IV recipients, for example, often pay the office the additional costs, and thus the costs for the cable connection. However, they would have to pay for a self-commissioned connection themselves, which may be difficult for some. Ralph Lenkert from the Left is therefore clear. He rejects a change in the law that will lead to a price increase for citizens and demands a guarantee of free reception of public broadcasters for everyone.