DSL use declines among young people

August 18, 2023

According to a Verivox survey, only just under one in three people up to the age of 29 uses traditional technology.

Internet access via traditional DSL technology is losing its appeal in Germany in favour of cable and fibre optics, especially among younger users. This is shown by a new survey commissioned by the Heidelberg-based comparison portal Verivox (https://verivox.de).

DSL often village standard

52 percent still go online with a DSL connection. At 58 percent, the DSL share is highest among 50- to 69-year-olds; the rate is significantly lower among young people up to 29 years of age (31 percent). DSL use is declining compared to 2021: at that time, 55 percent were still using DSL – among those under 30, the share was still 45 percent.

In villages, the DSL rate is now 58 percent, dropping to 48 percent in large cities. “In rural areas, DSL is sometimes the only technology available – usually with noticeable limitations in bandwidth,” says Verivox expert Jens-Uwe Theumer. The number of alternative providers is also increasing only slowly in smaller towns.

Fibre optics on the rise

At the end of 2022, according to the Federal Network Agency (https://www.bundesnetzagentur.de), there was a share of a good nine percent for fibre optic connections to the home or building (FTTH/FTTB) in Germany. In the current Verivox survey, 16 percent say they go online with a fibre-optic connection, compared to twelve percent in 2021. Among young people, the increase is highest at eight percent to date.

Combined connections that are only partially fibre-based and continue to rely on cable or VDSL are less powerful: if fibre is not laid all the way into the house, there is a risk of performance losses in the “last mile”. Such connections with a copper line component are also sometimes subsumed under “fibre optics”, Verivox states.

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