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German court rules: internet essential to modern life

A German court has ruled that its citizens have the right to ask for compensation from their internet service provider should their broadband be disrupted for any length of time, judging internet access to be an essential part of modern life.

This decision was made by the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe, as part of a case where a citizen of the region had not had any access to his internet, telephone or fax facilities for over two months. According to The Inquirer, he had already been compensated for the money he was forced to spend by using a mobile phone, however he wanted further compensation for simply not having internet access – that has now been granted.

Webhosts provide this sort of guarantee, what about ISPs?

A court spokeswoman told said, “The internet plays a very important role today and affects the private life of an individual in very decisive ways. Therefore loss of use of the internet is comparable to the loss of use of a car.”

While this might seem like a good thing for consumers, it could mean that ISPs are forced to raise prices in order to cover the redundancy of potentially having to pay out everytime someone has downtime for more than a day or two.

KitGuru Says: What do you guys think in this situation? It seems like after two months the guy should be compensated somehow, but if it’s just a day or two?

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  • rocky1234

    Hmmmm…..I do not think people should expect to get money for internet being down for a few hours or a couple of days but if it is down for a couple of weeks then the ISP should at least take off the charges for those 2 weeks but nothing more should be given to the customer except for the money they would have spent on the internet charges for the down time. This could out of hand very fast where people start thinking that they deserve 100’s of dollars from the ISP because they could not surf Facebook for 2 weeks or more. Internet is not a crucial part of life where we can not go on without it, yes we all use it in our daily lives but we were able to survive for 1000’s of years without it & I am sure most of us can get by without it for a couple of days here & there. But for people to expect to be paid for their downtime from facebook is stupid. Yes if it is for a long period of time they should get back that months charges for the internet but a penny more.