DSL Provider switching – Recognize and avoid pitfalls

DSL-Anbieterwechsel – Tücken erkennen und Tücken umgehen

Change of provider

Home office, home schooling, distance learning – we have known in Germany how important fast Internet is at the latest since the outbreak of the pandemic in January 2020. Speed is one important aspect of the Internet, price is the other important factor. Optimal performance at the lowest possible cost – these are the most important reasons why seemingly countless people switch between their DSL provider in Germany every year.

Germany and its demonstrably deficient IT infrastructure – A very popular topic for Bundestag and state parliament meetings in front of empty seats and benches of deputies, for the coffee conversation for the second breakfast in the teacher’s room, for parent care meetings and regulars’ tables in the village pub. Sometimes it hails, hardly surprising, malice and ridicule.

This is how the infoportal quotes mobilegeeks.de digital philosopher Sascha Lobo – as follows: “The mobile phone coverage in this country is patchy, slow and sometimes more expensive than taking a taxi abroad to stream.“ And the news magazine DER SPIEGEL reported in April 2021 that in a global comparison, 33 countries had a significantly faster network than Germany – 18 of these countries were even in Europe.

The DSL connection should be fast and inexpensive

The well-known Olympic motto “Being there is everything” has a similar meaning for Internet users everywhere in Germany as the bag of rice that falls over in China. If not higher and further, then the network should be faster and cheaper even in the most remote corners of the Eifel and the Thuringian Forest.

That is precisely why many users and surfers in Germany develop enormous sporting ambition every year when changing DSL providers. Although IT security is truly not a “nice to have”, but a matter of course. Even young users who start their high-powered gaming PCs for a virtual battle with friends have long attached great importance to the security aspect. It comes in handy when parents take care of a fast (re)n and inexpensive (re)n Internet connection. The inevitable consequence – especially in rural regions – is then the quick change to another DSL provider.

Step by step – how to change your DSL provider

First of all, a positive message for consumers. Shortly before Christmas, exactly on December 1, 2021, the amendment to the Telecommunications Act came into force. According to the general opinion, this has further strengthened consumer protection in Germany. The main pluses:

  • Consumers now have Right to compensationif something went wrong when switching from the old to the new DSL provider.
  • There is also a right to compensation if the desired and contractually agreed transfer of the old phone number does not take place on time.
  • If the technical transition from the old to the new DSL supplier does not work within one working day, the previous provider is obliged to provide the customer with a telephone and Internet connection. For this, the customer pays only half of the previous basic costs until the final technical transition.
  • There is also a right to compensation if, during the change, after a No internet connection available during working day steht. From the second working day, the compensation is then 10 euros or 20 percent of the contractual monthly salary. By the way: here the higher of the two amounts counts.

The entry into force of the amendment to the Telecommunications Act should be a good motivation for DSL providers to enable customers to switch DSL providers smoothly.
However, most people will gladly waive compensation if the Switch from one DSL provider to another works smoothly. Consumers should take this into account.

Step 1 when changing provider – find out the notice period of the current contract

A contract termination is usually only for End of the fixed term possible. Depending on the provider, the contract term is 12 or 24 months. The notice period is usually a maximum of three months. “If you are unsure, you should look into the bill,” recommends Jan-Henning Ahrens, owner of the law firm KWAG in Bremen. Providers are obliged to indicate in the invoice, in addition to the notice period, also the last calendar day on which a notice of termination must be received. Important: Since December 1, 2021, with automatic renewal after the so-called minimum contract period, there is a monthly right of termination.

Step 2 – Find a new DSL provider

Important: Take advantage of the competition among DSL providers. That’s why you should compare at least three, or better: a handful of offers to find the best one for you in terms of price and performance.

Step 3 when changing the DSL provider – use the service of the new DSL partner

The service of virtually every DSL provider: on behalf of the customer Termination of the old contract and change to the new provider. This saves consumers a lot of time and effort. Tip: You should inform the new DSL provider of the intended change several weeks before the end of the notice period, so that there is sufficient time buffer.

Step 4 – Ensure that the old phone number is taken with you

As soon as it comes to the transfer of the usual phone number from the old to the new DSL provider, there is often talk of – according to the technical term – “porting”. Here, too, it is easiest, most time-saving and most nerve-saving to commission the new DSL provider with the porting. It is important to clarify in advance whether the new provider allows the old phone number to be taken along

Also important when changing the DSL provider

Care and thoroughness are necessary when changing providers. This applies in particular to the data entered by the consumer in the order or bill of exchange form. These should be identical to the personal data available to the old DSL provider. Example: If the customer trades as Hans-Joachim Schmitz at the old provider, this should be exactly what is written in the order form and not Hajo Schmitz, for example.

If everything breaks and the change of the DSL provider does not work out within one working day, the following procedure is recommended:

  • Complaint to the two DSL providers concerned – the previous and the new
  • Information from the Federal Network Agency. This can be done by post as a letter or by e-mail or via the online form of the Federal Network Agency.


There are numerous good and very good reasons for changing the DSL provider. Quality defects of the old Internet provider, its too high costs, the private or professional move to another city or municipality – sometimes all at the same time.
The switch from one Internet provider to another is usually possible online without any problems. Consumers should compare prices and carefully check the contractual fine print. On the positive side, the amendment to the Telecommunications Act strengthened consumer rights as of December 1, 2021.

Image source: Unsplash, Simon Abrams

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