RealTime IT News

Connection Fee Strike in Israel Failed

Only a small percentage of surfers participated in the planned Internet users' strike against Bezeq's tariffs, with top ISPs Netvision and Internet Zahav reporting a mere 10 to 15 percent reduction in server traffic.

Moreover, in some towns, Friday's strike marked an increase in Internet usage compared to the previous Friday.

Strike organizers blamed the failure on the fact that the original strike date was postponed by two weeks and many Internet users understood this to mean that Bezeq would not increase their tariffs. Ads placed in Israeli newspapers by Bezeq, which promised not to raise rates, supported the impression that there was no reason to strike.

There is, of course, another possible explanation: many Netizens may have seen the strike as an opportunity to achieve faster access while fellow Internet users were off-line.

The day before the strike, the organizers published an open letter to the prime minister calling upon him to ensure that the average Internet user could receive Net access for the cost of one shekel per day (about 25 cents).

MK Anat Maor, chairperson of the Knesset's Science, Culture and Sports Committee, announced her support of the strike.

"Bezeq, by maintaining high prices, is sabotaging the effort to make the Internet a tool for all and is making it available only to those who can afford it," she said.

"I have always supported spontaneous organization by Internet surfers and the strike that they have initiated against Bezeq and the Ministry of Communications."

However, despite the public support for the strike, the call fell on deaf ears in Israel.