Israeli Internet Users’ Strike Postponed

Israel’s Internet user strike over Internet fees, originally scheduled for 13 August, has been postponed by two weeks.

The decision followed a meeting which took place on the eve of the demonstration, in which Bezeq presented a proposal to the strike’s representatives. The strike is a protest against Bezeq’s intention to increase prices for Internet connections and phone fees.

The strike leaders agreed to postpone. The demonstators posted Bezeq’s proposal on their site, and are asking Israeli Internet users to vote on the issue in the next two weeks.

If the proposal is turned down, the strike will
begin on the August 27th, according to Marius Zachariah, the
strike spokesperson.

The protesters are continuing to ask Internet users to sign a petition against Bezeq’s pricing policy.

The Knesset’s Science Committee has stepped into the argument, and will investigate whether the claim that Bezeq’s pricing policy discriminates against heavy Internet users is justified. Bezeq will also the opportunity to defend its pricing policy.

Bezeq’s Herzl Ozer promises that 64 percent of Internet users will not be affected by the new payment scale, claiming that the Net surfers represent only 3 percent of all telephone calls in the country.

Bezeq also changed the time when reduced fees begin, to 6 pm from 10 pm. However, many users still criticize Bezeq’s plan to increase frame relay costs by 50 percent, which would be prohibitively expensive for many small companies, community centers and schools.

Zachariah added that the reduction of night rates could harm other non-Internet activities, and that the total amount of hours should be extended. One solution would be to charge a different rate for subscribers dialing to Internet providers, Zachariah added.

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