Israel’s Ministry of Communications (MoC) has overhauled fixed broadband laws separating infrastructure and internet service provision.
First announced in June 2021, the reforms will allow residential consumers to receive unified services (infrastructure and ISP service) from a single provider. The MoC claims that this stop customers paying for ‘dormant’ subscriptions that they no longer use – an issue that costs Israeli consumers an estimated ILS50 million (US$16 million) annually.
The MoC claimed in a statement that it had introduced new protections ahead of the broadband overhaul to ensure that smaller fixed broadband companies could provide services “effectively, equitably and competitively vis-a-vis the infrastructure owners within the wholesale market.” Infrastructure owners must now sign binding agreements with companies that intend to use their networks, with compensation measures in place in the event that these agreements are breached.
CommsUpdate reports that since yesterday (3rd April), all new fixed broadband agreements will be unified, although customers currently using split services are not yet required to migrate from this. The MoC stated that it will assess the market one year from now to establish its future strategy.
In addition to the amendments to fixed broadband regulation, the MoC has also confirmed that fixed line provider Bezeq will reduce its voice tariffs for the first time in around 18 years – a move that it estimates will save Israelis an annual total of around ILS400 million.