Israeli Internet providers commit to minimum bitrates

The Israeli Ministry of Communications recently amended the operating licenses of two major Israeli telecom companies (Bezeq and HOT), regarding the provision of their broadband Internet service. Under the amended licenses, the companies are required from now on to include, in any publication or advertisement of the service, the guaranteed minimum bitrate, for both uploads and downloads. The step taken by the Ministry of Communications in this regard, which began in early 2011, during the tenure of the former Minister of Communications, also requires the companies to provide all existing subscribers with a statement detailing the minimum and maximal data bitrates of their existing subscription plans. The management of the Ministry of Communications approved the amendment to the licenses, despite the companies' objections. Among other things, the Communications Ministry rejected the companies’ proposal that they would only commit to the minimum bitrates on a “best effort” basis. The companies argued that consumers would not be able to understand the true meaning of the guaranteed “minimum bitrate”. The companies also stressed that amending the licenses would force them charge more for subscription plans. Source: Calcalist (In Hebrew, by Ofir Dor).