Israel may be the start-up nation, but its technologically stuck in the 80s in at least one way: Offices private and public communicate via fax machines.

MK Stav Shaffir (Labor) hopes to drag service-providers into the 21st century with a new bill requiring them to offer e-mail as an option, as well.

According to the proposal, government offices, local authorities, government-owned companies, phone companies, Internet providers, cable and satellite TV companies, banks, and more will have to allow customers to send e-mails, not just faxes.

"The Israeli public is used to complaining about intolerable bureaucracy and the incredible slowness of service at banks, Internet companies or government offices," Shaffir said. "The time has come for service providers move to faster and cheaper methods and allow every customer to contact companies in the way that is most comfortable for them."

According to Shaffir, the current system wastes customers' time in having to search for the fax machine nearest to their home and then pay to use it.

"It cannot be that when technology allows us to shop all over the world without leaving the house, we have to waste work hours to authorize changes in the bank. It's hard to find a person who doesn't have access to e-mails these days, but it's harder to find someone with easy access to a fax machine," the Labor MK added.



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