‘We’re having a consumer revolution’

Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon: ‘Prices consumers pay for international calls to Israel are insane.’

Likud Minister Moshe Kahlon 311 (photo credit: Avi Hayun)
Likud Minister Moshe Kahlon 311
(photo credit: Avi Hayun)
“Israel is undergoing a consumer revolution,” Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon said Wednesday. “It began with gasoline prices – a protest that met with no great success – and went on to the cottage cheese protest, which definitely made noise. The protests prove that we have market failures.”
“There are failures in the dairy-products market, especially for cottage cheese,” he said at the Globes Digital Media and Market Conference. “We cannot accept paying such high prices, which are also high in a global comparison.”
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“When consumers are aware and see that something is expensive, they immediately react, for better or worse,” he added. “Consumers have understood that they have power, and they can challenge large companies that do not respond to them.”
Commenting on the latest reforms in the mobile communications market, Kahlon said, “I didn’t hate the mobile carriers, but I felt that something must be done for consumers, because something was distorted.”
“The situation [regarding Internet access speeds] is not good,” he said. “The bandwidth isn’t good enough. Education, the nation and science desperately need it. The moment we offer 100 Mbps access speeds, demand will grow.”
Regarding Israel Electric Corporation’s fiber-optic venture, Kahlon said: “The tender will be published in the first week of August. Fifteen banks are already participating in the financing tender, and bank support for the project is important, as it is one of the largest projects in Israel. This is a sensitive tender, and I welcome the support of the large banks.”
Kahlon said he would do everything necessary to advance the IEC venture.
“A company that does not offer Internet broadband will simply become irrelevant,” he said. “Prices consumers pay for international calls to Israel are insane. I met OECD leaders to discuss Israel’s joining Europe’s mobile roaming, and I hope ‘W this will bring down costs.”