A few weeks ago, Paltel (the Palestinian Telecommunication Group) launched a new ADSL Service (“Doubled Speed”) for its customers which according to its official site is “for upgrading the speed for free and reducing the prices as well as delivering better quality”. However, the new Paltel ADSL policy has triggered a wave of online demonstrations by internet users in the West Bank and Gaza due to the limitations that are going to be placed on the speed of the internet service.
Mohammad N. Khatib was one of the first Palestinian bloggers to write about the subject, on his blog 3X-W=WWW. In his article “Internet in Palestine – It just keep getting worse!” Khatib says:
“It turned out that the rumors are true! Hadara (Paltel) the Palestinian main Internet Service Provider (ISP) is trying their best to make their internet suck more and more. It's already expensive, slow and now the biggest surprise it is limited!
Yes you now will have a monthly limit on your Downloads! If you have 512KB ADSL connection, you will have 10GB download limitation per month. Once you've exceeded the 10GB, your connection will turn into a 64KB connection till the end of the month! The user then can buy extra up to 6 GB (by a package 2, 4 or 6 GB) for 12NIS (about 3.5$) for each 2GB!“
Ibrahim Jabour in his blog clickontech has published a report about this hot topic in Palestine:
– وسيم سنجر – طالب جامعي يقول بأنه تفاجئ بعد مرور 10 أيام فقط من شهر يناير عندما وجد أن سرعة التصفح لديه شبه معدومة , فسارع إلى الاتصال بالدعم الفني الخاص بالشركة ليجد أنه قد تجاوز الحد المسموح له من نقل البيانات , وأكمل مستطرداً بأن أغلب دراسته وأبحاثه في الجامعة تتطلب وجود اتصال انترنت في البيت , والآن مع هذه القيود التي وضعتها شركة الاتصالات سوف يلاقي صعوبات جمة في البحث عن المعلومات المطلوبة
Waseem Sanger, college student, says that he was shocked when, after just 10 days of January had passed, he discovered that his browsing speed was almost nothing. This pushed him to call the technical support department of Paltel, only to find that he had exceeded his download allowance. He added that most of his university studies and research require an internet connection at home. And now, with the limitations which have been put in place by Paltel, he is going to face a lot of difficulties in searching for the required information.
On Facebook, many groups have been created by angry Palestinians users who have started a movement objecting to the new Paltel policy.
All are Facebook groups that represent online campaigns against the Paltel decision; the wall pages of these groups are full of expressions of dissatisfaction written by Palestinian members, and they have lists of signatures against the decision. They also have discussion boards about the subject. In these discussions many people have threatened to launch demonstrations in the streets, and to boycott Paltel services. Some of them even go farther and suggest that Palestinian customers should change their contracts from Paltel to Israeli communication companies.