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French Internet strike ‘a success’ claims organiser

France Telecom latest target in spate of Euro Net boycotts

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French Web surfers have become the latest group to stage an Internet strike and claim success. However, France's monopoly telco, France Telecom, appeared resolutely unaffected by the users' actions. The strike, in which users refused to use the Internet for 24 hours from midnight on Saturday 12 December, was staged as an attempt to persuade France Telecom to introduce a flat rate for Internet dial-up charges. The strike's sponsor, the Association of Unhappy Internauts, wants France Telecom to charge F200 ($36) per month for unlimited local calls instead of the current tariff which bills users for each call they make at different levels according to the time of day. The Association claimed yesterday that 50-90 per cent of users signed to France's main ISPs had boycotted the Net during the 24-hour strike. France Telecom remains opposed to such a model -- instead, it prefers to offer discounts to heavy users. However, there are as yet no signs that it will increase the level of discount offered as a result of the strike. The French strike follows similar actions in Spain, Germany and, most recently, Portugal. UK users are also planning action against British Telecom. ®

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