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Euro strikers hit out at call charges

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A pressure group in the UK has helped co-ordinate a pan European Internet strike scheduled to take place this Sunday which it hopes will force telecomms companies across the Continent to cut the cost of accessing the Internet. The Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications (CUT) brought together different factions throughout Europe to provide a united opposition to what they believe are unfair telecomms charges. The strikers have a list of demands including asking telecomms companies to reduce their profit margins on the cost of calls. They also want a flat-rate charge to be introduced for calls made to Internet Service Providers (ISP) using a modem. In addition, they say telecomms companies should abolish minimum call charges, so that metered calls are charged solely by the time spent connected. And they want companies to speed up the introduction of modern Internet access methods such as cable modems, satellite access and xDSL technology. Net users in Belgium, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland are all being encouraged to lay down their modems on Sunday and organisers believe that as many as around one million people could take part in the protest Europe-wide. Ironically, UK net users are not being asked to back their Euro brothers and sisters in this stand of solidarity because CUT doesn't believe strike action works in the UK. Instead, it is planning a series of awareness campaigns to be held later this year involving 14 countries to highlight its fight against metered call charges. ®

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