Euro Net strike “great success” claims organiser

But will the telcos take notice?

Yesterday's Europe-wide Internet boycott has been hailed "a great success" by the organisers of the action. Fifteen countries took part in the strike in the hope of forcing telcos and governments to cut the cost of Net access in Europe. In Spain the use of e-mail plummeted by 90 per cent compared to a normal Sunday. The use of chat rooms fell by around 60 per cent and visits to Web sites were also down by 36 per cent. In Greece, three of the seven major political parties went as far as to release official statements about the strike. A spokesman for the Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications (CUT) said the strike had been a "great success". "We've had massive amounts of press coverage," said Erol Ziya. "The number of people pledging their support has gone up by a factor of ten and membership of CUT is up by 40 per cent." Of course, the biggest coup for the lobby group was AOL's declaration of support for CUT. On Wednesday, Liberal Democrat MP Steve Webb is to tackle the Government in the House of Commons on whether it thinks Europe's rigid telco pricing structure means it is lagging behind the US on the take-up of wired technologies. ®

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