The race to dominate Israel’s broadband internet access market intensified yesterday with the launch of rival 5Mbps services from incumbent Bezeq and cable operator HOT Telecom. Until now, the fastest transmission rate available in Israel was 2Mbps, but the country’s ISPs, including Bezeq International, Netvision, 012 Golden Lines, Smile Internet Gold and 013 Barak, have wasted no time in launching their respective 5Mbps services using either Bezeq’s ADSL technology platform or by offering cable broadband alternatives sourced from HOT Telecom. All five are introducing the new product at an introductory rate of ILS149/month (USD32.91/month) for the first year, if purchased before 1 November. After that date the standard price for the service will range from ILS199/month to ILS599/month, depending on the supplier. According to Bezeq, more than 1.1 million Israeli households have a high speed internet connection using either xDSL or cable. HOT says it currently has around 390,000 customers on its broadband network.