Israel Broadband Company (IBC), the joint venture between Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) and private investors, is said to be struggling to retain those customers that have signed up to a free introductory month of its fibre-based broadband service. According to Globes Online, with the company having launched its fibre-optic broadband plans under the ‘Unlimited’ banner earlier this year, it has been claimed that more than 50% of those that signed up have since returned to taking a service offered over infrastructure operated by either Bezeq or HOT Telecommunication Systems. With uptake in general also said to be slow – only ‘a few hundred’ customers are said to have signed up so far – among the issues pointed to as possible reasons for customer dissatisfaction are: Unlimited not offering subscribers routers, meaning customers must buy their own; and the 100Mbps broadband service not including any telephony element or any other value-added service (VAS). Furthermore, limiting uptake is the fact that IBC has reportedly left marketing of the service to smaller, alternative internet service providers (ISPs), a decision that has meant advertising has been low-key at best.
In response to the claims, Unlimited was cited as saying: ‘Unlimited continues to operate and to connect new customers daily. The number of customers who leave after the first month is incorrect. Regarding the routers, Unlimited is attuned to the needs of its customers and will always take steps to make the most advanced Internet surfing experience in the world possible. Some of the routers on the market do not support the speeds that Unlimited provides. The company is committed to service, and to an unrivaled surfing experience. One should not draw conclusions based on this that the company will begin selling one product or another, but one can conclude that the company will do everything in order to continue to penetrate the Bezeq-HOT duopoly and to improve the situation for consumers in Israel. The company is working hard to increase coverage, so that more Israelis will be part of it.’