After 17 years during which Bezeq's telephone rates were not updated, Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel has decided to arrange for a hearing in favor of reducing the rates of home landlines in the Bezeq network. This is likely to be Hendel's last act as Minister, following his party's decision to join forces with Gideon Sa'ar and join his New Hope party - Hendel and fellow party member Tzvi Hauser have been removed from their senior government positions as a consequence.
The proposed tariff update is expected to reduce the cost of using Bezeq subscribers' landlines and will save the public around NIS 400 million a year (including VAT).
If the update is approved, the cost per month for subscribers will drop by about 40%, from an average of NIS 50-60 (including VAT) to NIS 30-40 (including VAT) and is expected to reduce the payment that a household pays for the service by hundreds of shekels per year.
Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel stated: "Today we are embarking on a course designed to correct ongoing consumer injustice affecting every home in Israel, as part of which we are updating the cost of Bezeq's landline service. Use of landlines has dropped over the years, but the landline service still has more than two million subscribers. In addition, the use of landlines increased during the coronavirus period, with people using it for distance learning, working from home, and keeping in touch with family members."
Liran Avishar Ben-Horin, director-general of the Communications Ministry, added that, "The tariff update is long overdue after 17 years of inaction and especially in light of changes that have taken place in the communications field, as well as significant technological developments in recent years. Our aim is to produce the right balance between company costs, service payments, and subscriber payments. The update is expected to reduce subscriber payments by hundreds of millions of shekels per year."