Internet users in 14 European countries will shut down their modems on Sunday to protest against high phone rates.
Whilst each country has a different telecoms tarriff, the system is pretty much the same across Europe - one national telephone company holds the lion's share and they do not operate a flat rate for local calls.
Sunday's action is the second European boycott. Earlier this year the UK, Belgium, Spain and Germany held a similar protest. A strike in France resulted in France Telecom shaving a marginal percentage off call charges.
Sunday's protestors are calling for an introduction of a flat rate telephone charge, the abolition of a minimum call charge for any remaining metered calls and quicker introduction of cable modems and satellite access.
They're also demanding that the costs of all telephone calls conform to EU law, which requires prices to mirror the independently audited costs to telecommunications operators.
A spokesperson for British Telecom said that it did not expect the protest to have a large impact, but add that British Telecom was "continually looking at its pricing strategy". It has made it clear, however, that it has no intention of introducing a flat rate in the very near future.
In some countries, however, consumers are taking telecoms into their own hands. In Poland, where Telekomunikacja Polska is still government controlled, a group of Internet users are laying down their own wiring system to bypass the metered phone lines.
In the UK ISPs such as Screaming.net run by high street electrical chain Tempo are offering no charges for Internet access during off peak times and at weekends. Consumers, however, have to sign their telecoms account over from British Telecom to telephone company Localtel.
Industry watchers are expecting other ISPs to follow suit to woo consumers over to their service.
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