A pressure group demanding that France Telecom cuts its access rates said that its second strike, held on Sunday, made a significant impact on Internet use in France that day.
The pressure group, dubbed The Association of Unhappy Internauts, claims that the number of people participating in net chat groups dropped between eight and 62 per cent during the 24 hour strike. Chat groups run by France Telecom owned Wanadoo Internet took the brunt of the strike, organisers claim.
As the country?s monopoly provider of local services, France Telecom provides the gateway for most users in France to get onto the Internet. France Telecom declined to comment on the Internet strike.
It was the second strike called by the pressure group in a bid to get France Telecom to cut its call rates. The first strike on 13 December saw between 50 to 90 per cent of Internet users in France boycotting the Internet, according to the pressure group.
French Internet users pay France Telecom between FF8.7 (#0.92) and FF16.7 (#1.76) an hour for time on the Internet, with subscription fees to their Internet service providers on top.
The pressure group wants a flat monthly fee of FF200 (#21) for unlimited calls. France Telecom, however, is sticking with its strategy of discounting only heavy Internet users at the moment.
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