Yesterday's European Internet strike may not have resulted in significantly reduced traffic, but organisers say support for the campaign for unmetered telecoms has risen dramatically.
Around 15 countries participated in the 24 hour telecommunications boycott to protest against high phone charges across Europe and was organised by consumer led pressure group, the Campaign for Unmetered Telecoms (CUT).
Erol Ziya, spokesperson for CUT, said Sunday's boycott was hugely successful as gained extensive media coverage which raised the profile of the whole campaign resulting in a huge rise in pledges of support.
"The number of pledges rose by a factor of 10, to around 200 a day during the lead up to the strike," he said. Ziya however admitted that some of the pledges were received during the 24 hour boycott.
No statistics are available yet to judge how much usage decreased in the UK but Ziya claimed according to the Spanish representatives, email usage was down 90 per cent, Web chat was down 60 per cent and general Web surfing decreased by 36 per cent.
In Greece, awareness of the strike reached the politicians as three of the country's seven political parties issues press releases about the boycott.
AOL, a strong supporter of unmetered calls, put its weight being strike last week, a move which Ziya believes gave the campaign a huge boost.
A spokesperson for AOL UK said there was not a significant drop in usage of its service, but there was lots of debate on its message boards, which was the primary goal of the campaign.
AOL also received over 3,000 responses to its online survey on the issue.
The boycott is only one part of the campaign as CUT is asking users to lobby their local MP to make them aware of the issue. The issue of Internet costs is also being raised in the House of Commons on Wednesday, by aptly namely Liberal Democrat MP, Steve Webb, as part of a debate about Internet regulation.
Ziya said CUT is now reassessing its strategy in a bid to create more consolidated European action and believes the formation of a European body is the most effective way to pressure governments.
AOL agrees that CUT needs to evolve into a grass roots campaign in order to force changes to the regulatory framework and this requires some form of government intervention.
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