February 13-14, 2006
Cox Central Park
6205 Peachtree Dunwoody Road NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30328
Why Israel for Broadband
Since Israel is a small country, with almost no natural resources, it always had to depend on its intellectual resources, for survival and development. It is this factor that has made the country a technological leader.
Israel is widely acknowledged as a technological innovator. A major share of U.S. local service provider's networks, and applications were designed and produced by Israeli companies. These technologies include public switching, transmission, access network technology, wireless local loop systems, data networking devices, network management software, billing systems and value added services software.
Hundreds of active start-up companies (over 800 in 2003) are developing a variety of new technologies, mostly related to information processing, and many in the telecommunications field. Technological R&D activities in Israel are considerably intensive. Traditional, long-time innovative, synergetic industry-academy cooperation, supported by Ministry of Industry and Trade's Chief Scientist, has led the country to some significant breakthroughs in several areas.
Excellence areas include Internet applications, broadband, local area networks, digital wireless, opto-electronics, video and image processing, satellite communications, network management, network security and telemedicine. This excellence in R&D and original innovation has turned Israel's ICT industry into the country's leading economic sector.
Israel has 3.1 million direct exchange lines, using a 100% digital network that provides advanced services to all customers. The phone-lines-to-households penetration rate is 95%, while the home-pass extends 99%. There are currently Broadband penetration rates are quite promising: 600,000 ADSL subscribers, and 320,000 cable modem subscribers, as of October 2004, translate to a penetration rate of 43% per household and 14% per inhabitants, placing Israel among the leading countries in the world in terms of broadband penetration. Several sophisticated Hebrew-language portals and more than 60,000 web pages also contribute to ubiquitous Internet use in Israel. Broadband subscriber rate growth is indeed very high, with an approximate 100% growth through 2003. Factors encouraging this growth include the competition between Bezeq and the cable companies (both have the obligation of universal service), widespread use of computers in business and at home, advanced telecommunications infrastructure and a regulatory policy of minimal intervention.
Israel is a world leader in developing Internet technologies and applications, and Israeli companies operating in the field have marked several international successes. This international reputation is also recognized on the home market, and influences local interest and use. The country's strong tradition of academic inquiry and research has placed Israel on the global research network for the NGI (Next Generation Internet), linking Israel to the world's seekers of scientific and industrial knowledge through StarTap (Chicago) to the U.S.-Internet 2 Network, through the Point of Presence (London) to the EU GEANT Network and to Q-Med (Mediterranean consortium Quantum extension).
Multi-channel subscriber TV market currently has three regional cable television operators (Matav, Tevel, Golden Channels), as well as a single DBS (Direct Broadcasting Satellite) operator (Yes - 49.9% owned by Bezeq) that began operations in July 2000 using Israel's AMOS communications satellites.
The cable operators each held a regional exclusive concession until the July 2001 amendment to the Telecommunications Act, which opened the cable television market to full competition, and separated content (broadcasting) from infrastructure.
During 2001 the cable operators have implemented digital transmission technology, which uses HFC networks instead of the older coaxial distribution systems, and provides digital subscribers with a whole new dimension of interactivity. Cable TV home-pass extends to 97% of households, and about 52% of all households subscribe. 22% of households subscribe to the DBS service operated by "Yes". 58% of cable subscribers receive digital service (the DBS is wholly digital).
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