Government Ministry May Shut News Phone Lines That Thousands Of Chareidim Rely On


As the situation appears today, the Ministry of Communications will soon be closing the so-called ‘kavei nais’, the news telephone services that one can call and hear the latest news, usually pertaining to the heimishe tzibur to stay updated on breaking stories. The lines are particularly popular among chareidim, as many in this community do not have internet access. The ministry is planning to suspend their operation, possibly permitting them to resume under a different framework.

The government ministry feels these lines abuse the unlimited talk time packages offered to cellular clients, and tens of thousands of users are utilizing a combined millions of minutes monthly.

In fact, there are many tens of such lines operating, serving hundreds of thousands, including news, transportation information, medical information, and of course, Red Alert briefs. For now, the ministry appears to only be interested in the ‘nais’ lines.

The Ministry of Communications said: “Today, cellular phone subscribers make premium calls to stationary line telephone numbers, which take hours, and take advantage of the unlimited packages used by these companies, while the cellular companies have to pay high-volume interconnection fees to the fixed-line operators”.

The ministry envisions changing these lines to a ‘premium service’ which demand a fee, and not permit the current situation in which accessing a nais line is the same as making a regular call, included in one’s monthly ‘unlimited’ phone package.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)