The main provider of Cable TV in Israel is company HOT. Their representatives have a small stand at the second floor of the Kanyon (see Supermarkets section). You can arrange there a meeting with a technician. Alternatively, you may call *6900. In both scenarios, credit card is required (foreign cards are accepted) and having a mobile phone beforehand is highly recommended, because technicians from HOT have a habit to call you just before they climb your apartment. If you do not have a phone or fail to answer, they go the next customer. The cost of the cheapest subscription is approximately 160 NIS/month. As for 2006, installation costs approximately 200 NIS and can be free of charge, if you sign a longer contract.

Internet network infrastructure (the modem and access to a provider) is provided by Bezeq (ADSL technology) and by HOT (cable technology). HOT charges approximately 50 NIS for installation and 35 NIS or more per month, depending on the speed of your connection. Bezeq charges a bit more, and requires that you have a land line (although you don't have to have cable TV). Normally you will have to sign a year-long contract with the infrastructure provider.

An internet provider costs additional 40 NIS or more (you need to be in contact with two companies – one providing the network infrastructure, and one which provides the internet service – this was done to increase competition). A reasonable internet provider seems to be Bezeq Beinleumi, phone 1 800 014 014. Some of the other providers include Kavei Zahav (1 800 012 012), Barak (1 800 013 013) and Netvision (1 800 017 017). The market for internet providers is competitive, and it might be worth to shop around (or to threaten to do so – if the initial offer you receive requires that you pay over 45 shekels or so for a standard 1.5Mbps package, or that you sign a year-long commitment, mentioning to the company representative that you heard of better deals elsewhere and you just want to call around and compare prices might generate immediate results). You might get be offered a "special" deal for several months, after which your rate will automatically increase to the "regular" rate; that's fine – if you call the company again towards the end of your "special" discount period, they will most likely extend it. Not all providers give you the same quality of service. Barak, for instance, has been known to throttle the speed of connections abroad (which will mess up the quality of your Skype calls), but at least in one case, a threatening phone call to their tech support has solved problem. Bezeq Beinleumi's service doesn't seem to suffer from those problems. Reportedly, some companies have some limitations on how much you can download a month, although Bezeq Beinleumi and Barak didn't seem to have those (last we've checked).

You have to arrange the provider few days before the visit of a technician from Bezeq or from HOT, because you will need to receive a letter from Bezeq Beinleumi with details of your internet account (this might not be necessary if a technician's visit is not required). Bezeq Beinleumi, as for 2006, does not accept foreign credit cards. You may insist on a different form of payment (via a bank transfer), theoretically available, but so far untested.

For the bank transfer, make sure to take the form, that you need to take to the bank and get them filled from them and then to fax to corresponding agencies, from the internet provider and infrastructure provider. In recent two incidents, Hot service people on the Canyon mall did not give the form for 'Hot' and consequently in both the cases persons associated with the incident suffered later.

Phone line is provided in particular by Bezeq and by HOT (via a special modem). As for 2006, in HOT an installation costs approximatelly 200 NIS and can be free of charge, if you sign a longer contract. The cheapest monthly payment in HOT is 10 NIS.

With Bezeq, you will have to be a monthly fee of 50 shekels or so for the land line, plus a small charge for all domestic calls you make. There will also be some charge of installing a phone line (lower if there's no need to send a technician). If you do not use your land line often, you can ask to be switched to the kav kal ("light line") track, where you pay half the monthly fee, and a higher (around 25 agorot/minute) for domestic phone calls.

International phone calls are handled by separate companies, which double as the internet service providers (listed above). While normally you can get the best deal by using Skype, it might be worth knowing which one of them has the lowest rates to where you might want to call (in case, say, your computer crashed and you need to make a phone call). The international access code will be the three digits associated with the international phone company (012,013,014 etc. – easily inferred from their toll-free numbers). You can get a lower rate by "associating" yourself with with one of the companies (at which point you can also use the code "00"). Doing this "association" is free, and the company you associate your phone line with does not have to be the same as your internet service provider. You will be billed for international calls via your regular phone bill.

You have to quit your HOT services at least a week before your departure, because it may take a while before you manage to meet a technician. The only purpose of the meeting is to return the modems and decoders. If you are running out of time, you can go to HOT and return the items personally. The only problem is that, according to the representatives in Kanyon Mall, there is no HOT office in Beer-Sheva which would be able to receive modems and decoders. However, there are such offices in neighboring small cities, for example in Sderot, next to the local Shuk.

HOT stand in Big


If you decide to rent an apartment in a kibbutz, then internet, phone and cable TV will be provided by the administration of your kibbutz. In particular, credit card will not be required and installation most likely will be free of charge.