There is growing demand for Internet connection from Israel's haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jewish) population. Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ) reports traffic up 40% in haredi neighborhoods during the coronavirus crisis in comparison with normal times.
Bezeq says that the figures represent an unprecedented change in the way the Internet is used by the haredi public in various areas, from obtaining news to online study and shopping.
Bezeq VP for marketing and innovation Keren Leizrovitz said, "In the face of the coronavirus threat, haredi society is experiencing tectonic shifts in many respects, all of them pushing it to greater use of the many digital means that up to now had hardly penetrated this community. Now, existential need is leading to one of the fastest processes of Internet adoption we have ever seen. The huge increase in network usage figures, alongside a sharp rise in new subscribers, is evidence of widespread rapid adoption. Moreover, an in-depth survey that we carried out indicates that the haredi community will continue to use these tools even after the pandemic is over, which means that we are talking about a deep change that will influence the haredi way of life, broaden the community's connection to the general population, and contribute to economic growth."
The survey finds that 82% of haredim report that they obtain news and information about the spread of the coronavirus from digital sources, from special websites for the haredi community (56%) and/or from regular news outlets (40%). 25% obtain information from social networks. 30% say they also obtain information from traditional sources such as rabbis and opinion influencers in the community, 8% say they are informed by posters, and 39% say they obtain information by word of mouth from friends, family, and in the workplace.
78% of the community report that they are currently using the Internet more than in the past, with women spending more time on the Internet than men, and 26% of haredi parents say that their children aged 13-18 have increased their usage.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 6, 2020
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