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Advertising Cellphones The Internet United Kingdom

UK Mobile Operator Could Block Ads At Network Level (telegraph.co.uk) 109

Mickeycaskill writes: UK network operator EE says it is investigating the possibility of blocking adverts at a network level, allowing customers to limit the types and frequency of adverts they see in browsers and applications. The move is likely to concern digital publishers, many of whom rely on advertising revenue to fund their content. Ad blockers have become more popular in recent times, with many users employing them to save battery life, consume less data and protect against malvertising attacks. EE CEO Olaf Swantee said, "We think it’s important that, over time, customers start to be offered more choice and control over the level and intensity of ads on mobile. For EE, this is not about ad blocking, but about starting an important debate around customer choice, controls and the level of ads customers receive. This is an important debate that needs to happen soon."
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UK Mobile Operator Could Block Ads At Network Level

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  • Its not going to work, and besides he only said that to kickstart a conversation in the UK about annoying ads.
    • I'm not sure. Many of these web sites are operated by people who don't control the advertisements themselves. They outsource the ad job to a third party then wait for revenue to trickle in. They may not even have the skills to do the blocking if their tech skill level is just enough to customize wordpress.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, websites will not. Now that Net Neutrality is officially dead, all ISPs will do this.

      "You want to advertise to my customers? Pony up my cut of the revenue, or I block your ad serving domains."

      Publicly, ISPs will sell this as removing ads for their valued customers. The hoi polloi will take the bait; Hook, line, and sinker. This is why Google fought for net neutrality. It's not because they were protecting fairness and level playing fields. Google's only concern is defending their primary source of reven

  • First they blocked ads, but I don't see ads

    Then they blocked porn, but I don't watch porn... (Liar!)

    Then they blocked politicians... well, that's okay (No it's not!)

    Then they blocked Slashdot... Okay that's going too far, everybody, out!

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      In theory a provider is like a cloud computer system that offers direct network access as the main product.
      Why not use the "offered more choice" to upsell or differentiate with new services?
      A provider might come with a few settings for email accounts, SPAM filter setting, their own adsl settings (1, 2+, a low latency profile), free or upgraded web site setup. Blocking as an on/off option?
      The user is still a customer with some real network options :)
      • Blocking will not remain optional for very long. The old slippery slope applies here.

        • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          Once NGO's, local and other governments work out thats its looking deep into the flow of data... why not block or scan for other data too? Images (hash list), movies, files names, file types.. it will get interesting fast.
  • I believe the problem on mobile devices is not per say well behaved adverts, but instead its adverts that cause the page to morph or change some seconds after it is rendered. My local newspapers website is virtually unusable on my android tablet device. The page loads, you start reading, or decide what to click on next and suddenly the content moves down the page so that an advert can appear...
    • by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @06:56PM (#50998023)

      It gets better. Adverts use in 30-50% of current bandwidth. By blocking add on the network the mobile company saves precious bandwidth instead of using data caps.

      Datacaps will kill internet advertisers.

      • by Threni ( 635302 )

        Adverts use half the bandwidth? Which arse did you pull that statistic out of?

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          Likely the same arse that thought it was a great idea to auto run fucking video advertisements with no sound controls, this on a page with no other video and just a few images ie so about 99% of bandwidth in that case being advertisement that could not be shut off without leaving the page or running an ad blocker and reloading the page or permanently blocking that particular advertising agency and reloading the page.

        • Agreed, the figure seems too low to me.

  • Ummmm.. no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @06:47PM (#50997975)

    I don't like ads, but I don't want ISPs to be allowed to monitor or alter content mid-stream. I appreciate the intention, but that's a door we've already been clear we don't want opened.

    What I would like, however, is an ad-blocking router.

    • An edit to the /etc/hosts file would be a much cheaper fix for you. Works on all major OS, including Android. An of course, works regardless of where you connect.

      You'd have to update it from time to time, however once every two/three years is more than enough in my experience. Or you could be fancy, and do a cron-job.
    • If you have an OpenWRT-compatible router and are comfortable administrating it you could install this adblocking script [github.com], which automatically updates its own block list from a variety of sources. I've personally been using this set-up for about a month and its been working well.
  • this is not about ad blocking, but about starting an important debate

    No, it's about ad blocking. No one ever wants to "start a debate" or "have a conversation" or "open a dialog".
    Everyone saying those things simply wants to do their thing and ram it down your throat while getting tards to parrot their talking points in the guise of "debate", "conversation", or "dialog".

    I'm 100% against ads and 100% for blocking them. I'm just sick of asshats using the phony debate/dialog/conversation bullshit to pretend they haven't already taken a hardline stance on a subject.

  • ... capture all the ads and offer a 'sponsors' button/tab with the requested page? That way, people who want to see the ads can elect to view them as a list. Or reload the page with ads included. Whatever works best.

  • Free, a network operator in France, already offers the option to block ads on both their fixed (DSL and FTTH) and mobile networks. It was first implemented and enabled by default) three years ago when they were “fighting” with Google about who should pay for interco upgrades.
    It is now default-disabled and opt-in as they managed to reach an agreement with them.

  • Could this possibly go against net neutrality rules? Though I do totally agree with blocking them on Mobile -- especially video-based ads (I'm looking at you YouTube)

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker