Three’s proposed ad-blocker is challenged over violating laws of neutrality

Three’s plan to introduce an ad-blocker was forcefully squashed by a European Union Agency. They claimed that the mobile network’s proposal would violate net neutrality laws. Net neutrality dictates that all web traffic must be treated in the same manner.

Testing ad blocking tech

The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (Berec) believe mobile operators should not have the power to block adverts. Three has already begun trialling blockers and intends to continue with its original plan.

The mobile operator states that the final decision lies with the UK’s regulator, Ofcom. Three plans to keep Ofcom “informed of our plans”. Their blockers could prevent 95% of adverts from being seen by the 8.8 million customer base.

Berec published guidelines on the 30th August, clarifying the network laws. In these guidelines it is mentioned that telephone companies “should not block, slow down, alter, restrict, interfere with, degrade or discriminate advertising”. Ad blockers are often viewed as a threat to businesses that rely on online advertising revenue. Facebook announced that it would soon force users to watch their adverts.

Allowing users to customise their user experience

Three does not plan to eliminate all advertising. Its objective is to provide customers with more control over what to watch and what not to watch. A spokesperson said that “phone owners should only see advertising that is relevant and interesting to them rather than obtrusive and untargeted information”. Users will be able to choose which adverts to watch through selecting the companies and brands they like.

Edited from sources by Ruby Arenson