The UK-based wireless carrier, Three has stated that it would be blocking ads on its network for an entire day as part of a trial program. However, the exact dates haven’t been announced yet though it’s likely to happen anytime between June 13 and June 20.
Providing the relevant technology for achieving the carrier level blocking of ads is the Israeli startup Shine that specializes in ad blocking software. Three has also stated that the program will be optional for the over 500,000 of its users.
Three justified its move to block ads by claiming that it is attempting to safeguard the interests of its users since the extra bandwidth needed to download the ads are under adjustment from the user’s monthly quota.
Three also said that the advertisers often rely on unhealthy business practices like ‘extracting and exploiting’ customer data to serve their interests.
Another reason that Three put forth for adopting ad blocking measures is that users often forcibly browse content that is “degraded by excessive, intrusive, unwanted or irrelevant adverts.”
The carrier stated that it’s looking to achieve a near blackout of ads though according to BBC, those that will be spared include ‘pre-roll video advertisements, sponsored articles, and in-feed promotions on social media sites.’ That should make for about 95 percent of ads going off air on that particular day.
The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), on its part, has termed Three’s impending trial as too ‘broad’, one that would be detrimental to the business community. IAB’s Steve Chester has instead proposed to adopt a middle ground approach where advertisers choose a lighter advertising approach.
Chester also cautioned Three’s approach stands the risk of being counterproductive in the long run since consumers might eventually have to pay for certain services that are currently free since ads support those.
“We’re all committed to solving the ad-blocking issue but disagree with Three’s approach that network-level ad-blocking is the way to go,” said Chester.
Three though stated it’s only working towards improving the browsing experience of its users and have no issues with targeted ads.
“We can only achieve change by working with all stakeholders in the advertising industry – customers, advertising networks, and publishers – to create a new form of advertising that is better for all parties,” said Malleschitz, the chief marketing officer of Three UK.
For Three’s subscribers that opt for the program, they can look forward to fast page load times with most ads being blocked on the particular. If not anything else, this should at least serve as a wake-up call for the advertisers that often take for granted user’s privacy or their browsing experience.