Three's adblocking plans obstructed by European ruling
Three's plans to introduce adblocking have been thwarted after a European Union agency ruled that it would violate net neutrality.
The UK’s fourth largest mobile network ran a trial with a view to providing its 8.8 million customers with a largely advert-free internet experience.
However the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications ruled that telecoms companies "should not block, slow down, alter, restrict, interfere with, degrade or discriminate advertising when providing an IAS (internet access service)".
It said that net neutrality is a founding principle of the internet which dictates that all web traffic should be treated equally.
Three had said advertisers should pay for the data costs which ads can incur and claimed it wanted to improve customer privacy as well as the browsing experience.
It said it wasn’t trying to get ads removed completely, just give customers the option of preventing 95 per cent of them.
Many newspapers and news websites rely on ads for revenue, while businesses are spending a greater proportion of their advertising budgets online.
The technology Three planned to use belongs to Israeli company Shine, which already provides network-level blocking for Jamaican mobile company Digicel.
Adblocking is more prevalent on desktop computers than mobile devices at present.