The Internet is financed, principally, by advertising. But, what happens if an Internet provider – that is, the company that provides the Internet connection – blocks it? Until now, blocking banners and other kinds of advertisements was up to the user, who had to look for plugins or extensions that would do it. But now, the low-cost French Internet provider Free (it’s name is actually Free, not the service itself) has began to activate an advertising-blocking service for its ADSL users.
The New York Times reports that the block still isn’t set in stone, and that it’s still just a prototype. However, it is capable of effectively blocking Google AdWords, one of the most important services for one of the major enterprises in the online advertising business. The Times also cites an interview with Xavier Niel, the CEO of Free, which was published in the French magazine Nouvel Obervateur, in which Niel directly attacks Google and YouTube for overloading provider bandwidth, making it seem as though this advertising block is a tactic to apply pressure directly on Google.
What it comes down to is an Internet provider that has a different kind of demand for the Internet giant, and that thinks Google takes advantage of the advantageous position of its business, and doesn’t help nor finance any major networks that require its services. This is why last December providers asked large Internet companies, such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and others, to help co-finance communication networks.
In any event, this ad-blocking service is optional. Users can ask Free to deactivate it, but it comes by default. But, in theory, having your information tracked for advertising never hurt anyone.