EE considering network-level ad bans

EE is looking to start a debate on a particularly sensitive topic – online ads on mobile platforms. According to a news report by Tech Radar, the British mobile network operator and internet service provider is weighing its options on the idea of blocking advertising on a network level.

Chief executive Olaf Swantee said it's an important debate about customer control.

"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,” said Swantee.

“This is an important debate that needs to happen soon. That's why we've kicked off a strategic review internally to start considering our plans."

EE's servers could automatically block adverts before they are downloaded to the user's phone. This could presumably be done by both blocking domains of known advertisers from the network, as well as having EE's systems automatically filter web pages to remove advertising code.

However, this does not mean all ads will be treated equal – the point is not in blocking ads as it is in customers having control over the content they consume. Non-intrusive ads, as well as those not labelled as annoying will still be served.

The motivation is, as it usually is – financial. According to Tech Radar, such a move would allow networks to start charging companies to let their advertising through. On the other hand, online publishers could face new troubles, as EE might choke off some important income streams this way.