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Digicel protests Internet giants with ad blocker

Caribbean operator Digicel is implementing ad blocking technology across its operations in a bid to convince major Internet firms to form revenue-sharing arrangements.

The group, which has operations in the Caribbean and South Pacific, is targeting companies such as Facebook, Google and Yahoo with a solution provided by Israeli firm Shine Technologies. Digicel will debut the ad blocker in Jamaica before rolling it out to other markets where it operates.

This marks the first time Shine’s solution has been deployed by a major operator. The software works across both mobile browsers and apps, blocking display and video adverts at network level. Digicel is hoping to fund further investment in its infrastructure by sharing ad revenue with the Internet giants.

Denis O’Brien, chairman of Digicel Group, said: “Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook talk a great game and take a lot of credit when it comes to pushing the idea of broadband for all – but they put no money in. Instead they unashamedly trade off the efforts and investments of network operators like Digicel to make money for themselves.”

“That’s unacceptable, and we as a network operator, are taking a stand against them to force them to put their hands in their pockets and play a real role in improving the opportunities for economic empowerment for the global population”, added O’Brien.

Digicel has highlighted how digital ads can consume up to 10% of a subscriber’s data allowance. Shine has previously called for operators to make moves to prevent their customers from unwittingly subsidising mobile advertising.