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Three announces plans to block annoying adverts on the network

Three has announced plans to block annoying advertisements in the UK and Italy. The company aims to tackle "excessive and irrelevant mobile ads" by partnering up with Israel-based software company Shine. Three states that network-based blocking is more effective for customers than having to rely on applications to sort through annoying adverts.

It's also noted that the company does not aim to completely eliminate advertising on the network.

"Our objective in working with Shine is not to eliminate mobile advertising, which is often interesting and beneficial to our customers, but to give customers more control, choice and greater transparency over what they receive."

Three wants to ensure that customers are not paying data charges for adverts, placing the charges with the advertiser instead. Also, customer privacy and security has to be guaranteed and they should only be exposed to marketing that is both relevant and interesting. Details are scarce for the time being, but the company plans to release more information as to how it will achieve the aforementioned goals.

Source: Three

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

36 Comments
  • Maybe they will also stop annoying phone calls asking if you want to upgrade every 5 mins. I was on one plan for 4 years, out of contract since last March, finally got booted off it in September (used over 2TB that month as a parting gift), they put me on an unlimited data tariff for £18 per month and keep ringing asking me if I want to upgrade. They don't do the 950 so I bought from Microsoft delivered December 3rd, keep being told by them that I should really upgrade to an iPhone or Galaxy S6 for only £54 a month lol. Best network in the world, but stop calling me haha!!
  • They all do that - I had to complain to EE as I was receiving Texts, Emails and Calls constantly. They agreed they would stop the contact and it worked.
  • And therein lies the Windows Mobile issue. A Samsung or an Apple promoted. They aren't the only phone makers. £54 a month!!!! Jeez. Got a 950 from mobiles direct and costs £24.50 a month!! Unltd calls, texts and 2gb of data... On O2 and £12.00 cheaper than them for same contract!!
  • Lol rogers sent an mms to advertise their home services bundle(cable internet, tv, phone)
  • Adverts are annoying sometimes, but if they are, I just leave the website. If three are planning on blocking ads in websites, then the day of free internet is coming slowly closer to the end. As a website owner, without ads, I have no income and no reason to run the sites.
  • They aren't saying they will just block ads, they are saying they will give users a choice. If a user choses not to view an ad it is hardly a lost customer as they were not going to click on the ad and purchase the advertised product anyway. So, no loss. I don't get why people are so keen to spend money on hassling the disinterested. It won't get you what you want. Just make a product that people want to buy and an ad that people want to see. If you can't do that, no point crying that customers are breaking the internet by not buying from you. They are buying, they're just getting what they want from somewhere better. Compete or hang up your hat. That's how selling works.
  • Also it is none of there business. they are an internet service provider not the fricking police. If I want to block ads I do it ... That is just one more step to ISPs blocking just whatever they want because "they dont like it"  That even without any stupid legal obligation
  • You didn't read properly either. They are giving users the OPTION to block content they don't want. Not censoring at source. Attract the customer to your ads/products or you will not get custom. Complaining at the customer will not change this dynamic.
  • As long as it remains an option it is good. Anything less is not good.
  • Pls read before commenting... "excessive and irrelevant ads" that's what they are aiming, not all ads.
  • Let's hope they block those awfull auto playing videos.
  • Cool
  • Great step imo. Other Telcos need to follow suit.
  • Why? Do you need the web content controlled by your ISP? I guess you also prefer all that spying on everyone just for the sake of "anti terrorism"
  • Please read. They are giving users the OPTION to choose the advertising content they want to see. This is not about censoring from source. If the ad is something people want to see, and the product something people want to buy, you will get plenty of visitors. If not, moaning at the customer won't help.
  • I'm an American. So I don't use Three. But still. Good idea, Three. Good idea.
  • ISPs censoring internet content is a good idea? I'll pass. I have my own way of dealing with ads that doesn't involve my ISP deciding what I should and should not see.  
  • What? Optional censoring? Are you seriously claiming that giving the customer the choice is censoring? Crikey, the dictionary isn't as popular as it used to be...
  • I would say these companies are more likely to use this as a thin wedge to gain further control. It's always their pipe dream to gain more power/control.
    So choice is good, as you say, but anything more is not.
  • You post the same apologist crap in every comment. Today its optional, tomorrow its optional but enabled by default, the next day the option to disable it is magically gone, the next day more and more content is added to the filter....
  • They aren't allowed to do that in the UK. No chance of even enabling it by default. If they block sites they used to have to advertise it as a limited service (and in doing so, lost all customers to other providers) so limited services stopped. Now, with EU law in place, even limited services are banned due to net neutrality laws. You do know 3 is a UK network, right?
  • Call me paranoid, but I really don't like networks being able to decide what we can or can't see, under any guise.
  • Since you use their services, they can and always will control what you can or can't reach
  • They can - but are they allowed to? They clearly shouldnt be allowed to do this here 
  • They are giving people the OPTION to choose what they want to see. OPTION. Get it?
  • Covering parts deemed of interest to the full understanding website is forbidden in the USA.
    No Regulations = Chaos And it is World Wide Webxported. (Inconsiderate Green-milers (Stephen King © ).
  • 3 is covers by EU net neutrality laws, so cannot limit access. It has to be user choice.
  • Please introduce this in India. Some ads are really nasty ones that we feel like hiding our phone in front of our parents. Titles like 'spicy womens', 'real womens' etc..... Please let us decide by categories which ads we get to see.
  • Meaning stopping spam SMS or mms messages
  • Just add anything google-related to their "hosts"-file, done.
  • According to the article, they want to stop intrusive, inappropriate and/or irrelevant ads if the user consents and agrees to this optional free extra. Not all ads will be blocked and users who still want to view all kinds of ads for any reason simply don't opt-in
  • That's sadly true.. By mere very VERY bad luck I pressed an add, while I was still in the Inferno of google/android phones. It's not over one and a half years later.
    Presently I'm still getting phone calls about something related to an order I never placed in one of those to-avoid -Pharmacies-online. It's time the advertisers really ponder they're throwing money out the window. Instead of fun, I was a nervous wreck . WP soon joined the adds party so I'm off to the cave man life style. Summing up: they're low-life hackers.
    And I NEVER paid attention to them.
  • This is good. Mobile advertising has become like the wild west.... zero control. Since
    advertisers have gone completely rogue and refuse to self police, it's good option for users who don't want to see something they aren't interested in.
  • Sometimes, for $ 1.99 you can buy your freedom from adds.
    But there's no way you can buy yourself out of"Please donate" , " please rate us '. Yes /No thanks and Sure / No way!".
    The first group of answers is Ok The second is intended to make us feel bad. Their rudeness is felt by us. And these annoying pop ups are embedded in the apps. They will keep coming back.
    Ethics is a word from a fat far away Galaxy.
    Chaos is the Rule of Law.
  • This is against net neutrality.
  • And you clearly didn't read the article properly, otherwise you'd have seen that this will be an optional service that customers have to opt in to.