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article imageDigicel wants Google to pay up or it will block its ads

By Owen Weldon     Oct 1, 2015 in Business
A mobile carrier in Jamaica wants Google, Facebook and Yahoo to pay money or they will block their ads from being shown to its customers.
Recently, Digicel announced it had plans to block advertisements at the network level, unless Google, Facebook and other companies paid them in order to let their ads go through.
If this kind of scheme occurred in America, then chances are it would violate net neutrality rules, but Digicel is based in Jamaica and it operates in the Caribbean and the South Pacific. Ads will be blocked on mobile devices in the coming months, and this will even be the case if Digicel customers don't have ad-blocking software. However, advertisements would be able to get through to the ad-serving companies that were willing to pay Digicel.
Denis O’Brien, the chairman of Digicel, believes some of the largest web-companies in the world are generating revenue on the back of Digicel's infrastructure, which he calls unfair. O'Brien described web-companies' business tactics as unacceptable.
Digicel has been working with Shine Technologies, an ad-control company based in Israel, to weed out the ads from web giants when customers browse the internet. So far, Digicel has been using the system in Jamaica, but it does have plans to roll it out to all of the 31 markets it operates in.
O'Brien said that companies such as Yahoo and Google take a lot of credit when it comes to pushing the idea of broadband for all. He continued to say that the companies don't out any money into it, and they unashamedly trade off the efforts and investments of operators such as Digicel, in order to make money for themselves.
Digicel claims that ads from ad-serving companies can hog up to a tenth of customers' data plan allowances, and eliminating ads could save customers money. Digicel also claims that it would allow its customers to use the internet and apps without interruption from advertising messages they don't want.
As of now, Google, Yahoo and Facebook have remained silent and have not said anything in regards to Digicel's move.
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