Light Reading
10:10 AM French ISP's ad-blocking strategy could be the start of a struggle between network operators and OTT players

Online Liberty Tested in France

Ray Le Maistre
1/9/2013
50%
50%

10:10 AM -- An intriguing battle of wits has begun in France, where broadband service provider Free, part of the Iliad group, has reversed its decision to install ad-blocking software on its customers' broadband routers following political pressure from a government minister.

Free had implemented ad-blocking software during an early year upgrade of its customers' broadband routers, a move that prevented some adverts being loaded onto Web pages requested by its customers. The use of ad-blocking software is common, but it is normally implemented by individuals who choose to deploy the relevant software on their devices (PCs, laptops, tablets) rather than deployed carte blanche by a service provider.

The move, which not only represented a challenge to Internet liberty but also potentially prevented the delivery of local digital advertising on behalf of French firms, not surprisingly proved controversial. French regulator ARCEP issued a statement that questioned the legality of implementing default content-blocking software and sent a letter to Free asking for an explanation.

Then, as this BBC report explains, France's minister for the digital economy, Fleur Pellerin, stepped in and persuaded Free to restore full access to all online content. At least for now.

There seems little doubt that Free, which has also built up a sizable mobile business during the past year (4.4 million mobile customers at the end of September), is testing the waters. Xavier Niel, the key shareholder and deputy chairman of Iliad, has noted previously that Google traffic fills up Free's network on occasion and has reportedly questioned why over-the-top content providers such as Google should be able to use service provider infrastructure to build a business without contributing to the upkeep of the networks, so this move appears to be a shot across the bows of Web services firms.

Free's move follows a peering dispute between France Télécom – Orange and IP backbone operator Cogent Communications Group Inc. France Télécom wants to charge Cogent for the additional capacity required on the French operator's network to accept data traffic being delivered into France by Cogent, which counts Google amongst its customers.

The French competition authorities initially concluded that France Télécom is within its rights to request such payments because of the imbalance of traffic between the two operators, noting that the case is "currently a focus for discussion in the context of the Internet neutrality debate." At present it seems the French incumbent is not willing to increase the bandwidth at its interconnection point with Cogent without compensation.

The French operator's customers look likely to suffer as a result of the current stalemate: As the volume of online content requested by French users increases, the delivery of that content onto France Télécom's network will slow down and end user service quality will be affected.

It seems France is becoming the test market for the net neutrality struggle between the telcos and the Web services firms. But it's a risky game for the network operators to play: If customers find their services are being disrupted in any way, the urge to switch providers will grow.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Ray Le Maistre
50%
50%
Ray Le Maistre,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/11/2013 | 9:55:29 AM
re: Online Liberty Tested in France
Maybe Google will start buying or building networks outside the USA... It already has its own long-haul network infrastructure for its vast internal traffic and is gaining experience of fixed access infrastructure in Kansas and it has the capital.
J. TV
50%
50%
J. TV,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/10/2013 | 10:03:03 AM
re: Online Liberty Tested in France
I see it more actions coming with revenue/profit continously decreasing for European telecos; and I expect Google to get prepared for this as well ( I am wondering how tho).-
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from EuroBlog
Having taken a breather from its acquisition spree in the US, Zayo could kick-start some infrastructure consolidation action in Europe
Some good news for its Finnish parent – Nokia Siemens Networks is on a margin roll
Telefónica to boost its broadband lines in LatAm with DSL management the from ASSIA
According to the value of Nokia's takeover deal, Nokia Siemens Networks is worth less than $5B
As APAC and North America forge ahead, Europe seems stuck in yesteryear
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
1959 Newsreel: Make Phone Calls – From Cars!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/24/2014
Meet the Phantom Network for NFV
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/23/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed