o2-storeA couple of days ago, UK carrier EE announced that they were exploring the idea of ad blocking, where the carrier would block ads on behalf of its customers as opposed to customers having to try and come up with their own solutions. It seems that they’re not alone because according to another UK carrier O2, they too are interested.

According to a report from Business Insider UK, O2 executives have told the publication that they are in the advanced stages of looking at technology that could block ads on a network level, meaning that O2 will be the one blocking the ads on behalf of their customers. Alternatively if that doesn’t pan out, the carrier is also looking at possibly offering ad blocking apps or browser extensions.

Since ads are basically an additional item on websites that needs to be loaded, O2 is hoping that badly designed ads will be filtered which in turn not only speeds up browsing, but reduces data consumption and also takes off some of the stress placed on their infrastructure.

According to O2’s managing director of digital commerce Robert Franks, “We are absolutely looking at [network-level ad blocking] technology. We are holding ourselves to the highest standards with our own advertising. We are looking at these technologies to see if they can help our customers with some of the bad practices and disruptive experiences that are happening.”

This is an interesting move but we have to wonder if this could land them in trouble. Recently a German publisher has sued the developers of an ad blocking app, and there has been some debate as to whether or not ad blocking is legal and if it is essentially “stealing”, but what do you guys think of O2’s initiative?

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