French Government Orders ISP Free to Unblock Google Ads, Still Manages to Be Anti-Web

The government is concerned about the "debate" over who should pay for the internet

By on January 7th, 2013 15:41 GMT

At least some people in France understand how the web works, the French government has told Free, a wireless internet provider in the country to stop blocking online ads which it had started doing recently. The government argued that the ISP shouldn't interfere with the data used by its customers.

A short while ago, Free updated its internet access software to quietly block online ads. While few users are going to be alarmed by not seeing ads, the online industry was not amused as much of the web is powered by advertising.

The move was quite clearly aimed at Google, which makes the vast majority of its revenue from ads, which Free and other ISPs have been trying to get to pay for the content their subscribers consume.

Google did not get involved in the dispute this time and it was probably the smart thing to do. The French web was already outraged by the move and complained to the government about it.

It's not all good news as the government is actually concerned about who should be paying for the content carried by the ISPs. Which doesn't seem like an incredibly smart thing to ask since, well, someone is already paying for that content, no one is getting their internet for free.

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