March 30, 2016
The Register has brought to light the most recent advertising revenue scheme to be deployed by a broadband provider. K-Com who operate Karoo, the broadband provider in the Hull area, has started a partnership with Ask.com where the provider will get a cut of advertising revenue for directing users to Ask.com.
The redirection will take place when a user types a website name into their browser address bar and the DNS lookup this triggers fails to discover an actual site, users are then redirected to Ask.com as opposed the browsers usual error page.
The system is detailed on Karoo’s own website. The wish that Karoo have is that customers will click on the sponsored links and hence generate income. The unofficial Karoo User Forums reveals that at least some Karoo customers are discontented with the new system.
As The Register highlighted, Karoo is not the first UK provider to do this; Tiscali and Orange are just two others. Providers attempting to produce extra revenue for a service are in itself not bad, it can help to keep the price to the consumer down, but a fragile line must be walked between displeasing customers and adding some money to the right columns on the balance sheet.
For Karoo customers one big predicament has been the monopoly the provider holds over broadband provision in the Hull area, whether the changes in wholesale pricing will alter this remains to be seen.