How Telcos can contribute to a better internet for all
A reflection on our first International Telecom Weeks (ITW) 2021 participation where we introduce Telcos with the opportunity to build a better internet for all
On August 31, we at eyeo hosted a virtual session at International Telecoms Week, “The magic of eyeo: how telcos can fix the internet and prosper from it”, discussing the key role that telcos can play in building a fairer, more sustainable internet. We teamed up with critically acclaimed performance artist Marcus John Henry Brown to provide an exciting, interactive experience to help attendees understand just how they can be part of fundamental change online.
Below, we cover some of the key talking points from the event.
Fixing the internet
We opened by talking about how the internet, in its current guise, is broken. Advertising is, so far, the only way to monetize content that works at scale. However, the ad market is dominated by large companies building walled gardens for themselves, while revenues for everyone else are declining. This means expensive content like high-quality journalism disappears or moves behind paywalls.
At the same time, increased tracking of users leads to more regulations and developments such as cookie notifications, which make content less accessible and erode the user experience. As a result, the needs of all stakeholders can’t be met.
This online value exchange is dysfunctional and needs to change. There’s an urgent need for better balance, and we believe that telcos – whose subscribers use their services to get online – are crucial to helping fix the internet.
Control, relationships and trust
Next, we talked to viewers about a recent market research project we carried out to get telco subscribers’ views on a range of areas, including their relationship with their telco provider, their thoughts about online advertising, and what would make their mobile internet experience better.
The first area we explored was control. On the whole, telco subscribers don’t feel in control of their privacy and data. They are annoyed by excessive ads or cookie requests, or when an ad follows them around the internet while browsing. That said, they do recognize the need for advertising: 69% don’t mind seeing ads if it means getting free access to high-quality content, such as news.
On a more positive note, most subscribers we surveyed have a strong relationship with their telco provider and would be happy recommending the company to friends and family. They’re also satisfied with the content and the amount of communication they receive from their telco, as well as the perks or offers that come with their contracts.
This trust is further seen when subscribers use apps developed by their telco providers. 62% have used such apps and have had a good experience with them. Crucially, if their telco offered its own branded browser, most subscribers would be open to trying it out. And moreover, it would be an invaluable touch point for creating even more synergy and trust with users.
For us, this underlines the potential for telcos to make a massive difference in bringing better balance to the internet. Trust between users and all other stakeholders is integral to this goal, and telcos already have this connection with their subscribers.
Integrating with eyeo
At eyeo, we’ve been disrupting the status quo for ten years. We’re not afraid to take on what’s broken in online advertising and empower people who want to use tech for good. We see telcos as an important partner in this mission.
So how can our technology help?
Our tech powers products such as our white-label browser, cutting-edge privacy solutions and some of the top ad blockers on the market, which are used by hundreds of millions of people around the world. These products have been designed to enhance the online experience and make the internet more accessible for all. This means giving users greater control over their own privacy, while ensuring advertising is done in a responsible manner and can generate valuable monetization for advertisers and publishers.
Telcos have large and loyal user bases, so there’s a wonderful opportunity for providers to access new revenue streams. By using, for example, a branded browser provided by eyeo that incorporates our ad-filtering technology and other customizable content such as free news, telcos can give subscribers a trusted, valuable brand experience that makes the user experience more pleasant. At the same time, telcos can work closely with advertisers to monetize content in a way that keeps user privacy intact. Everyone is a winner!
This event was an illuminating experience for us at eyeo, and we hope for all those who tuned in too. We invite any telcos looking to take their next step to join us on this journey.