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ISP Crams Its Own Ads All Over Your Capped Internet Connection; Banners Block Your View

Bad clutter.

Bad clutter.

How would you like it if a banner ad was inserted on the bottom of every web page, on top of content you are trying to read and eating away at your usage allowance?

Customers of CMA Communications can tell you, because their web browsing experience now includes advertising messages injected by the cable company to earn more revenue.

CMA, which operates rural cable systems in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Nevada, provides up to 7/1Mbps service with a usage cap of 250GB they borrowed from Comcast.

Zachary Henkel discovered the rude intrusion last month when he navigated to Apple’s website and discovered an intrusive banner ad for H&R Block.

Tired from the day’s events and travel, I had planned to quickly look up the specifications of a Mac Mini, respond to a few emails and then get some sleep. But as Apple.com rendered in my browser, I realized I was in for a long night. What I saw was something that would make both designers and computer programmers wince with great displeasure. At the bottom of the carefully designed white and grey webpage, appeared a bright neon green banner advertisement proclaiming: “File For Free Online, H&R Block”. I quickly deduced that either Apple had entered in to the worst cross-promotional deal ever, or my computer was infected with some type of malware. Unfortunately, I would soon discover there was a third possibility, something much worse.

[…] It was apparent at this point, that my parent’s ISP, CMA Communications, had started injecting advertisements into websites requested by their customers. I felt dissatisfied to say the least. […] You might not be surprised to know that CMA Communications won’t confirm or deny that they are injecting advertisements into their customer’s web traffic.

Customers of CMA Communications see this when they visit apple.com

Customers of CMA Communications see this when they visit apple.com.

CMA Communications is using JavaScript code injection that overlays third-party advertisements on top of various websites, opening the door to subscriber irritation and some obvious conflicts. In fact, visitors to CMA’s own website could find themselves staring at advertising for CenturyLink, AT&T, or a satellite competitor, unless CMA specifically opts its own website out of the third-party ads.

Amazon.com features an ad with Flo from Progressive Insurance, LinkedIn links to a Verizon 4G phone ad, and Bing’s home page pitches AT&T phones. Henkel wants customers to complain, but the affected websites may be in the best place to stop the ad injections by threatening lawsuits against the cable company.

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Recent Comments:

  • Fred Pilot: "Rural Americans may face the consequences of any transition. They are least likely to have suitable broadband service capable of supporting DirecTV’s...
  • Matt M: Those of us in the rural areas just keep getting screwed....
  • JOHN S PINNOW: This is well and great. We went from U-verse to direct-tv and now in the next 10 years another shake up. Well I am hoping AT&T will improve its ow...
  • lakawak: First off...NOTHING is free. Spectrum's policy is just forced upgrades. Everything is built into the price already. So where Time Warner used to allow...
  • LG: Now, we need numbers aggregated with and without streaming services, since they're internet based as opposed to CATV / SAT. This difference is more i...
  • L.Nova: Nothing pleases me more than seeing Ajit Pai sorely lose....
  • JFParnell: When the Chips are Down the Buffalo moves ON....
  • Justin Trella: I guess as long as the service is stable you’ll most likely not deflect. I quick call every year or so usually gets your rates back down. If you are l...
  • Justin Trella: I imagine the reason being is it’s a technically no credit check. It’s based solely on the fact you were approved for regular services which are no cr...
  • Ian L: I live in what has to be one of the last MDUs in Austin wired for copper by AT&T rather than fiber. Until June, 50/10 was the highest available sp...
  • Ian L: I wouldn't go so far as to say "no need". FTTH has lower latency and effectively zero jitter, and cable systems today are just now catching up to the ...
  • Lee: One of two possibilities exist. The person you talked to was not correct that would happen, or they are correct and that would happen. It appears they...

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