TRAI Sees Red on Auto Play Video Ads on the Internet

Chaitanya Tapase

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has finally heard our howls of agony while putting up with auto-playing video ads. In a recent interview with the Times of India, TRAI chairman RS Sharma expressed concern over the issue and said they are ready to take action against offending parties.

Video ads: be gone! Shutterstock
Video ads: be gone! | Shutterstock

Broadband and FUPs

The bane of the issue with auto-playing videos is bandwidth. In India, bandwidth is still not as cheap as its Western counterparts, so the issue cannot be taken lightly. TRAI has finally reacted to an on-going discussion about how these videos can consume precious bandwidth and pushes their usage above the capped monthly limit (which is known as FUP or Fair Usage Policy in India).

I am concerned with this involuntary download which actually consumes data from the internet packs. This is bad. – RS Sharma

The issue is not limited to broadband or mobile users, it’s present across the board. But this is the first time that TRAI has spoken against the issue, even though online surveys have showed the growing dissatisfaction against video ads.

Facebook Video Ads

We have already covered how you can stop the autoplay of Facebook video ads, but later Facebook also started autoplaying videos uploaded by its users. Although there are steps to prevent them for autoplaying too, but by default, these are set to play rather than giving users a choice.

Ready to sign out because of Auto playing videos on Facebook? | Shutterstock
Ready to sign out because of Auto playing videos on Facebook? | Shutterstock

TRAI’s statement will perhaps let players like Facebook know that they simply can’t go about implementing such features without inviting ire from regulatory authorities.

Publishers Hate Ad Blockers

Another thing that has irked users in recent times is the ability to block users on certain sites who use ad blockers. Publishers are understandably using this move to justify that their means of earning are hampered with the growth of ad-blockers, but users are complaining that these ads are obtrusive in nature and those which have auto-playing videos consume precious bandwidth.

TRAI officials are working on this, but I think we should work at a much more furious rate. We will be able to come up with some response quickly. – RS Sharma

Sharma also hinted at the possibilities of working with these companies to implement technological solutions, if they exist.

ALSO READ: 3 Ways to Make Microsoft’s Edge Browser Ad-Free

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Chaitanya Tapase has varied interests in Technology from Android to Windows to DSLR Photography. On weekends, you'd find him catching up on TV Shows like Game of Thrones and enjoying House Music.