Internet providers could be about to put an end to packages that offer unlimited access to everyone for the same fee, according to a leaked report.

"/> Internet providers could be about to put an end to packages that offer unlimited access to everyone for the same fee, according to a leaked report.

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INTERNET

Higher prices for heavy internet users

Internet providers could be about to put an end to packages that offer unlimited access to everyone for the same fee, according to a leaked report.

The report from the French telecoms federation (FFT) was leaked by the site owni.fr and reported in Sunday’s Le Parisien newspaper.

The move is apparently aimed at helping manage the flow of internet traffic. It is estimated that 5 percent of customers use around 80 percent of bandwidth.

France currently has a large number of internet offers that provide unlimited use of the internet for prices that are among the lowest in the world. 

Bundled packages offering telephone, television and unlimited internet are available from the major operators for between €32 and €38.

There are 21 million high-speed internet connections in France with the main providers being Bouygues, SFR and France Telecom-owned Orange.

Yves le Mouël, head of the FTT, told AFP that there was “no question that unlimited internet will be ended.” 

However, he confirmed that a study was under way on how to separate high-volume and low-volume users. France Telecom confirmed they were looking at “how we segment our offers.”

French consumers have become used to offers that do not impose limits on how much bandwidth they can use and consumer groups were critical of the moves. 

Consumer group UFC-Que choisir said limiting access to unlimited broadband was “unacceptable” and “without any economic justification.”

A spokesman for the organization, Edouard Barreiro, said the objective of any changes will be to raise prices for most people.

“The only thing they want is to make more money,” he told radio station Europe 1 on Monday morning. “Internet providers want their market to look like the mobile phone market with a multitude of offers and a huge range of options.” 

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TECHNOLOGY

French watchdog fines Google and Amazon subsidiary €135m for unauthorised cookies

France's CNIL data privacy watchdog said on Thursday it had fined two Google units a total of €100 million and an Amazon subsidiary €35 million over advertising cookies.

French watchdog fines Google and Amazon subsidiary €135m for unauthorised cookies
Photo: AFP

The regulator said the fines were “for having placed advertising cookies on the computers of users … without obtaining prior consent and without providing adequate information.”

A cookie is a small piece of data stored on a user's computer browser that allows websites to identify users and remember their previous activity.

The CNIL said when a user visited the website google.fr, several cookies used for advertising purposes were automatically placed on his or her computer, without any action required on the user's part.

It said a similar thing happened when visiting one page on the amazon.fr website.

CNIL said this type of cookie “can only be placed after the user has expressed his or her consent” and thus violated regulations on receiving prior consent.

It faulted Google for providing insufficient privacy information for users as it did not let them know about the cookies which had been placed and that the procedure to block them still left one operational.

CNIL also said Amazon had not provided clear or complete information about the cookies it placed on computers of users until a redesign in September 2020.

Google also stopped placing cookies on the computers of users without consent in September, CNIL said, but added it still does not provide a sufficient explanation for their use.

The regulator said “no matter what path the users used to visit the website, they were either insufficiently informed or never informed of the fact that cookies were placed on their computer.”

The €35 million fine is on the Amazon Europe Core subsidiary.

CNIL imposed fines of €60 million on Google LLC and €40 million on Google Ireland Limited.

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