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UPDATE Phorm Stills Expects New UK Broadband ISP Partnerships in 2009

Posted: 13th Jul, 2009 By: MarkJ
CORRECTION The PCW item was incorrectly dated as 13th July 2009, it was actually posted on 19th June. Original article follows. Troubled Phorm (WebWise), the controversial service that works with UK broadband ISPs to monitor what websites you visit for use in targeted advertising campaigns, has reiterated in a new interview today that it still expects to sign deals with UK ISPs this year.

Phorm has said such things before, although this latest remark follows one of the firms worst weeks to date after BT, the systems biggest UK supporter, effectively shelved plans (here) to use the service.

That move was swiftly followed by TalkTalk withdrawing all of its interest in Phorm and then Virgin Media casting further doubt over its future use of the service too.

Phorm's Managing Director, Nick Barnett, told Personal Computer World the following in reply to a question about its future roadmap for the UK:
"While I can’t reveal any names yet, we’re confident that we’ll announce new partnerships with ISPs this year."

We suspect that, given recent events, those new ISPs probably wouldn't want to have their names thrust into the limelight right now. We'd also be very surprised if they weren't privately re-evaluating their positions towards the system.

The rest of the interview merely regurgitates the same old spin we've heard before, somewhat side-stepping many difficult areas. Still, it will be interesting to see precisely what, if any, new UK ISP partnerships emerge. Any ISP adopting Phorm’s system, as it stands today, would probably be in for a hard time.

In related news it’s understood that the UK government has now replied to the European Union’s (EU) legal challenge over Phorm. The text of the response is not known, though we wouldn’t be surprised if our government once again failed to recognise the core concerns and gave another of its watered down replies instead.

UPDATE @ 5:03pm

Since the date correction an updated answer to the same question has been posted:

"(As on 19 June 2009) We continue to work with our UK ISP partners – BT, Talk Talk, Virgin Media – on their plans to use our technology and are in discussions with ISPs in this country and elsewhere. While I can’t reveal any names yet, we’re confident that we’ll announce new partnerships with ISPs this year."
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