Vodafone transparent proxy – BMI Javascript at 1.2.3.4

Vodafone UK appear to run a transparent proxy on HTTP connections through its network. This is most apparent when using a laptop via a mobile phone to access the Internet.

They inject HTML code at the beginning of most (but not all) webpages which forces the inclusion of an external Javascript file.

<script src="http://1.2.3.4/bmi-int-js/bmi.js" language="javascript"></script>

This code is used to replace on-page images with more highly compressed alternatives, presumably to reduce bandwidth usage on their network. This is most noticeable when browsing photo sites such as Flickr and Facebook albums.

The code seems largely well-behaved (although I have seen reports that it can break XHTML/XML documents, I haven’t experienced this personally) and is not a huge intrusion on my browsing experience … if anything it may help to speed things up, and keep my data bill down!

Still, if anybody is unaware of this occurring and is wondering why their photos look a bit rubbish, this is why!

(Google link)

7 thoughts on “Vodafone transparent proxy – BMI Javascript at 1.2.3.4”

  1. this is not entirely accurate. the images are replaced by the proxy server, not the javascript. the javascript only allows you to “uncompress” them (revert to originals) by pressing a specific key combination. you can easily block the javascript by adding 1.2.3.4 to restricted sites and see what happens then.

  2. O2 are doing it as well and the response times are shocking and images are failing to load destroying any benefit to be gained from Google Maps

  3. i got confused there for a second, i thought this was going to be about vodaphone offering a proxy service.. woops 😛

  4. I’m from Bangladesh. Recently our mobile Internet service provider Grameenphone have started same thing. It’s really annoying. We pay money for internet, But why they are interrupting us ?

    @greg Adding 1.2.3.4 to block list doesn’t did anything.. It just block that javascript, it doesn’t improve image quality..

    I’m going to switch my internet service provider..

  5. @Arman It’s not interrupting anything. Grameenphone optimise the web pages which includes reducing the quality of graphics. Try hovering your mouse over an optimised image and a message pops up saying “press shift-r for the original image” (or something like that). You get faster Internet most of the time and still can get original quality for important pics – what’s not to like? Doesn’t this reduce your data bill?

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