UK ISP filter survey: Brits shun ISP filter due to uncertainty around effectiveness

In February 2014 Virgin Media became the last of the UK's major Internet Service Providers to enable a network level content filter. The four biggest ISPs - BT, Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk - who combined have more than 22 million subscribers, now have the capability to block sites deemed obscene or dangerous.

At present this filtering is optional. Anyone signing up to an ISP will be given the choice of leaving the filter enabled or opting out of its protective shield. If left enabled sites which fall into more than 70 categories will be automatically blocked.

But how effective is this really, and how many of the UK's broadband subscribers have chosen to make use of it? To find out more we asked some of our visitors for their opinion.

Should ISPs block pornographic content by default?

2,491 respondents.












Do you have your ISPs content filters activated?

2,491 respondents.












What is the main reason you opted out of your ISPs content filter?

1,333 respondents.












What is the main reason you decided to use the ISP content filter?

604 respondents.












Have you ever encountered a seemingly safe or legitimate site which is unexpectedly blocked?

604 respondents.












Are you worried the authorities are maintaining a list of broadband users who have opted out of the filter?

2,491 respondents.












How do you perceive the effectiveness of the network content filters?

2,491 respondents.


  • unhappy

    by Chris at 0:12 on 10 Feb 2016 Report abuse

    I don't agree with blocking pornographic detail by default. If you're at the age to take out a contract with a company providing internet services, you should be able to deal with adult content on your own; whether you want to consume it healthily or not.

    There's something unnerving about adults having to ask permission to see pictures or videos of wobbly bits of others.

    Pornographic filters are fine but they should definitely be opt-in.

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