Today the Independent Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection, chaired by Claire Perry MP, has published its final report which included a number of recommendations for Government and ISPs about how child internet safety could be improved.
It is good to see the continued Parliamentary and Government focus in this area. I’ve always believed that as one of the UK’s largest ISPs we have a duty to help our customers protect themselves online.
It’s why we first introduced HomeSafe, the UK’s only network level parental control service, for free for our customers last May and its why in March we became the first – and to date only – ISP to ask new customers if they want to activate HomeSafe when they join TalkTalk, following the recommendation made in the Government’s Bailey Review.
Since we introduced this ‘active choice’, around one in three new customers are choosing to turn on parental controls which is roughly equivalent to the number of UK households with children in them. We’re delighted that the response has been so positive; it shows that active choice works. Parents really do value being offered parental controls upfront.
One of the key recommendations of the Inquiry’s report is that ‘active choice’ plans should be sped up. Having seen the success of this for new customers, we now feel the time is right to test asking all our customers to make a decision about whether they want to activate HomeSafe.
We’ve been not been shy about telling our customers about the benefits of HomeSafe – from television advertising to bill inserts and emails – and over 350,000 customers have chosen to activate HomeSafe to date and we’re now committing to increase this to 1 million families using HomeSafe by March next year.
I know that still a small number of UK households, but it will be nearly a quarter of our customer base and I’m really proud that TalkTalk is doing our bit to make the Internet a safer place for Britain’s families!