New BT Subscribers Find Adult Content Blocked by Default

LONDON — Adult content filtering is now turned on by default for new customers of BT's Internet services.

On Friday, BT fulfilled its commitments to the U.K. government's push to enable adult content filters by default, joining other major providers. U.K. telecoms TalkTalk, Virgin, Sky and BT each agreed in November to introduce network filters.

New BT subscribers will automatically have the " BT Parental Controls" implemented at the router level, but they will be given a choice to opt-out at sign up. Existing BT customers will be contacted throughout 2014 and asked if they want to set up the controls, the telecom said.

BT Parental Controls will apply to all devices, including smartphones and tablets. Strict, moderate and light options can be selected and additional sites can be added to block or allow at a later date.

The settings can be changed but credentials are required to set up and change them. An email will be sent to the adult account holder to advise them of the change.

With BT introducing default filtering, it appears that nearly 90 percent of U.K. households will have porn filters by the end of January.

TalkTalk and Sky already have launched porn filters. Virgin plans to launch its own network-level porn filter before the new year, making it the last big ISP to bow to Prime Minister David Cameron's demands.

By the end of 2014 all existing customers will be presented with an unavoidable choice about installing porn filters that they will not be able to skip.