New UK ISP Blocks Do Not Affect Online Gaming

Published February 3, 2015 by Lee R

New UK ISP Blocks Do Not Affect Online Gaming

Blocks only go into effect automatically if customers do not express their preferences within a reasonable time frame.

In the UK, an ISP ban on “adult content” was applied to gambling sites, but operators insist that filtering fears be allayed.

TalkTalk and Sky Blocks Voluntary

Two of the UK's big four internet providers, TalkTalk and Sky, have clarified that the blocks are voluntary and left to the discretion of customers.

The adult content filers do not block gambling sites automatically, according to UK internet service providers (ISP's). Amid reports that TalkTalk was to follow sky in adhering to a newly mandated filtering process for online adult content, the notion that gambling-websites would be blocked automatically was downplayed when TalkTalk spokesman confirmed to eGaming Review that customers seeking unlimited access to gambling-related sites merely had to manually request the lifting of those blocks.

Opt-Out Option Renders Blocks a Non-Issue

Upon signing up for a provider, customers will be given an opt-out of the filtering system, while existing customers will be provided with a pop-up alert when first attempting to access an adult-content site under the updated regulations.

In fact, the filter is already by and large a non-issue, with 95% of TalkTalk's customer already having made their opt-out preferences known, and only a scant 5% due base due the prompt from said new pop-up message.

As for Sky, the UK media giant's internal filtering system HomeShield provides customers with an option regarding content filtering before adult-content blocks take effect, with automatic application taking place only for customers who do not indicate their decisions within a month of the updates.

The other two UK internet giants, BT and Virgin Media, have yet to confirm when or if they will add automatic content filtering to their services.

Provider Ethics Intact

The concept of adult content-filtering was first suggested to providers in 2011 as a means of protecting children from online adult content, with UK Prime Minster David Cameron supporting the movement as a means for ISP's to provide a more ethical brand of service. The UK government has entrusted private providers to protect the communities they serve, and the voluntary block is a significant measure that should not be misinterpreted by iGaming interests within the UK.


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