From today, Sky Broadband Shield will be automatically switched on the moment a new customer activates their Sky Broadband. At the end of last year, we said that we wanted to do even more to help families protect their children from inappropriate content. The first time someone tries to access a filtered website, the account holder will be invited to amend the settings or turn it off altogether. It ensures a safer internet experience for millions of homes, while still giving account holders the flexibility to choose the settings most appropriate for their households.

Our experience has shown that this “Default On” or as we call it “Auto On” approach leads to much greater use of filtering. Last year, we adopted “Auto On” with some of our existing customers which we found delivered much higher engagement and usage of Sky Broadband Shield. Around two thirds of customers we rolled it out to have continued to make use of the software. This is much higher than anyone else in the industry using other approaches. Customers are typically just asked whether they want to switch on filtering when they activate their broadband. It means take up rates are between only 5 and 10% because customers ignore the choice put in front of them or automatically click no without considering the implications.

This is why we decided to make “Auto On” standard practice for all our new Sky Broadband customers including our soon to be launched new NOW TV Combo service. Furthermore over the coming months we will be contacting millions more Sky Broadband customers who haven’t yet made a decision about Sky Broadband Shield. If they don’t respond, we will switch it on for them and invite them to amend or switch it off themselves.

Our commitment to helping parents keep control of what their children watch doesn’t just stop at the internet. For example, earlier this year we launched the Sky Kids app. As well as making sure it was a fun and engaging way for children to enjoy all their favourite shows, we worked closely with parents to make sure it was something they were happy with. As well as different profiles for different ages so parents can decide what their children watch, we have added even more safety features including Sleep Mode. Parents can limit the time their children spend on the app.

Today isn’t the end of our work. We will continue to listen closely to what our customers are telling us about how we can further support them in keeping their families safe but also help the Government deliver its objectives for a safer internet. Sky will also work with Internet Matters which does a fantastic job across the whole industry to help keep children safe in the digital world.