Most UK households opting out of Cameron's porn-filters

The vast majority of broadband customers in the UK are choosing to opt out of new child friendly filters when Internet service providers (ISPs) offer to install them.

Industry regulator Ofcom found that less than one in seven households installed the feature which is offered by the UK's biggest ISPs, including BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.

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The filter, which was introduced by the UK government last year, blocks pornographic websites along with webpages promoting drugs or self-harming.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced that ISPs had agreed to offer "unavoidable choice" parental control filters back in July 2013.

New subscribers are offered the filter at the point of sign-up and must actively choose to opt-out. Of the main ISPs, TalkTalk has persuaded 36 per cent of households to retain the filter, but BT, Sky and Virgin Media's figures were all below 10 per cent.

Virgin Media, which only launched its filter, Web Safe, in February 2014, after the deadline set by the UK government, admitted that its installation engineers had often neglected the feature.

According to the Ofcom report, 65 per cent of new Virgin Media customers were not being offered the child-friendly filter.

"The majority of new Virgin Media installations involve an engineer visit. Virgin Media believes that in many cases the engineer runs the broadband activation process and bypasses or ignores the filtering choice," the report claimed.

"It has recognised that this is a failure in process and indicated it is taking steps to address this gap."

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Virgin Media's chief executive, Tom Mockridge, admitted that his company needed to do more to offer a family-friendly service.

"Ofcom's report clearly highlighted where Virgin Media has fallen short in meeting our original commitments. We take our responsibility to help families stay safe online very seriously and have taken immediate action to improve how we meet our commitments to government."