Broadband providers cannot be expected to block adult materials such as pornography at source, a leading industry official has claimed.
Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General of the Internet Service Providers' Association, claimed that controls on children's access to the internet should be managed by parents and carers.
Speaking to the BBC, he suggested that internet service providers (ISPs) should provide the necessary tools to block such content, but the government should not impose top-down legislation.
"Online safety is a priority issue for the internet industry and ISPA will be discussing the options available to protect children with Government," Mr Lansman said.
"ISPs currently block child abuse content which is illegal and widely regarded as abhorrent."
However, he said that blocking lawful pornography content is "less clear cut".
Earlier this week, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey told the Sunday Times that ISPs would need to "get their act together" and help combat the risks associated with online pornography.