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TalkTalk is set to become the first broadband provider to offer consumers an active choice over the use parental controls at the point of sale.

Chief Executive Dido Harding said the broadband provider is committed to safeguarding young people using the internet, and giving subscribers the option using automatic blocks from the moment they set up their account.

She said TalkTalk continues to support the finding of the government's Bailey Review into the commercialisation of children, and will be taking steps to ensure they are protected.

"By the end of February, new customers who join TalkTalk will be asked upfront in the sales process if they wish to activate HomeSafe, our network level parental controls service, to help them control access to the types of content their children can access online," Ms Harding explained.

She added that HomeSafe is available free to all TalkTalk customers and helps parents to protect their children from access to certain types of content such as pornography, gambling, suicide and self-harm sites.

"Because it's built into our network, it protects every device using the broadband connection - be it a laptop, iPod Touch or Nintendo Wii," the TalkTalk CEO stated.

Ms Harding said this especially important now that children are regularly using a range of devices to go online, which was also highlighted in the Bailey Review.

"While no technical solution alone can solve the issue of internet safety, we feel that it is our duty to provide our customers with simple and effective tools like HomeSafe," she added.

Children's Minister Tim Loughton commented: "It is fantastic news that TalkTalk has worked so quickly to make 'active choice' a reality for parents.

"It will make it easier for their customers to protect their children from harmful or inappropriate online content from whichever device is used in the home, be it a laptop, games console or Internet enabled TV."

The MP said he looks forward to seeing more UK broadband providers offering this help to parents.

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