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BT has launched a free network-based filter for broadband services, to help protect children online.

The new BT Parental Controls solution covers all internet-connected devices in the home, going beyond desktop computers and laptops to cover tablets, smartphones, consoles and other devices.

BT customers can choose whether to activate parental controls when setting up their internet connection for the first time.

All existing BT customers will also be contacted during 2014, giving them the option to set up the controls.

There will be three set levels - strict, moderate and light - which can be customised to suit each individual user's needs.

Pete Oliver, Managing Director of Consumer Commercial Marketing and Digital at BT, said the firm takes the issue of online child protection "extremely seriously".

"We are very pleased to be able to launch the whole-home filter to help parents keep their families safe online," he stated.

"It adds to the many tools we already make available for free to our customers. We’ve been focused on the issue of online safety since we developed the world’s first Cleanfeed filter to block child abuse images and made the technology available free to other [broadband providers] across the world a decade ago."

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