We’re ready for the new age verification legislation – are you?

We’re ready for the new age verification legislation – are you?

Simon Leather, Head of Product Development

Simon Leather, Head of Product Development

We’re ready for the new age verification legislation – are you?

padlock on computer screen

Online porn publishers will undoubtedly be busy getting their sites under lock, ahead of a new government legislation set to be enforced in July 2019.

Operating in the B2B arena, it’s not every day we blog about adult websites. But as these new age verification requirements are introduced, the telecoms industry needs to be prepared for new rules and processes.

For those not already aware, this legislation came about as part of the Government’s objective to make Britain the safest place in the world to be online. It will effectively require the largest commercial porn publishers to pull up the drawbridge on their websites, so that young children no longer risk being exposed to inappropriate and harmful content. Instead, any users will need to complete age verification checks to verify they are over the age of 18.

Policed by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) - the same body that sets age classifications for films – the regulator will take appropriate steps to promote compliance amongst these publishers. Continued failure to comply will mean that ISPs and mobile network operators are required by law to block access to all users, irrespective of age.

So, like any other internet provider with more than 100,000 residential subscribers in the UK, we need to be ready to support this block.

How is TalkTalk Business preparing?

The good news for Partners using TalkTalk’s Domain Name System (DNS) is that we comply with this legislation, blocking infringing sites at a network level through our DNS platform.

This will follow a similar process to how we currently implement blocks such as copyrighted material, and will be applied within three days of being notified by the BBFC. Once enforced, anyone browsing online through any of our Broadband or Fibre services will no longer be able to access non-compliant sites - avoiding the risk that any under-18s could access such sites via our connectivity services.

If you’d like more details, we’ve published a Frequently Asked Questions for Partners here. Or you can read more about this policy on the Government website of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport here

With the Government and BBFC gearing up for the crackdown, our major call out to Partners not using the TalkTalk DNS, is to ensure that you understand whether you have any obligations of your own under the new policy.

TalkTalk has been fully engaged in industry-Government discussions over the past year and will continue to be as we all work together to tackle this serious issue. We’ll be sure to keep you informed of any developments.