We often have customers say to us; our end users aren’t asking for parental controls. Q: Do you know anyone who asked for the iPhone before Steve Jobs told the world they needed it?
So how do we know your end users will want kid-safe Internet? In 2013 the industry and government in the UK reached an agreement to offer family-friendly network-level filtering to all customers. The joint industry commitment was to offer by Dec 2014 “an unavoidable choice” to customers to activate the filtering service in their home broadband.
Outlined below are some of the recent results from the Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report research conducted by Ofcom, the communications regulator in the UK. The report is 233 pages long, so we’ve outlined the key facts related to parental control uptake from the section on Parental Mediation (page 12 & 13).
1. Use of ISP content filters has increased among parents of 5-15-year-olds since 2015.
Almost two-thirds parents with home broadband, whose child goes online, are aware of network-level content filters provided by ISPs, and around a third use them.
2. Parents use a combination of approaches to mediate their child’s access to, and use of, online content and services, including:
1. using technical tools
2. regularly talking to their children about managing online risks
3. supervising their child
4. having rules (about access to the internet and behaviour while online)
The number of parents of 5-15s who DO NOT mediate their child’s internet use in any of the ways mentioned above has decreased from 6% to 4% since 2015.
3. Screen time gets harder to manage as children get older.
The majority of parents young childer agree that their child has a good balance between screen time and doing other things. Children and parents seem to be aligned on this. However, screen time gets harder to manage as children get older.
4. The ‘Digital Day’ research shows that children are messaging, sharing and liking throughout the day, including during school hours and late into the evening.
- 9% of 11-15-year-olds are still communicating via social media at 10 pm on school nights
- 2% are still messaging at midnight
If you’d like further information about the uptake, a 2015 report also provides an update on the steps taken by the UK’s four largest fixed-line internet service providers (ISPs) – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media – to offer a choice, both to new and to existing customers, whether or not to activate a family-friendly network-level filtering service.