Sky Broadband Shield

Sky Broadband Shield is the DNS-based adult content filter available on Sky Broadband from November 2013. It uses site classification supplied by Symantec[1] using Xerocole technology[2].

A July 2014 report[3] by Ofcom put the take-up when offered to new customers at 8%.

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Previously new accounts were asked to enable filters durning setup, from July 2016 all new accounts will have the filter applied automatically and will have the opportunity to switch it off the first time they access a filtered site.[4]

From some point in 2015 existing customers (that have not explicitly requested to have it disabled) would have be asked to make a choice about filtering if they attempted to access a page unsuitable for under-13s[5] and then at some point in 2016 any accounts that have not made this choice will have filters automatically applied.


Sky previously provided a link for reporting incorrect categorisation from the blocked page, but this required a login to complete. Sky's head of policy, Adam Kinsley, said ISPs would eventually make it easier for site owners to report accidental blocks.[6]

Sky now advertises[7] a contact email address for reporting categorisation issues.

Notable overblocking

  • 2014-01-26 - was categorised as "Phishing/Malware" inadvertently breaking many thousands of websites that are dependent on access to this domain to load the jQuery code.[8]

Filtering categories

Blocking categories for Sky Broadband Shield
Category PG 13 18
Online Gaming X
Social Networking X
Cyber Bullying X X
Pornography and Adult X X
Suicide and Self Harm X X
Weapons, Violence, Gore and Hate X X
Anonymizers, Filesharing and Hacking X X
Drugs and Criminal Skills X X
Dating X X
Phishing, Malware and Spyware X X X

Source Sky Broadband Shield explained