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netplus.ch provides youth protection using F5 solutions

There are various tools to protect children and juveniles from inappropriate content on the internet. These, however, take a lot of effort to install and configure. Using products by F5, the Swiss internet provider netplus.ch was able to create an interface through which setting youth protection features is a matter of a few mouse clicks.

There are various tools to protect children and juveniles from inappropriate content on the Internet. These, however, take a lot of effort to install and configure. Using F5 products, the Swiss Internet provider netplus.ch was able to create an interface through which setting youth protection features is a matter of a few mouse clicks.

“The ideal solution for us was the URL filtering through the domain name system that F5 offered in its integrated BIG-IP Access Policy Manager”. Olivier Crettenand, Head of Telecom

Business Challenges

netplus.ch S.A. is a telecommunications service provider in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. It is the leading provider of multimedia content in this region serving over 160,000 customers. netplus delivers high-quality internet, telephone and television services - both in the middle of cities and in more remote areas. The company provides its customers - individuals and companies - with solutions which are simple, efficient, inexpensive and tailored to their needs.

A great challenge for internet providers is ensuring youth protection. Although there are a lot of tools available to provide the users with the features needed, most of them are difficult to install and configure.

Often parents shy away from the huge effort it takes to set up the correct youth protection options. In the worst case, the parents deem themselves safe and secure but in reality they failed to correctly or completely program the protective application - as a result their children are not protected properly from inappropriate content.

“In order to meet this challenge, we were looking for a youth protection application which is easy to install and use,” says Olivier Crettenand, Head of Telecom with netplus.ch. “Our conception of an ideal solution was a portal interface that allows you to intuitively set the youth protection options by simply clicking some checkboxes. This way, parents can efficiently and reliably control internet access for their children and fend off inappropriate services. We also wanted to offer different filters for the various family members.”

To locate the optimal solution netplus.ch did a market research. They determined the offerings available and the features of each offering. In addition, the company looked into the youth protection solutions of other internet providers. They focused particularly on British providers as the youth protection regulations in Great Britain are rather strict.

"only the F5 solution allowed us to provide a simple set of checkboxes for configuring the youth protection settings". Olivier Crettenand, Head of Telecom

Solution

“The ideal solution for us was the URL filtering through the domain name system that F5 offered in its integrated BIG-IP Access Policy Manager,” explains Olivier Crettenand. “This approach is the simplest way to comprehensively filter content. But only the F5 solution allowed us to provide a simple set of checkboxes for configuring the youth protection settings. It has up-to-date features and is easy to install. This way, we managed to quickly launch our service to the market.”

With the help of F5, netplus.ch now provides an easy to use solution for youth protection on the internet. This allows parents to block unwanted content in order to protect their children for example from inappropriate content on certain web sites.

At the moment, particular services can be activated or deactivated. In the future, there will be a number of filters which can be set individually. This will give the parents granular control over usage times, content allowed for adults, usage of particular social media services such as Facebook and Twitter as well as security features and protection from malware.

Benefits

Thanks to the F5 solutions, netplus.ch is the only internet provider in Switzerland delivering youth protection services which are both free and simple to administer. This helped improve netplus.ch’s reputation. Moreover, netplus.ch managed to launch the services quickly.

Simple and free youth protection settings

“URL filtering directly at the DNS node through F5 BIG-IP APM permits high-performance blocking of inappropriate content,” says Olivier Crettenand. “This makes us the only internet provider in Switzerland delivering youth protection features for free as part of the internet access package. The features can be easily activated through checkboxes. This novel and unique service gives us a significant competitive edge.”

Better reputation and fast commercial launch 

“The fact that URL filtering is part of the F5 offerings turned out to be a big advantage,” says Olivier Crettenand. “Due to the immediate availability we managed to go to market sooner than planned. The solution has been available since September 2016 and has improved our reputation with the customers even more. In the meantime, we are seen as a model with regard to youth protection. More importantly, the F5 solution supports our vision to protect all children as good as possible from inappropriate content.”

Simple Management

“Not only the parents find the administration of the solution very easy - it is also easy for our IT staff,” Olivier Crettenand sums up. “All tools required are integral part of the F5 solution and they support automated processes to a large extent. For example, activating or deactivating a checkbox results in a completely automated execution - no manual intervention of the IT staff is required. The IT staff only needs to take care of the definitions, configurations and interfaces of the filters provided. These can be easily added or removed; this way we can quickly and flexibly expand our offerings and adapt them to new requirements.”