Six of the UK's biggest net providers have agreed a plan with the music industry to tackle piracy online.
The deal, negotiated by the government, will see hundreds of thousands of letters sent to net users suspected of illegally sharing music.
But the music industry wants people's internet cut off if they ignore repeated warnings, something the web firms say they are not prepared to do.
The six firms are due to be named when the deal is officially confirmed later.
Feargal Sharkey, chief executive of British Music Rights, said the plan was "a first step, and a very big step, in what we all acknowledge is going to be quite a long process".
The plan commits the firms to working towards a "significant reduction" in the illegal sharing of music.
It also commits the net firms to develop legal music services, the BBC has been told.
View: BBC News