Virgin Media looks set to become the first British internet company to crack down on customers who download music illegally.
Record labels are lobbying for a "three strikes" regime that would see those who collect pirated material disconnected from the internet, and the government is expected next month to consult on how such curbs could be legally enforced.
Music trade body the BPI is working with Virgin on a pilot which could see dozens of customers sent warning letters.
The trial by the UK's largest residential broadband supplier will go live within months and disconnecting customers who ignore warnings, a sanction favoured by the record BPI, remains an option. The trial will also be open to film and television studios.