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2014 ISPA Awards Winners unveiled: Guardian Internet Hero, GCHQ Internet Villain.

 The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK) announced the winners of the 2014ISPAs, the UK’s longest running internet industry awards, now in their 16th year. Almost fifty organisations were nominated across sixteen categories, and the evening ended with the Internet Hero and Villain Awards, given to those who have helped or hindered the industry in the last year.

Surveillance and broadband dominated the Internet Hero and Villain shortlists, sponsored by NetLynk Direct, with The Guardian named Hero for their work covering the PRISM revelations.. Conversely, GHCQ/NSA won the Internet Villain Award for their role in the surveillance state, a particularly important issue for industry given yesterday’s new Bill on data retention.  The Guardian collected their award on the evening whilst digital rights campaigners, Big Brother Watch , picked up the award on behalf of GCHQ.

Catalyst2 and Hyperoptic were the big winners, each coming away with two awards. Catalyst2 picked up Best Consumer Customer Service and Customer Choice, with Hyperoptic retaining their Best Superfast Broadband crown from 2013 and adding a new   - Best Use of Digital - to their trophy collection. Other winners included Sky, Metronet (UK) and Plusnet. Broadband, hosting and VoIP entrants all underwent detailed technical testing for several months, though thinkbroadband, whilst others submitted detailed case studies on how they made the difference for their customers.  ISPA Council selected the Internet Hero and Villain Awards.

ISPA Secretary General Nick Lansman said “Congratulations to all last night’s winners, the ISPA Awards are hugely diverse and highlight how diverse  the UK internet industry is and the vital role it plays in the British economy.”

 BDUK Chief Executive Chris Townsend delivered the keynote speech to 300 key industry guests, with comedian Ben Norris compering the evening.

For details of the winners see below and for more information and photos go to www.ispaawards.org.uk and @ISPAUK.

The 2014 ISPAs winners

Internet Hero sponsored by NetLynk winner: The Guardian

For their excellent reporting of mass surveillance programmes.

Internet Villain sponsored by NetLynk winner: GCHQ/NSA

For running the widest covert electronic surveillance programme in the world.

Best Superfast Broadband winner: Hyperoptic

The judges felt Hyperoptic have made a huge impact, delivering excellent speeds and performance in an increasing number of towns and cities.

Best Consumer Fixed Broadband winner: Plusnet

The judges felt their consumer friendly pricing without compromising the user experience made the difference.

Best Business Fixed Broadband winner: Urban Wimax 

Urban Wimax clearly filled a gap in the market with a truly innovative and reliable product.

Best Wireless sponsored by LinITX winner: Metronet (UK) (commendation for Boundless Communications)

The speed, flexibility and reliability of Metronet’s services show there is nothing to fear about wireless.

Customer Choice winner:  Catalyst2

Customers had the following to say: They create FANS not just customers with their service” and  “Their support is second to none  - priceless”.

Best Shared Hosting winner: MacAce

Their competitive pricing and commitment to customer service makes for a great and reliable hosting service.

Best Dedicated Hosting winner: Storm Internet

Their multi-platform servers, scalability and fast hardware replacement made the judges feel Storm gave the most reassurance to customers.

Best VoIP winner:  Soho66

In a very tight contest, the value for money, company culture and high performance gave Soho66 the edge.

Best Consumer Customer Service winner: Catalyst2

Their dedication to providing a personal service and high customer loyalty impressed the judges.

Best Business Customer Service winner: Exa Networks

The judges were impressed in how many extra miles Exa went to help their customers in need.

Internet Safety & Security sponsored by Wick Hill winner:  Sky

Their engagement, the depth and breadth of their awareness campaign as well as the clarity of advice and support to parents made Sky the clear winners.

Managed Service Innovation winner: Memset

Memset’s easy implemented range of services and competitive pricing were backed up by some impressive testimonials on how they’ve made the difference.

Best Business Use of Cloud winner: Talk Straight

Talk Straight’s cloud application provides schools with an excellent and bespoke management tool that works across all school devices and systems.

Best Use of Digital sponsored by Tagadab winner: Hyperoptic

The way Hyperoptic engage with communities across all digital platforms, as well as innovative marketing impressed the judges. Not just pushing the speed boundaries, but how to engage in a digital world. 

About the ISPA Awards

The 2014 ISPA Awards will take place on 10th July 2014 at the Park Lane Hotel. These will be the 16th internet industry awards, with the ISPAs running since 1999. The Internet Hero and Internet Villain Awards are sponsored by Netlynk Direct. The Best Wireless Award is sponsored by LinITX. The Best VoIP Award is sponsored by Magrathea Telecom, with hosting specialists Tagadab sponsoring Best Use of Digital. Wick Hill is sponsoring the Internet Safety and Security Award.

About ISPA

The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK) was established in 1995 and currently has 200 members and is the voice of the UK internet industry to Government, parliament, regulators and the media.

For a list of members or other information about ISPA, please visit our website on www.ispa.org.uk or follow us on twitter @ISPAUK. You can also reach us by phone on 0203 397 3308.

The views expressed in this release are those of the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) and do not necessarily reflect the corporate policies of the individual companies that are members of the Association or other organisations that may be mentioned in the release.

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