ISPA is a democratic organisation governed by a Council selected from and representing the various interests of the membership. The Council set ISPA’s strategic objectives and signs-off policy decisions.

ISPA's regulatory activity is coordinated through four subgroups which focus on particular issues of ongoing concern to the membership.  The subgroups are a forum for members to share their views and, in consultation with the wider membership, determine how the organisation positions itself.

Council and subgroups are supported by a Secretariat which is responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation.

Steve Leighton

ISPA Chair, Voneus

With more than 20 years of experience in the telecoms industry, Steve Leighton is now an Advisor to Voneus, having founded the company and acting as its CEO for 13 years.  Voneus is the champion of gigabit broadband for rural communities and alongside its extensive fibre to the premises network is the leading provider of gigabit wireless broadband infrastructure for poorly connected or difficult to reach communities across the whole of the UK.

In addition to his advisory role at Voneus, Steve is the CEO of Zapgo, a new entrant EV charge point operator which has a focus on destination charging locations, also in rural and semi-rural locations.

Prior to working at Voneus, Steve co-founded Keycom Plc in 2000, a company specialising in the delivery of voice and internet services to the UK’s tertiary education sector. Here he held the role of Sales and Marketing Director for four years before becoming involved in other online start-ups, including Greenroom Digital and Findsyou Limited.

Before transitioning to the telecommunications industry, Steve had a successful Government career, culminating in the role of Head of Communications Sponsorship at the Department of Trade and Industry.

Will Black


Will leads networks policy at BT Group, including barrier busting and network security.  Before joining BT in August 2022, he spent four years as Head of Policy at Openreach, where he led policy development across a number of different areas. He has previously worked at Ofcom and the Federation of Small Businesses, where he focussed on infrastructure and rural affairs policy.

Georgina Rudak

Trenches Law

Joining Trenches Law in 2019, Georgina has years of industry experience, including a wayleave manager position with Virgin Media for 2 years. As Trenches Law’s head of wayleave and trainee solicitor, Georgina is a valuable colleague and an active presence at industry meetings and conferences to ensure we remain abreast of the ever-changing wayleave regulations, protocol, and best practice.

She is also a regular guest speaker at sector events, most recently discussing wayleave legislation changes.

Casey Calista


Casey is the Head of Policy and Public Affairs and Vorboss. In her role, she is focused on supporting future-facing skills, diversity in tech & infrastructure, security & resilience, and how our sector underpins growth.

Prior to working at Vorboss, Casey launched and grew the tech public affairs practice at two agencies. As a tech policy specialist, she has worked with some of the largest technology companies in the world - helping them with policy, government relations and strategic communications. Previously, she managed the leading parliamentary technology policy group, mobilising cross-party coalitions to educate policymakers on emerging tech, and ran a London-based startup media company.

Casey is the Industry Chair of Labour Digital and co-founder of the Women in Tech Policy Network.

Ben Stone


Ben is Public Affairs Lead for Gigaclear and is responsible for working with Members of Parliament across the ISP’s network. He deals with incoming enquiries and manages site visits, proactive contact and briefings to ensure MPs are across the work that Gigaclear are doing in their constituencies. He also supports Gigaclear’s work with central Government and advises the business on policy and political issues.

Ben has been with Gigaclear since January 2019 and prior to moving to Public Affairs, he worked as a Community Engagement Manager, where amongst other responsibilities he was responsible for delivering resident meetings in communities in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. Prior to that he spent seven years as Constituency Office Manager for Mark Harper MP (now Transport Secretary) in the Forest of Dean and managed his correspondence, diary and social media. He is also an experienced radio broadcaster having been programme manager at Radio Pembrokeshire for six years where the highlight was winning the 2010 Arqiva Award for Specialist Programme of the Year with his popular Friday Night Sport Show.

Mick Everett

ISPA Treasurer, Blue Spider

Mick Everett is the MD and founder of Blue Spider Consulting – a provider of fully managed Internet and VoIP services into select multi-occupancy residential accommodation. 

He is an apprentice-served comms engineer and has worked within the comms industry all his working life, operating at Director level within a variety of comms companies over the last 30+ years.  Mick holds a number of current product-related accreditations including Avaya, Ubiquiti and Draytek and is a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET). 

During his career, Mick has been intrinsic in the provision and support of managed IP telephony, Internet and IPTV services into a significant number of student and keyworker residential accommodation sites across the UK, including at Universities, hospitals and housing associations. 

Tom Ives

Freedom Fibre/LilaConnect

Tom Ives is the Head of Sales Operations at LilaConnect, part of the Freedom Fibre Group.
Upon the completion of a strategic merger in early 2024, LilaConnect became part of the Freedom Fibre Group, with a clear objective to bring the best digital connectivity to communities and homes across the UK. Tom is responsible for ensuring that the sales functions maintain compliance with current regulations, company policy and GDPR / Data protection.and proactively upholds the group’s values of energy, ideas and making a difference. After studying Law, Tom’s career focused on Data Protection in IT and Online Services, with 20+ years in Sales & IT Consultancy. Since starting in Telesales Tom quickly rose through the ranks, with a unique understanding of managing the needs and expectations of consumers, and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction, whilst balancing the business need to drive take-up across the network. Tom has dedicated himself to putting the customer journey at the forefront of the sales ethos of LilaConnect.

Tom is a firm believer that smaller ISPs should be given the opportunity to have a voice within the industry, and that having a close relationship with the customer base, allows us to understand changes in their requirements. Tom is keenly involved in LilaConnect’s implementation of OTS, as well as understanding how we, as a smaller ISP, can ensure compliance with future changes to the regulatory landscape.

Emma Shearer


Emma is a Senior Public Affairs Manager at CityFibre, leading on policy development and MP engagement. In her role, she is responsible for policy areas including barriers to rollout, rural deployment and telecoms security, working with both UK and Scottish Governments and Parliaments. Prior to joining CityFibre in 2021, Emma worked in Public Affairs Consultancy advising businesses in the tech, telecoms and travel sectors, including working as part of the ISPA secretariat managing the Broadband Policy workstream.

Max Fernando


Max is a seasoned regulatory and compliance professional with over a decade of industry experience. He has in-depth knowledge of the telecommunications market, communications technology, data and data analytics, AI & machine learning, data privacy, and the related compliance, regulation, and regulatory policy landscape.

He began his career at Ofcom, working across three key teams—Market Intelligence, Technology, and Consumer Polic —and managing major projects such as Connected Nations. After Ofcom, Max joined BT as a Senior Associate in the Group Regulatory Team, where he led initiatives such as Open Communications and supported various projects, including the Broadband USO and BT’s Responsible AI Working Group.

Currently, Max serves as the Head of Regulatory and Compliance at Glide, overseeing all regulatory and compliance activities, managing Glide’s ISO certifications, and leading efforts in ESG and Health & Safety. Additionally, he chairs INCA’s standards group, driving forward a project to standardise the technical specifications, commercials, and regulatory thinking around wholesale broadband provision in the UK.

Jacquie Mellor

Virgin Media

Jacquie Mellor is the Associate Counsel at Virgin Media. She joined ISPA Council in 2012.

Jacquie is commercially focused and adaptable lawyer, with a very broad range of commercial and regulatory experience obtained in an organisation that has seen enormous change over the years.

She specializes in Intellectual Property Rights, Telecommunications, Information Technology, Outsourcing and Procurement, Data Protection, Network Security, Consumer Broadband, Public WiFi, Content Acquisition, Product Development, Interconnect, Regulatory.

Gemma Whiteley


Gemma is the Head of the Regulatory and Government Affairs team for UK and Ireland at Verizon. Her responsibilities cover all public policy, regulatory compliance, and government relations for these two jurisdictions. Gemma also covers areas such as network security, cyber security, and sustainability across the European region. 

Before joining Verizon in 2017, she spent three and half years working across multiple disciplines at the UK regulator, Ofcom, including areas of international policy, content policy, radio licensing, and competition policy.

Dave Swanston


Dave Swanston’s career is anchored in a foundation of service excellence and leadership, cultivated during seven years in the Army. Transitioning to the telecommunications industry in 2012, Dave began as a Customer Service Engineer at Openreach, where he developed robust technical skills and a deep industry insight. His journey has been defined by progressive leadership roles and a commitment to driving operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Dave’s tenure at Gigaclear saw him rapidly ascend from Repair Manager to Delivery Manager, and later as General Manager at Pickr, a software-focused firm focused on disrupting the industry. Here, he spearheaded strategic initiatives that significantly enhanced operational efficiency and elevated customer satisfaction metrics. Notably, his entrepreneurial drive led to the successful launch and subsequent sale of a civil engineering company, demonstrating his acumen in identifying market opportunities and executing effective business strategies.

As founder of Runfibre, an ISP he built from inception, Dave achieved notable milestones including the completion of four successful RGBVS projects and earning a stellar five-star rating on Trustpilot. The successful sale of Runfibre underscored its market potential and solidified Dave’s reputation as a visionary leader in the industry. Currently, Dave is the founder of Gigability, where he secured £5 million in initial funding to spearhead rural infrastructure development. Leveraging his extensive experience in rural fibre deployment, Dave is dedicated to bridging the digital divide and enhancing customer connectivity in underserved areas. His leadership ensures all initiatives not only meet but exceed regulatory standards, reflecting his commitment to industry innovation and compliance.

Dave is passionate about leveraging technology to create meaningful impact. His mission is to ensure high-quality connectivity is accessible to all, driving innovation and growth in the telecommunications sector. With a proven ability to lead complex projects and deliver outstanding results, Dave Swanston is poised to make significant contributions to any organisation seeking to enhance telecommunications infrastructure and customer experience.

Robert Burles


Robert is Director of Regulatory Policy at AllPoints Fibre Networks (APFN) and Cuckoo. Prior to that he was Head of Regulatory Affairs at Swish Fibre and then Cuckoo. Before joining the industry, Robert was Deputy Director for Broadband Strategy and Investment in the UK and worked on the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR) and the first Statement of Strategic Priorities (SSP) for telecoms.

Tim Stranack

Community Fibre

Tim is one of the founders of Community Fibre. Community Fibre has gone on to build the largest fibre-optic only network in London. Tim's role now focuses on advising Community Fibre on Policy & Regulatory matters. Tim is also a Board member of INCA first as the Chair of their Policy and Regulatory Special Interest Group and more recently has been voted in as Chair of the INCA Board.