ISPA, the voice of the UK Internet industry, held its 20th Anniversary Conference in the BT Tower on the ‘Future Communications Landscape’. One hundred senior representatives from the breadth of the Internet industry, media, Government officials, and experts exchanged views on the major issues affecting the UK Internet sector, with major discussions on the state of digital infrastructure.

Outgoing Openreach CEO Joe Garner gave a keynote speech on how Openreach had delivered superfast broadband to over 80% of premises, and said the current structure would allow continued investment. This led to a robust exchange of views with other network operators and ISPs in the room on whether the current framework worked and whether ISPs were sufficiently investing in the UK’s digital future.

Other discussions and conclusions from the conference included:

  • There was support for the objective of a Universal Service Obligation, but a strong sense that policy-makers need to carefully consider how the proposal is implemented and funded to ensure that it is effective and does not have unintended consequences on the market.
  • An insight was provided into new technologies such as FAST by BT, 5g by Surrey University 5G Innovation Centre and a new 5Gbps FTTP service recently launched by Gigaclear.
  • Venus Director Brian Iddon detailed his vision for ‘Gigabit cities’ to compete abroad and highlighted how fast connections can transform how businesses operate.
  • Xantaro CTO Gerold Arheilger and Mark Carnighan from Arista explained how ISPs can beat vendor lock and transform service delivery through software defined networking and the use of innovative products such as switches.
  • Corero CEO Ashley Stephenson gave an insight into DDoS attacks and outlined new ways for service providers to defend their networks against these attached and demonstrate value to their customers.
  • Yaana Principal Solutions Architect Leigh Porter gave a communications and data retention vendor perspective on the Investigatory Powers Bill and called for a measured and informed debate.

At the conference, ISPA Secretary General Nicholas Lansman said ”ISPs continue to make huge investments in their networks, demonstrated by rising speeds and lower costs for consumers and businesses, delivering real benefits for the UK. In our 20th year this conference celebrated the achievements of industry, examined present challenges and predicted future opportunities for the Internet industry. It was also great to hear from leading businesses and ISPs on the services and technologies coming online in the coming years.”

About the ISPA Conference

The 20th Anniversary ISPA Conference took place on Wednesday 18th November at the BT Tower in central London and featured five panels and two keynotes, looking at digital infrastructure, future technological innovations, cyber-security and business Internet.

ISPA would like to thank the host Openreach and sponsors Arista, Corero, Venus, Xantaro and Yaana. To see coverage of the event, please visit twitter with the hashtag #ISPA15.