Winners of the 11th annual UK ISPA Awards were announced last night to a star studded audience from across the Internet sector at the Grosvenor Square Marriott Hotel.
High-level representatives from across the Internet industry joined parliamentarians and famous musicians to celebrate the best Internet companies across a range of categories – a full list of winners can be found below.
Big winners on the night included O2, who scooped the Best Consumer Fixed Broadband and Best Consumer Customer Service awards, Claranet, who took the award for Best Business Fixed Broadband, and the Featured Artists Coalition whose refreshing views about how to tackle unlawful filesharing were recognised by ISPA Council honouring it with the much-coveted Internet Hero Award.
Featured Artists Coalition Board Members Billy Bragg and Dave Rowntree from Blur were among those who attended the awards ceremony to collect the Internet Hero award. The one to be avoided, the Internet Villain Award, went to Stephen Conroy and the Australian Government for their widely unpopular proposals for network-level blocking.
Jim Gamble, Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, opened the evening with a provoking and challenging plea to ISPs for greater cooperation in the fight against child sexual abuse. This was followed by dinner and the Awards, which were hilariously hosted by comedian Matt Green and included appearances from special guests including Feargal Sharkey, Lesley Cowley, Rt Hon Alun Michael and Government officials.
Other winners included UK Fast, Vodafone, Freedom4WiFi, Astream, Namesco, UK2.net, aql and Exa Networks. Competition was particularly fierce this year with a record amount of entries from companies across the Internet sector.
The ISPA Awards are the only Internet awards designed to reward excellence in the Internet industry, and attract the UK’s top Internet companies, industry figures and parliamentarians.
ISPA Secretary General, Nicholas Lansman said, "ISPA would like to congratulate all the winners of the awards and thank everyone for attending and making it such a successful night. The ISPAs is a great opportunity to reflect on the year’s achievements and to reward the UK’s top Internet companies in such a varied and competitive industry and we are already now looking forward to next year’s event”.
For information about the winners and photos please go to www.ispaawards.org.uk
ISPA Awards 2009 Winners:
Best Dial-Up: Exa Networks
The judges were impressed with the strong approach that Exa Networks take towards content filtering and the commitment to customer support that the company demonstrated.
Best Shared Hosting: Namesco
The judges decided that Namesco’s range of packages allowed the flexibility to accommodate a customers’ shared hosting needs. They were also particularly pleased to see that all customer-facing staff take part in NVQ customer care courses.
Best Dedicated Hosting: UK2.net
In an extremely competitive category, the judges agreed that UK2.net offered consumers a range of clearly defined packages. Judges further felt that the option for consumers to downgrade as well as upgrade their package gave UK2.net’s entry the edge over their competitors.
Best Internet Telephony: aql
The judges felt that the level of customer service and support offered by aql were superior to that of the other entrants. The safeguards that aql provide around privacy and security particularly impressed the judges.
Best Streaming: Astream
The judges felt that Astream offers a professional service to its customers catering for the advanced consumer to the professional. They were particularly pleased to see customers being offered the equipment that they needed with advice about how to use it.
Best Business Customer Service: UK Fast
The judges felt that the level of support that UK Fast offered its customers was superior to that of the other entrants. The judges were particularly impressed with the innovative ways in which UK Fast engaged with its customers, such as hosting events and through its film department.
Best Consumer Customer Service: O2
The judges felt that O2 demonstrated a commitment to customer service over and above that of the other entrants. The judges were impressed with the work that O2 was doing in relation to ensuring that predictions about line speed provided to consumers were being met.
Best Business Mobile Broadband: FREEDOM4 WiFi
Mobile Broadband is becoming increasingly important in the world of business and the judges felt that FREEDOM4 WiFi’s combination of packages and flexibility made this the stand out entry in this category.
Best Consumer Mobile Broadband: Vodafone
The judges were impressed with the range of contracts that Vodafone offers customers. They felt that the excellent coverage and international roaming options made Vodafone’s service superior to its competitors.
Best Business Fixed Broadband: Claranet
The judges felt that ClaraNet offered an excellent range of packages, which represented value for money. The sale of re-commissioned equipment to smaller companies to make their services more affordable particularly impressed the judges.
Best Consumer Fixed Broadband: O2
In an extremely closely fought category, the judges were impressed with the excellent value for money and range of packages offered by O2. The judges further felt that the low level of complaints about O2’s service and its commitment to users’ security made its service superior to that of the other finalists.
Corporate Social Responsibility Award: UK Fast
The judges were impressed with the work that UK Fast had done to enhance Digital Inclusion. They also felt that the courses that were offered to staff and the work in designing diplomas in schools were important and made UK Fast worthy winners.
Internet Villain: Stephen Conroy and the Australian Government
For continuing to promote network-level blocking despite significant national and international opposition.
Internet Hero: The Featured Artists Coalition
For recognising publicly that the focus of music companies should be the development of new business models for distributing content online rather than attempting to pass responsibility to ISPs to take action against users.
Notes to the editor:
The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) was established in 1995 as a trade association to represent providers of Internet services in the UK. ISPA promotes competition, self-regulation and the development of the Internet industry. For a list of members or other information about ISPA, please consult the website: www.ispa.org.uk
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. For further editorial information please contact the ISPA Press Office (020 7340 8741).
About The ISPA Awards:
The ISPAs - the UK Internet industry awards - are unique as they are awarded to people and organisations in the industry following rigorous testing and an independent judging process and reflect the broad nature of the internet service provider sector.
The Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA UK) has been organising the UK Internet Industry Awards since 1999 to herald the best of the Internet industry and to celebrate innovation and best practice. In 2002 the awards were dubbed "The ISPAs" by the BBC.