Best Rural ISP

Sponsored by

For the best rural ISP (technology neutral).



Cerberus Networks

County Broadband



Entry criteria

Entrants must be an ISP that is providing broadband to rural / hard to reach areas, and is technology neutral.

Judging process

The judging process is formed of two stages: a period technical testing  to determine the shortlist and then a written entry form used by the judging panel to determine the winner.

Broadband entrants are required to undergo a period of technical testing from 1st April 2021 to 31st May 2021. The technical testing (facilitated by thinkbroadband) involves entrants’ customers performing a number of tests using the thinkbroadband testing tool (accessible on any browser and many devices). The best performing entrants will form a finalist shortlist.

Entrants must also submit a written entry form based on the below judging criteria to determine a winner from the shortlisted finalists. The deadline for submission is 4th June 2021. Find the form here.

Judging criteria:

· Price and value for money

· Geographical availability

· Innovation in technology delivery

· Broadband speeds – download and upload

· Topography and environment challenges

· Take up in area

· Investment in networks

· Impact on the local area

· Initiatives to educate users on broadband

· Partnerships with local organisations

· Creativity in financing

Survey questions:

  • Why should you win this award?
  • Describe how your service provides connectivity in a rural area?
  • How widely available are your services and do you plan on extending your network?
  • What difference has your service made to a local area?
  • What have the take up rates in the local area been?
  • What partnerships have you undertaken with local organisations?
  • What have you innovated in the past 12 months?
  • What challenges (if any) have you had to overcome?
  • What technological or topographical challenges (if any) have you had to overcome?

For each question you have 50 words.

Notes on technical testing

Testing will be web based and entrants will be sent details after the registration stage.

The web based testing should work on most browsers and platforms, including Android phones & tablets, iOS devices and Windows devices and does NOT require Flash or Java to be installed on the device. Entrants should be mindful that as more tests carried out, the better the evidence base is for determining the shortlisting, the test volume required to meet the shortlist stage consideration criteria will depend on the geographic availability of a service and entrants will be warned if the testing is too low. The tester will measure the following:

Average Downstream throughput

Average Upstream throughput

Quality metric to assess how stable speeds are


The web based tester is accessible through any browser and platform and will do a one-off test looking at the above criteria and send the report to thinkbroadband.