The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK) is delighted to unveil the winners of the 20th Annual UK Internet Industry Awards, the ISPAs.
This year’s gala ceremony, which marked the 20th anniversary of the awards, was held at the iconic Manchester Midland Hotel and brought together a range of companies that truly reflect the breadth, quality and innovation of the ISP industry, from large to small, regional to national and new to established.
ISP winners on the night included Hyperoptic, who picked up the Best Superfast Broadband award once again; Gigaclear who retained the Best Rural Broadband crown; Glide picked up Best Business Broadband and; Krystal Hosting were awarded Best Host. To mark the special occasion a 20th anniversary award was won by the Internet Watch Foundation for demonstrating how a partnership approach can help tackle challenging online issues; while Martha Spurrier, Director of Liberty, won the Hero Award for the recent successful high court challenge of the Investigatory Powers Act.
The overall theme of the evening focused on how far the ISP sector has come in the past 20 years as the sector continues to build and rollout the next phase of the communications infrastructure and services UK businesses and consumers depend on. The event also provided an opportunity to reflect on a significant twelve months that seen ambitious broadband rollout and investment plans and significant new regulations affecting the sector.
Nominations opened back in December, with more than 60 companies and organisations entering for the awards across 13 categories. The scores of entrants were whittled down through a combination of technical testing by our testing partners, thinkbroadband.com, and an expert panel of judges to arrive at the final shortlist.
ISPA Awards Chair of Judges Andrew Ferguson commented: “I would like to congratulate all the winners at this special 20th ISPA Awards ceremony. This year saw a strong and dynamic set of entries in both new and returning categories. I am pleased to see that in an ever-changing industry, ISPA and the awards are still going strong after all this time. I remember the days when there were dial-up providers entering the various categories and people were getting excited of broadband speeds around 1Mbps. Today there are a number of entrants selling superfast all the way to Gigabit based services that cost a lot less than a latte a day.”
The 2018 ISPA Award Winners
Internet Hero, sponsored by Wifinity: Martha Spurrier, Director of Liberty
Awarded by ISPA Council for continuing to hold government to account by successfully challenging the Investigatory Powers Act in the High Court, leading to greater safeguards such as independent authorisation of communications data acquisition.
Best Superfast Broadband, sponsored by Ruckus: Hyperoptic
Winning the award for the sixth year in a row with the competition hot on their heels, the judges were impressed with Hyperoptic’s upgraded speeds, expanded and growing network and IPv6 support.
Commendation: Community Fibre
The judges decided to award Community Fibre with a commendation for their commitment to provide gigafast connectivity for free to community facilities, sheltered schemes and primary schools across the areas they roll out to.
Best Rural Broadband: Gigaclear
Winning for the second year running, the judges felt that Gigaclear were worthy winners for continuing to grow and expand their successful Fibre-to-the-Home model in rural areas - making the harder to reach, easier to reach.
Best Business Broadband: Glide
In a closely fought battle, Glide took the prize for going to places others have not, including meeting the needs of poorly served business parks and making a success of Openreach’s physical infrastructure access (PIA) infrastructure.
In a hotly contested category, the Judges also decided to Commend M24Seven for their customised solutions, backed up by a truly resilient service.
Best Wholesale Broadband: Entanet
Entanet took the best Wholesale ISP prize after an impressive year that has seen added investment, a strong wholesale operation, good access to fibre and real potential to significantly transform the market.
Best ISP PR Campaign: Post Office ‘Optimise & Improve’ campaign
In the inaugural year of this category, the judges felt that the Post Office pipped the competition with their well-planned and executed campaign which demonstrated their transparent service with no hidden skeletons and with a good, clear return on investment.
Best Host: Krystal Hosting
In an extremely close fought category Krystal took the prize for protecting their customers from emerging threats, including DDoS protection, but also their charitable efforts.
Commendation: Storm Internet
In recognition of the particularly strong competition in this category, the judges decided to award a commendation to previous winners, Storm Internet, for their continued high-quality hosting service.
Executive of the Year, sponsored by Zen Internet: Matthew Hare OBE, Former CEO and Founder, Gigaclear
In another competitive year for this category the judges were pleased to award the trophy to Matthew Hare OBE, former CEO of Gigaclear, who, rather than merely talking about it, went ahead and delivered FTTP in rural areas, helping transform rural communities.
Best VoIP, sponsored by Magrathea: Gradwell
In a closely contested category, the judges felt Gradwell were just that bit better than the competition, commenting on their consistent, high-quality service.
Best Customer Service: Memset
The judges agreed that Memset’s customer service culture of multi-channel feedback, transparency and processes across all aspects of the business, allied with impressive feedback scores, made them deserved winners.
Best Project or Partnership: Wifinity
In this this inaugural category, Wifinity ticked all the right boxes for the judges who were particularly impressed with support of hostels for the homeless, doing the right thing at such an important time, and reminding everyone of how the Internet can help the vulnerable.
Security Award: Talk Straight
Winning for the second year running, the judges felt that Talk Straight’s focus on schools, starting the education and awareness on the importance of cyber security as early as possible, along with impressive customer support, made them deserved winners.
Special Twentieth Anniversary Award, sponsored by Glide: Internet Watch Foundation
The Internet Watch Foundation were awarded this special award for their continued commitment to keeping the Internet a safer environment for over 20 years and an international example of how industry can work in partnership to tackle challenging online issues.
About the ISPA Awards
The 2018 ISPA Awards are the 20th Annual UK Internet Industry Awards. More than 40 companies were nominated across 13 categories. The full shortlist can be found here.