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2016 UK PC Pro Awards Zen Internet and Plusnet Best for Broadband

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 (1:17 am) - Score 2,821

Consumer magazine PC Pro has published the latest results from their annual PC Pro Awards 2016, which saw Zen Internet win the best broadband ISP gong and Plusnet secure the “Recommended” (runner-up) spot. Sadly it wasn’t such a good day for TalkTalk and EE.

The results were based on feedback from several thousand readers of the magazine, although sadly PC Pro didn’t examine the smallest ISPs in the market (not enough feedback). This is the 13th time that Zen has scooped the magazine’s Best Broadband ISP gong, with the provider coming top for Reliability and Customer Support (both 98%), as well as Speed (93%) and Value for Money (87%).

Zen’s Managing Director for Small Business and Residential, Andrew Fryatt, said, “We’re very proud of this achievement and even more so because this is an award voted for by customers, who obviously appreciate the service they get from Zen. We put a lot of time, effort and money into our network and employ some really dedicated, knowledgeable people to support it..”

We won’t provide the full scoring as you should really buy the magazine for that, but here’s a rough summary of the overall satisfaction scores.

PC Pro’s 2016 Best Broadband ISP Survey

1. Zen Internet (95%)
2. Plusnet (79%)
3. Virgin Media (76%)
4. BT (60%)
5. Sky Broadband (59%)
6. EE (57%)
7. TalkTalk (55%)

We should point out that TalkTalk also scored the lowest of all for Customer Support (47%), while they were only slightly lower or about the same as EE in most of the other categories, except for Reliability where they also hit a dismal 57%. Clearly a bit of work left for TalkTalk to do.

Elsewhere we’re surprised to see Sky Broadband being ranked below BT as they’re normally competing with Virgin Media in other surveys, but clearly not for readers of PC Pro. As a side note, Zen Internet also won the award for Best Web Host 2016.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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23 Responses
  1. asylum_seeker says:

    Perhaps Zen should focus on getting their routing/congestion issues solved which are STILL affecting their customers since May? Best Broadband… [chortles}

    1. Educator says:

      This isn’t a Zen issue. This is an Openreach issue which they are aware of. IDNet, Zen, TalkTalk, Sky have the same issue.

      Zen is also continuing to roll out their Plexus project so their moving circuits off BT Wholesale to their own kit.

      Personally think Zen is the best balance of support and prayers performance when considering price…you want better, go to A&A

    2. asylum_seeker says:

      Totally wrong. This is NOT affecting other ISPs:

      1) If it was solely down to Openreach, then users on AAISP, Xilo, BT Retail and pretty much every ISP under the sun using BTW/OR backhaul would be experiencing the same issues. But they’re not, so its down to Zen despite them telling you otherwise (so much for good customer support). Have a look at AAISP status page, absolutely nothing mentioned on their status page with respect to routing issues on Openreach circuits since May:

      2) Sky, Talktalk, Vodafone etc use their own backhaul from exchange onwards so any Openreach backhaul issues will NOT affect these ISPs.

    3. Bill says:

      What is a good way to measure single thread speed?

    4. asylum_seeker says:

      Use the thinkbroadband speedtester.

  2. GNewton says:

    Plusnet has a bad 0.9 (from 0 – 10) score on trustpilot, based upon 1514 reviews. Though not quite as bad as BT, which has only a bad 0.4 (from 0 – 10) score, Plusnet definitely does not deserve any reward. Compare this to e.g. AAISP which scores a great 7.7 (from 0 – 10).

    1. FibreFred says:

      But this is pc pro not trustpilot so….. not sure what your point is ?

      Unless you are saying trustpilot is the ultimate authority on all matters

    2. gerarda says:

      Plusnet’s customer support call handling has been awful for the last few months even on a business service with waits of 15 minutes plus, so maybe PC Pro ratings pre date this.

      Once you get through to them the service is usually pretty good, without the work from a script no nothings you get answering the calls at BT and Talk Talk

    3. gerarda says:

      of course “no nothings” should have been “know nothings”

    4. john says:

      Talk Talk Business is well over 9. NO cigar.

    5. Evan Crissall says:

      Very suspicious outcome from Pc Pro. Probably dodgy poll. Money involved?

      Plusnet, among the cognoscenti, is seen as one of poorest ISPs. My experience too alas.

      Inexplicably they screwed up my PPP authentication for a week. Possibly RADIUS server hacked? The best they could offer was a £3 rebate. Offline throughout the saga. No apology. No explanation. No guarantee. Dreadful company. Migrated elsewere as soon as possible.

      Plusnet is the budget-end of BT, which even on a good day is shoddy. That PC Pro insists otherwise is an indictment on the credibility of the publication.

      Besides, with the newspaper and magazine industry in free-fall, does anyone actually read PC Pro any more? Perhaps all they’ve got left, in terms of funding, are backhanders from industry, for dodgy endorsements they dress us as “consumer polls”?

  3. General Lee says:

    Lmao… I love how different sites turn have a different viewpoint….

    Plusnet for sure don’t deserve 2nd place, Zen need to sort their congestion/stailty issues out that affect all customer (LLU or not)

    Surprised to see Sky rated as low as they have been considering they are considered a very good provider on many other sites.

    Personally, I don’t really beleive much of whats written/typed anymore, alot of it has been proven wrong in the past and personally I take half the reviews on these sites with a pinch of salt due to potential for favouritism.

    1. Evan Crissall says:

      “Favouritism” is the gentleman’s term for nepotism and corruption. Pc Pro polls are as credible as the ones in the Soviet Union. When Stalin routinely “won” 99% support from the electorate. With the dissenting 1% sent to the gulags!

  4. Data Analysis says:

    If i remember right PC Pro awards with regards to ISPs are only for large market players (100,000+) customers. You do not name your ISP but pick from their list of 10 or so who is “best”.

    Then for your ISP to feature in their “best” list it has to have received an minimum amount of votes (at a guess something like 2,000).

    That is why smaller ISPs like AAISP, Aquiss, IDnet and more which are ranked highly on here and other sites are not featured in their list.

    Also probably why other large(ish) but lesser known/advertised ISPs with 100,000+ (post Office, Ask4 etc) customers are not featured.

    It would also explain why the likes of KCOM are not anywhere on that list (even if it were bottom not enough readers of their junk in Hull i guess).

    I can only conclude its another pointless award. Reading reviews of every ISP you can when it comes to making a choice on sites like ISPReview, TBB, BB.co.uk, Trustpilot, Reviewhubb and more is far more productive and give a far better picture of who is a stinker and who is a star.

    1. Wise Old Owl says:

      Can’t imagine how you think these awards are pointless seeing as how they are based on the customer of those companies who take time to feedback their experience.

      Surely that’s much better than those awards where the company has to pay to enter and then and only then have a chance of winning at the hands of a judgement panel.

      Customers first hand experience speaks volumes and that’s why I’d go with these awards every time over many of the others.

      PC Pro do not charge the companies to participate either so their awards are much more open and transparent and for that reason alone it gives me some confidence that of those companies included, their customers direct, real world experience is going to be pretty closer to what I need rather than my reliance on the views of a biased judging panel who may be influenced to choose a certain brand/company over another.

    2. Gordon says:

      “Surely that’s much better than those awards where the company has to pay to enter and then and only then have a chance of winning at the hands of a judgement panel.”

      That sounds terrible, who does that?

    3. john says:

      ISPA and some people from other review sites who are on the panel maybe?

    4. ISPA rules

      Payment is only needed to make use of ISPA trademarks in promoting nomination and winning, i.e. no cost to enter the awards, but there is a choice to be made when nominated and if you win.

      Perhaps the day of the expert is finished, and its all down to how well a company can mobilise its customers to support to them. Put another way, different ways of running awards and having done some customer voting ones patterns emerge that are interesting now and then.

    5. Gordon says:

      So completely different to what was trying to be justified by wise and john… I am not shocked

    6. Evan Crissall says:

      Andrew Ferguson hasn’t made it very clear.

      ISPs must decide – at time of nomination into ISPA competition – whether to pay the “licence fee” to ISPA.

      Ostensibly, they pay the “licence fee” whether they win or not. But here’s guessing, the bigger the “licence fee” they pay, the greater the chance of winning!

      Another hooky comp?!

    7. Data Analysis says:

      I was not even comparing this award to other awards so do not know how that entered the debate. I specifically stated.

      ” Reading reviews of every ISP you can when it comes to making a choice on sites like ISPReview, TBB, BB.co.uk, Trustpilot, Reviewhubb and more is far more productive and give a far better picture of who is a stinker and who is a star.”

      All those are from members of the public. Unless they are trying to say every rating users give their ISP on TBB when they have conducted a speedtest are in some way manipulated.

      As for the other sites i mentioned and more i did not I can not possibly think what they believe the hundreds upon thousands of publicly written reviews about ISPs from various websites are manipulated or less trustworthy than an award ceremony from a magazine that has often itself recommend Zen well before its “award” started.

  5. @Evan Crissall

    Given judges have no idea who has or has not paid then not sure how you reach that conclusion, other than the usual its all a corporate conspiracy so judges can run off into the sunset and live on our tropical islands.

    The only time the licence fee has ever been mentioned in the years I’ve taken part in the ISPA Awards has been those attempting to promote some conspiracy.

    1. Gordon says:

      You could squash the theories by explaining where the money for category sponsorship and allowing organisations to proudly claim they won an ISPA award actually goes.

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