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Winners of the ISPA’s 2018 UK ISP Internet Industry Awards Unveiled

Thursday, July 12th, 2018 (11:00 pm) - Score 2,325

The UK Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has tonight announced the winners of their 20th annual 2018 internet industry awards, which among other things saw Hyperoptic scoop the top spot for the ‘Best Superfast Broadband‘ category and Gigaclear named as the ‘Best Rural Broadband‘ ISP.. again.

On top of that this year’s event, which was held at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, has also added two new categories – the ‘Best Project or Partnership Award‘ (designed to hail collaborative schemes) and the ‘Best ISP PR Campaign‘ (for promotional efforts). As usual all of the entrants were scrutinised by a “panel of industry experts,” while broadband ISPs, web hosts and VoIP providers underwent some “rigorous technical testing.”

A full results table can be found below and we should point out that the 2018 Internet Hero award has gone to Martha Spurrier, Director of Liberty, for their successful high court challenge of the controversial Investigatory Powers Act (internet snooping). Last year’s winner was Marcus Hutchins for finding the WannaCry killswitch, although sadly he’s currently now stuck in the USA (fighting charges of malware creation).

Andrew Ferguson, ISPA Awards Chair of Judges, said:

“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.”

We note that Hyperoptic and Gigaclear both won the same broadband categories last year. In fact this is the 6th year in a row that Hyperoptic has picked up the crown for ‘Best Superfast Broadband’ (it’s well deserved given all they’ve accomplished), although the ISPA might want to add a ‘Best Ultrafast’, ‘Gigabit’ or ‘Full Fibre’ category next year as technology and expectations are rapidly moving on from the superfast era.

2018 ISPA UK Award Winners

Internet Hero: 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: 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 infrastructure.

Commendation: M24Seven

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 award 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 hosing service.

Executive of the Year: 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 and founder of Gigaclear, who, rather than merely talking about it, went ahead and delivered FTTP in rural areas, helping transform rural communities.

Best VoIP: 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 support 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.

Twentieth Anniversary Award: 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.

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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.
Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. simon says:

    It’s all gigaclear and hyperoptic – stuff only a few people can get.

    The guy who runs TBB is a judge so it’s hardly impartial – thats why I no longer take any of these awards as factual = when plusnet win them we always have a guessing game at work called “I wonder how much they paid for that”

    1. Andrew Ferguson says:

      So in those categories, who should have won and why?

    2. un4h731x0rp3r0m says:

      “So in those categories, who should have won and why?”

      When it comes to multiple ISPs and giving anyone of them a win I could never do that unless I had used all the services. I would had thought that logical In which to compare how good or bad they are to reach a decision on who is best and should win.

      Picking out winners in Hero, Villain and other individual award categories id agree to an extent anyone can pick based on the information known on what they have personally done. ISP award for who is best in x,y,z category of product or service without trying it though, erm no do not see how you can decide that.

      Did you yourself Andrew and your other fellow judges try every service, or are your awards based on hearsay from othersor in general about the products/companies?

      I would hope their is some facts, tests, and actual logic to your awards. Even more so considering your site and you yourself write up news items on other awards and articles on other peoples figures which you or your other site staffers try to de-bunk and even make snide remarks in the news item content about.
      (Yes i can provide examples if you wish).

      I guess what is good for the goose is not good for the gander in thinkbroadband world.

    3. Andrew Ferguson says:

      I suggest you write to the ISPA Council and make your case for reducing the awards to the categories you think it is fair to award. Remember that there was no villain category at all this year, and the Hero award is decided by the ISPA Council rather than the ISPA Awards judges.

      You had better be quick as the work for the 2019 awards will start in December.

    4. un4h731x0rp3r0m says:

      “I suggest you write to the ISPA Council and make your case for reducing the awards to the categories you think it is fair to award.”

      The amount of categories and awards are not the issue. Handing out awards without putting products and services to the test is.

      If products are not tested first then you may as well save yourself and other ISPA members all the work and discussion about who should get what award. Far quicker to just drop the list of names into a hat and pull them out like bingo.

      Personally I would never recommend an ISP in any form, to anyone, unless i had actual experience of using them. I fail to understand how anyone could if they do not know what it is like to use the service on a daily basis.

      At least when it comes to surveys there is a slither of common sense involved, normally asking actual users for opinions. Just huddling around a desk talking/arguing/whatever you do, about who should get an award without ever using them as a provider though just seems ridiculous to me.

    5. Andrew Ferguson says:

      So the two months of testing for the broadband and hosting categories does not suffice?

  2. Glenn says:

    You beat me to it, Simon.
    “Buy a table, get an award”
    Pointless backslapping.

  3. Rich says:

    IWF, ie the censorship thin end of the wedge, should not be encouraged.

    1. un4h731x0rp3r0m says:

      “The Internet Watch Foundation were awarded this special award for their continued commitment to blocking content, then realising its all over the internet already, then removing their block…

      Awarding “continued commitment” even if it is brain dead commitment at times. They got one thing right though. The ISPA award in that instance and awarding it to the IWF is “special” in soooo many ways, not the type of special any of us normals would want to be though 😉

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