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uSwitch 2019 Awards Reveals Top UK Mobile and Broadband ISPs

Friday, February 8th, 2019 (7:43 am) - Score 5,684
gold best broadband isp award cup

The annual uSwitch.com Awards 2019 event took place last night, which saw various wins for broadband ISPs Vodafone, Virgin Media, Plusnet and TalkTalk. Meanwhile Sky (Sky Broadband) scooped several categories for their Mobile service and sibling NOW TV scooped the best TV provider gong.

As usual the comparison site appears to have selected its winners via a combination of methods. Most of the awards were decided based on a survey of 11,189 UK consumers (conducted between 21st December 2018 and 5th January 2019), while several other categories were chosen by a panel of “expert judges” (journalists from the tech sector) and the ‘Fastest Mobile Network’ award was based on analysis derived from OpenSignal.

On top of that we note that the ‘Most Popular Broadband Provider‘ and ‘Most Popular Mobile Network‘ awards were calculated using both the consumer panel survey and uSwitch sales, although it’s unclear how much statistical significance was assigned to data from the latter.

Perhaps unsurprisingly for a big commercial comparison site, smaller ISPs were alas nowhere to be seen in the award selection. This explains why Virgin Media is named as the ‘Fastest Broadband Provider‘ despite being unable to match the Gigabit speeds of Hyperoptic, B4RN, Community Fibre and Gigaclear etc. Take these results with the usual pinch of salt.

2019 uSwitch Award Winners and Runners Up

Broadband & TV Categories Winner Highly Commended
Best Triple Play Provider Now TV BT
Best Provider Customer Service Plusnet Vodafone
Best Smart Media Device (judges’ awards) Amazon Fire Stick Google Chromecast
Best TV Content (judges’ awards) Netflix Sky
Best TV Streaming Service (judges’ award) Netflix Now TV
Best Value Broadband Provider Vodafone Plusnet
Broadband Provider of the Year Vodafone Plusnet
Fastest Broadband Provider Virgin Media BT
TV Provider of the Year Now TV EE
Most Popular Broadband Provider TalkTalk BT
Mobile Categories Winner Highly Commended
Best Network Coverage O2 Vodafone
Best Network for Customer Service Sky giffgaff
Best Network for Data giffgaff Sky
Best Network for Roaming Three EE
Fastest Mobile Network – based on analysis derived from OpenSignal Awards EE Vodafone
Best Pay Monthly Network Sky BT Mobile
Best PAYG Network SMARTY Voxi
Best Retailer for Customer Service Apple Argos
Best SIM Only Network Plusnet Virgin
Best Value Pay Monthly Sky iD Mobile
Best Value SIM Only SMARTY Plusnet
High Street Retailer of the Year Apple Argos
Mobile Manufacturer of the Year (judges’ award) Huawei Samsung
Handset of the Year (judges’ award) Huawei Mate 20 Pro Google Pixel 3
Mobile Reseller of the Year Mobile Phones Direct Affordable Mobiles
Network of the Year giffgaff Sky
Online Retailer of the Year (judges’ award) Amazon John Lewis
Best Newcomer of the Year Xiaomi KTM Mobile
Most Popular Mobile Network EE O2
Mobiles, Broadband & TV Categories Winner Highly Commended
Telecoms Innovation Award (judges’ award) Google Pixel 3 –

Night Sight Mode

Huawei Mate 20 Pro –

Reverse Wireless Charging

Quadplay Provider of the Year Sky
EE

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Mark Jackson
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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9 Responses
  1. Avatar AnotherTim

    Who judges these awards? I can’t believe Plusnet have won for Customer Service! They have caused havoc with their billing system changes which have resulted in lots of customers being overcharged, and they have been unable to resolve the problems after 4 months. I went to the ombudsman services and Plusnet offered compensation – but they have not paid it. Other people report receiving compensation or refund cheques which have then bounced. If Plusnet are the best for Customer Service I dread to think what the other companies are like.

    • Avatar shaun Wilson

      Agreed.. I have the misfortune of being on john lewis broadband (who are great IMO for customer service ) and unfortunately they use Plusnet as a provider for internet . 3 months in and I’m regretting changing already . you have to argue with 3 people before finding someone who is willing to listen ..and I’m IT Certified .

  2. Avatar Phil Reading

    Sky says that it guarantees that the speed of its broadband Sky fibre max will never fall below its stated amount. What they do not tell you is that this is NOT the WiFi speed you will actually get but the speed to your phone socket. Your actual WiFi speed will be a lot less than this.

    • Avatar Dominic Jones

      To be fair, how can any ISP guarantee the minimum wifi speed you can get? based on the devices I see overlapping the routers they 20mhz broadcast is switched on for most of them, then the ISP also cannot account for how thick your walls are etc.

      There is a reason the wifi tests by ISPs are carried out in testing environments in the middle of now where with not even mobile signals hitting them

  3. Avatar PS

    Wow, with Vodafone Broadband’s current performance issue “Best Broadband Provider” is taking the mick!

  4. Avatar Plusnet

    Plusnet should be void and don’t deserve to win this awards. Four months gone with billing issues and the customer service are disgrace don’t want to know about billing issues.

  5. Avatar davidj

    I am always a bit dubious when it comes to awards that are based not only on user opinions but also “while several other categories were chosen by a panel of “expert judges” (journalists from the tech sector) “.

    Apart from awards with regards to price i fail to see how anyone can judge the performance of an ISP or any technology in any area unless they have actual experience using them/it long term. I highly doubt these “experts” have used all of the ISPs concerned or all of the technology they gave awards to long term.

    The award of “Mobile Manufacturer of the Year (judges’ award) Huawei” As an example Is a strange one, nothing wrong with Huawei phones from my experience (apart from their EMUI skinned interface) and they have made a couple of good phones this year, but no way have they been the best.

    The likes of Xiaomi, Oneplus and Oppo plus a few others have made more powerful phones, who’s top end is not only cheaper but in the case of oppo and their Find X they actually done something kinda innovative with the camera. I guess also due to the massive range of handsets this year from Xiaomi and how not one of them appears to be a useless device and all are reasonably priced that is why in the case of a user award of “Best Newcomer of the Year” they won.

    • Avatar Mark

      Huawei shouldn’t even be on anyone’s list now. When even BT announced they were removing ALL of Huawei’s equipment from its network due to security risks, its sums up the company, they have been highly suspected of blatantly spying for the Chinese government and should really be banned from sale in the West.
      I can’t believe they are winning awards. Their are a lot of other Android manufactures who IMO are just as good if not better out they’re who don’t spy on you..

    • Avatar davidj

      Oh please, I do not think Huawei should had won an award but quit with the media headline fear mongering garbage. There has been no evidence i know of with the accusations towards Huawei, its all being supposition. If anything our countries government and America has been spying on us far longer. Snowden showed that.

      As for BT they had the spying game mastered years ago with their cleanfeed and similar projects. In fact what are BT going to replace all of Huawei gear with if it does not come from China or in any part is made in China? Nothing more than political dross fed to a lemming media and then distributed to the fearful sheep.

      Can you even buy a smartphone nowadays from any of the manufacturers that was not made entirely or in part in China? NO not that im aware of.

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