The Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA UK) has revealed the winners of this year's ISPA Awards, which took place last night at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane Hotel.
Community Fibre and Exa Networks were big winners on the night and took home multiple awards, and this year saw some new categories (e.g. Best Ultrafast ISP - a surefire Sign o' the times!) and new winners, such as CityFibre and B4RN.
Digital inclusion was a big theme of the night as Helen Milner OBE, CEO of the Good Things Foundation, took home the 2021 Internet Hero Award for her work for promoting digital inclusion and tech upskilling during the pandemic. Many of the winners were commended by the judges for their efforts to bridge the digital divide and connect those hardest- to-reach.
Andrew Glover, Chair of ISPA, commented:
The ISPA Awards are always an opportunity to celebrate the great work being done by industry to rollout broadband and connect consumers and businesses. But this year felt that little bit sweeter given it's the first time since 2019 that we've been able to hold the Awards in person and as we have had to rely on our broadband for so much this past 18 months.
The quality of this year's winners shows how strong the sector is at the moment, and I'd like to congratulate everyone who took home awards or were highly commended. The judges had a tough job in determining the winnersand that's as best a signal of the strength of the UK ISP sector as any.”
Now in its twenty-third year, the ISPA Awards is the longest running and most prestigious internet industry awards in the UK. Thinkbroadband provides the technical testing data to shortlist the finalists, with the judging panel determining the ultimate winners across 12 categories, in addition to the ISPA Awards.
A full list of this year's winners can be seen below:
Helen Milner OBE, CEO of Good Things Foundation - for championing a digitally included nation at time when it's never mattered more
Best Business ISP
Cerberus were awarded Best Business ISP for their all-round approach, in addition to their range of fibre options and carbon neutral net zero approach
Community Fibre picked up Best Consumer ISP for the second year running, with the judges particularly impressed by their focus on social housing, at a time where digital inclusion and accessibility has been so important, as well as working in partnership with local councils helping bridge the divide in London.
In what was a very close contest, Hyperoptic were awarded a commendation for their continued deployment outside of London and their own affordable tariff offerings.
Commended: County Broadband
The judges felt B4RN were worthy winners for continually making a genuine difference through their sheer bloody-mindedness, no matter hard an area is to reach, and innovative use of local volunteers – they even took the issue of government support to rural broadband to Parliament.
In the inaugural year, this very competitive category saw Community Fibre pick up the prize for Best Ultrafast Broadband for their fair pricing, multi gigabit services up to 10Gbps and looking ahead by using AI to predict and fix network issues.
Best Customer Service
In a period where customer service has been particularly important, the judges awarded the prize to Exa Networks for their strong customer satisfaction culture, high retention rates and support through the pandemic.
Best Customer Solution
In another closely fought category, Netgem picked up the Best Customer Solution Award for their Internet streaming and TV service that helps provide competition in the pay TV market providing a unique value-added service for challenger ISPs and altnets.
Best Cyber Security
At a time where our home broadband connection has gone above and beyond, the judges gave the Cyber Security Award to Plume for providing security that enables home schooling and working from home, along with IoT support.
Best Hosted Service
Storm once again picked up the Best Hosted Service award for their environmental impact reduction, as well as offering all the right services a hosting provider needs to - including IPv6 and accreditation
Best Infrastructure Provider
In an increasingly competitive area, CityFibre were crowned Best Infrastructure Provider for providing significant nationwide competition to the incumbent, their city-champion approach, as well as encouraging innovation in their partners and across the channel
Exa picked up the Best Partnership Award for their community approach that goes beyond connectivity, with the judges feeling they really nailed the spirit of the category.
The judges felt Voipfone deserved the award for their overall approach, including mix and match approach to hardware support and free services for hundreds of charities and the third sector.
Social Impact Award
In another competitive field, the judges awarded Community Fibre the Social Impact Award for their commitment to social issues: from supporting isolated households and disadvantaged children, free gigabit broadband and laptops.
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