Govt spies named ‘villain of the year’ at web awards


The UK spy agency GCHQ has been named as the biggest “internet villain” at the annual Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) awards.


Almost fifty organisations were nominated across sixteen categories in the awards 16th year and the evening ended with the Internet Villain Award, given to the one which hindered the industry most in the last year – the NSA and GCHQ.

The award was given for their role in the surveillance state, a particularly important issue for industry given yesterday’s new Bill on data retention.

ISPA secretary general Nick Lansman said: “Congratulations to all last night’s winners, the ISPA Awards are hugely diverse and highlyght how diverse the UK internet industry is and the vital role it plays in the British economy.”

BDUK Chief Executive Chris Townsend delivered the keynote speech to 300 key industry guests, with comedian Ben Norris compering the evening.

Dana Tobak, Managing Director at Hyperoptic, said: “We’re honoured to receive two awards at this year’s ISPA awards. We were especially pleased to have been named ‘Best Superfast Broadband’ provider when we were up against so many of our gigabit peers.

It really feels as though there is a step-change taking place in the UK broadband industry, as consumers start to understand and appreciate the value of FTTH. Being recognised by ISPA for the work we are doing is hugely encouraging – we will continue to lead the charge for gigabit broadband and prove to consumers that there is a better way.”

The 2014 ISPAs winners in full

Internet Villain: GCHQ/NSA
For running the widest covert electronic surveillance programme in the world.

Best Superfast Broadband; Hyperoptic
The judges felt Hyperoptic have made a huge impact, delivering excellent speeds and performance in an increasing number of towns and cities.

Best Consumer Fixed Broadband: Plusnet
The judges felt their consumer friendly pricing without compromising the user experience made the difference.

Best Business Fixed Broadband: Urban Wimax
Urban Wimax clearly filled a gap in the market with a truly innovative and reliable product.

Best Wireless; Metronet (UK)
The speed, flexibility and reliability of Metronet’s services show there is nothing to fear about wireless.

Customer Choice: Catalyst2
Customers had the following to say: They create FANS not just customers with their service” and “Their support is second to none - priceless”.

Best Shared Hosting: MacAce
Their competitive pricing and commitment to customer service makes for a great and reliable hosting service.

Best Dedicated Hosting: Storm Internet
Their multi-platform servers, scalability and fast hardware replacement made the judges feel Storm gave the most reassurance to customers.

Best VoIP: Soho66
In a very tight contest, the value for money, company culture and high performance gave Soho66 the edge.

Best Consumer Customer Service: Catalyst2
Their dedication to providing a personal service and high customer loyalty impressed the judges.

Best Business Customer Service; Exa Networks
The judges were impressed in how many extra miles Exa went to help their customers in need.

Internet Safety & Security: Sky
Their engagement, the depth and breadth of their awareness campaign as well as the clarity of advice and support to parents made Sky the clear winners.

Managed Service Innovation: Memset
Memset’s easy implemented range of services and competitive pricing were backed up by some impressive testimonials on how they’ve made the difference.

Best Business Use of Cloud: Talk Straight
Talk Straight’s cloud application provides schools with an excellent and bespoke management tool that works across all school devices and systems.

Best Use of Digital: Hyperoptic
The way Hyperoptic engage with communities across all digital platforms, as well as innovative marketing impressed the judges. Not just pushing the speed boundaries, but how to engage in a digital world.

Internet Hero: The Guardian
For their excellent reporting of mass surveillance programmes.

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