Cheers and boos for the heroes and villains at the annual ISP Awards

At a glittering event last night, gangly geek-on-TV Iain Lee dished out the gongs at the annual Internet Services Providers Association.

As usual the most eagerly awaited opportunities to cheer and boo were for the heroes and villians of the Internet. The villains included Lycos for its DDOS initiative against spammers and Carol Vorderman for being uninformed.

The trophy however went to the European Union for plans for data retention and actions that threaten ecommerce between member states.

BT was nominated as a villain for exaggerating the numbers of people attempting to access child pornography when publishing figures for its ‘Cleanfeed’ initiative – those ‘attempts’ could quite easily have been spam mail downloading images from such sites.

But BT was also nominated in the developments in online safety for – wait for it – its ‘Cleanfeed’ initiative. It fact it beat children’s charities and mobile operators to scoop the award.

Erstwhile e-commerce minister Stephen Timms was named ISPA’s ‘hero’ for his work against strong competition such as Ofcom and the All Party Internet Group which had worked hard at overhauling the decrepit Computer Misuse Act.

It wasn’t an exclusively ISP-only affair however. Finnish security company F-Secure sponsored the best ‘heavy’ consumer broadband category, showing that ISPs are increasingly looking to offer their subscribers antivirus protection.

In the audience too there was a wide range of attendees: executives from Wembley Stadium were looking to get some ideas and applications for wiring up the stadium, and a company touting a granular billing system saw the event as a good opportunity to meet ISPs offering ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ broadband model.

In the supplier division, Google won best search, Fujitsu won best hardware, Global Switch won best data centre, Axiom Systems won best application, and best carrier went to Kingston Communications.

For ISPs, UK Online scooped best metered ISP, Tesco won best unmetered dial-up ISP, and Kingston again won best Sumo business broadband (Sumo referring to ‘fat pipe’ and leased line services). At the consumer level the Sumo title went to Telewest for blueyonder, Eclipse won the best ‘Heavy’ business broadband and Wanadoo won the consumer equivalent. Zen won the Light business broadband while NewNet scooped the consumer title. came out tops for best hosting provider, Wanadoo grabbed another award for best portal and Datanet was knighted best business ISP. Wanadoo claimed its third award as best consumer ISP.

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