The Connected Britain conference and exhibition returned to London this week, where a host of recognisable industry names took to the podiums to have their say on the various issues affecting the future of Britain’s high-speed connectivity. The 2018 event also, for the first time hosted its own award ceremony, which took place on the evening of the show’s opening day, and which was designed to recognise those companies that are helping to ‘revolutionise Britain's connectivity landscape.’
There were eight categories from which UK entrants could bag a prize, covering 5G, fibre to the home (FTTH) and Smart City initiatives.
The Barrier Removal Award was won by The City of London for its Standardised Wayleave Toolkit, which offered a practical solution to the wayleave process – which can often be tricky. The Good Things Foundation, meanwhile took home the Digital Skills Award for its Future Digital Inclusion programme.
The City of Manchester and CityVerve received the Smart City Award for their work on Manchester’s Smart City, and the hotly contested IoT Award was presented to F-Secure for its SENSE security solution that has made big strides in securing local networks for business and personal use.
The winner of the Wireless Connectivity Award, the City of London, delivered a solution that has helped to eliminate connectivity blackspots for millions of Londoners with its Gigabit WiFi project and in another tightly contested category, JT Group picked up the Fibre Connectivity Award for its project on the island of Jersey.
The Fastershire partnership between Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council claimed the Superfast Award for supplying 121,000 gigabit connections to people living in rural areas across the UK. Gigaclear, meanwhile, scooped the Community Improvement Award for its Connecting Chedworth project. The judges said that they found it inspiring to see how a small community could be transformed by ultra-fast connectivity. This is not the only accolade that the rural provider can boast in recent weeks after Matthew Hare, founder and chief executive, received an OBE in this year’s Birthday Honours List, for his services to broadband provision in the UK.
Commenting on the Connected Britain Awards, Chris Kelly, chair of the judging committee said: ‘We've been completely overwhelmed by the number of entries we've had. It's a terrific opportunity for the industry to get together and celebrate innovation, as the UK looks to transform itself into a truly digital society.’