Lord Mandelson has been called many things in his time and can add a new title to the list, the former business cabinet minister was voted Internet Villain of the Year at the ISPA awards, the annual event run by the Internet Service Providers Association. Mandelson won the award for his work in pushing through the much-criticised Digital Economy Act, the legality of which is currently being challenged in the High Court.
However, the Internet Hero of the Year was also chosen in recognition of his work on the DEA. Tom Watson, the Labour MP for West Bromwich East, was a thorn in the flesh of his own party as the parliamentary focus of the campaign against the Act. The Internet Hero works goes to the person or organisation that has done most in developing or defending the interests of the Internet industry in the past year.
Among the winners in the industry category were BE broadband for best fixed consumer broadband, while Plusnet won the award for best consumer service, The award for access innovation went to Cybermoor with Gradwell picking up the gong for best Internet telephony service.
The ISPAs have been run since 1999 and represent a range of sectors in the Internet industry.The winners are chosen by a panel of judges made up of Internet experts including lawyer, consultants, journalists and a former president of the European Internet Service Providers Association.
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