ISPA awards: Boos for BT and criticism for ISPs

At a lively ceremony BT is booed and e-envoy tells ISPs to grow up

ISPs may be baying for BT's blood over the rollout of broadband but that didn't stop them recognising the telco at an industry awards ceremony in London Wednesday evening.

The glitzy event -- hosted by the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) at the London Hilton -- saw managing director of BT Sir Peter Bonfield pick up the special award of Internet Villain. He faced stiff competition from both Oftel's director general David Edmonds and home secretary Jack Straw.

Bonfield was not able to collect the award in person. That honour fell to Dave Hughes, president of BT Ignite, who was greeted with boos and hoots of derision as he claimed he was proud to collect such an award given the huge number of Internet users the telco had accumulated.

The evening was formally opened by the new e-envoy Andrew Pinder, making his first public appearance since he was formally appointed last month. Pinder took the opportunity to criticise ISPs for their failure to get involved in the current consultation process about the RIP (Regulation of Investigatory Powers) Act.

According to Pinder the response has been "disappointing", and in an interview with ZDNet News Pinder accused ISPs of immaturity. "It is all very well to moan and make a fuss about these things but you've got to be grown up about it as well," he said.

Despite the critcisms of both ISPs and BT the awards were generally convivial. Other winners included F9 for best consumer customer service, for best online consumer product/service, iweb for most innovative ISP product and icScotland for best consumer ISP. BT also picked up another award for best m-commerce service with its BT Genie product.

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