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Rural broadband specialist’s CEO named chair of UK’s internet sector body

The national internet provider trade association has named the CEO of one of the UK’s largest rural broadband providers as its new chair.

Voneus Broadband’s Steve Leighton has been elected the new head of the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) following its annual general meeting in London.

ISPA, which represents the interests of the internet sector to government bodies such as the Home Office, DCMS, and Ofcom, includes more than 150 companies and organisations, ranging from large household names to start-ups, as members.

Alongside the association’s role as a sector advocate, ISPA has been fundamental in the creation and management of online content watchdog the Internet Watch Foundation as well as the designer of an ISP code of practice which is mandatory for all ISPA members to follow.

With more than two decades of experience in the telecoms industry, Steve has been appointed the chair of ISPA’s council, a committee elected from the membership body, following a vote from council members.

Taking the role alongside his work as CEO of Voneus, a role he has held since helping found the company in 2011, Steve will oversee ISPA’s continued push to ensure the sector operates in the most productive conditions possible.

Steve has worked alongside a range of organisations from start-ups to major providers, as well as previously holding a role as the head of communications sponsorship at the Department of Trade and Industry.

He has spent the past four years on the association’s council as a member and will lead the organisation for the next two years after replacing outgoing chair and chief executive of Air Broadband, Andrew Glover.

Steve said: “It is a pleasure to be elected to the position of chair for ISPA and I thank the members of the association for having the faith in me to help our sector maintain its strong voice.

“ISPA’s key role in the promotion of competition, innovation, and self-regulation in the industry is crucial, and working with our key partners and stakeholders to deliver a more beneficial sector for all will be my top priority going forward.

“Our field is one which is constantly developing and bringing new ideas to the table, so keeping ISPA at the forefront of this conversation will not only be a boost to all our members but will help foster a stronger sense of collaboration across the sector.

“I look forward to working further with all our members across the nation and keep our sector strong as well as build on the fantastic work of outgoing chair Andrew and his contribution to the association and its members over these last five years.”

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Voneus is the champion of rural broadband and a leading provider of superfast and ultrafast broadband for homes and businesses located in hard-to-reach communities. Founded in 2011 by a group of seasoned telecoms industry specialists, Voneus aims to become the UK’s number one provider of both superfast and ultrafast broadband services, bringing parity between rural areas and the UK’s towns and cities.

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