Our round up of 2018!

Exa’s Round Up of 2018

As a busy 2018 came and went, we are looking back on the past year, at all of the fantastic things which have happened here at Exa and news from the connectivity industry.


We had a fantastic start to 2018 when we attended The Bett Show, one of our biggest events which we take part in each year.

Bett 2018 saw around 35,000 attendees, all looking for ways to stay up to date and improve their technology usage in the classroom. The show also gives us chance to catch up with some of our current customers, partners as well as meet many new faces.

This year our stand design took our visitors back to school, with free expert advice on school technologies, as well as updates on the great services that we’ve added in the past year. Including the latest version of our content filtering service SurfProtect Quantum and the further roll out of our ultra-fast fibre internet, DarkLight.

Exa Education Bett Show stand design 2018

Are you going in 2019? Register for your free tickets here, and come for a coffee and a chat with us at stand C322.

In March the government announced a nationwide expansion of the Gigabit Connectivity Voucher Scheme, which was fantastic news for SMEs across the UK, and we were proud to be one of the ISPs helping small businesses improve their connectivity.


We attended the Leeds Digital Festival this April, which was sponsored by our partners CityFibre. With 170 events planned throughout the week, this was a fantastic occasion to learn about the digital innovations happening in Leeds. From digital art, introductions to coding and networking opportunities, there were plenty of events for anyone interested in digital.

April saw the start of our Strategic Partnership with Leeds Beckett University, kicking off with an Innovation Network seminar ran by Leeds Beckett University at their Wakefield University Business Centre. The event highlighted the fantastic opportunities for students and businesses across the Leeds City Region. We are proud to deliver our world-class Ultrafast DarkLight connectivity to each of Leeds Beckett’s UBCs.

The David Ross Education Trust held their annual Inspiration Awards for Teaching Excellence in April. We were delighted to hand over the award for Outstanding Use of Technology to Scott Thomas of Havelock Academy.

As I’m sure you will have already heard, GDPR came into effect back in May. The new regulation meant that for businesses to collect data such as email addresses, consent must first be given. Data must also only be used for the purpose stated, while storing that data securely and deleting when no longer useful.

ASA introduced new advertising standards, which meant that ISPs now have to give far more accurate estimations of speed, and stop claiming ‘up to’ speeds as a viable service for all. We welcome this news as we have always advertised connectivity speeds that realistically reflect what the customer receives.
 As a leading Internet service provider for the renewable energy sector, we attended the All Energy show, the UK’s largest event dedicated to renewable energy. It was fantastic to see all the new technology that is both in service and upcoming which contribute to combatting the rate of climate change.

Exa Network All Energy Show stand 2018.

In June we ran our annual exa.foundation conference, #exabytes. Offering teachers expert advice and ideas across a wide range of topics based upon the Computing curriculum. We look forward to this event every year and have already booked a date for 2019. #exabytes19 will take place on June 28th 2019 at the Park Inn, Northampton. Save the date!

Exa.foundation hold #exabytes conference 2018.

As we are always looking to improve our customer’s experience, we introduced The Customer Relationship Team into our organisation. We added this team with the aim to improve our customer’s journey while on-boarding and beyond.


In July, the UK government released the findings of Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review. Which addresses issues such as the merging of fixed and mobile technologies, and the switch from copper to full fibre networks and judges how this will affect the evolution of the digital infrastructure for the UK. Making some major changes to current regulations and setting key new targets for the next few years.

Exa were also nominated in The ISPA awards for Best Business Broadband (for DarkLight) and Best Project or Partnership (with Leeds Beckett University Business Centre Programme). Unfortunately we did not win an ISPA award this year, roll on 2019…

We became one of the first companies to benefit from the Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) challenge fund, in cooperation with CityFibre. A £200 million investment focussing on speeding up the roll out of full fibre networks throughout the country.

This led to starting the construction of our first DarkLight County, West Sussex, in September. Bringing ultrafast connectivity to schools, academies and businesses throughout the region. This is fantastic news for the 100’s of schools that already benefit from Exa connectivity in the region, who will soon be DarkLight powered.

Leeds Beckett University expanded its reach by adding Piece Mill to it’s University Business Centre programme. This largely open plan office space has been specifically fitted out to help boost the ability of SME’s in the region and also benefits from ultrafast connectivity courtesy of DarkLight!

Piece Mill is added to The Leeds Beckett University Business Centre programme.


We were delighted to receive the award for Elite Digital, Creative & Media award at the annual Aagrah Business Awards in November. The event, for businesses of all sizes across the Leeds City Region, recognises outstanding achievement and this years event had a heavy focus on the role of business in the wider community.

Exa Networks win Elite Digital, Creative & Media award at Aagrah Business Awards.

We look forward to the fantastic events and opportunities that may present themselves in 2019. Keep an eye on our blog and social media accounts to hear what we get up to.

Have a great year ahead, from Exa Networks.