Last week our Regional Director for UK & EMEA, Matt Harrison, attended the INCA Conference 2023, held at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham. The 2-day annual event was dubbed “new horizons” this year, which gave a hint of the theme for the 2 days. At this year’s event, Matt was looking forward to hearing about the challenges and opportunities that UK Alt-Nets, their investors, and their supply chain partners will face in the coming 12-24 months.
The conference was organised around a series of sessions from expert industry panelists and keynote speakers from key vendors, relevant government, shadow-government departments and the independent industry watchdog Ofcom. All giving their views, insights, and engaging in debate on a range of topics. Day-1 focus was largely around policy & regulation, interoperability standards, One-Touch Switching and the everlasting wholesale debate. Day-2 took its lead from the state of the Alt-Net sector over the last 12 months. Which are driven by the rising cost of everything. It has seen investors prioritise both subscriber acquisition over network build from their charges and increasingly look at mitigating competition through building trusted brands to compete against established, national ISPs and stepping up M&A activity to solidify network and subscriber footprint.
It was also reassuring to see sustainability on the agenda. There was an interesting workshop with various perspectives on the supply chain. Panelists debated the importance and methods of reducing carbon footprint, and how those proactively engaging in such initiatives are often looked upon favourably in tender situations due to the positive up-stream contribution to Scope-3 emission targets.
Sandwiched between day 1 and 2 of the conference was the Annual INCA Awards Dinner where good food and wine was interspersed with well-deserved recognition of some of the sectors’ finest. As always, the 2-day event proved to be informative, insightful and a great way to catch up with colleagues and clients, new and old.