by Georgina Swan

Internode founder joins FiRe entrepreneur ranks

May 30, 20113 mins
CareersEnterprise ApplicationsIT Leadership

Internode founder and managing director, Simon Hackett, has taken out the Future in Review (FiRe) 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year award in the US, for his work in telecommunications.

The award, which recognises business acumen and strategic sense of global priorities, is not always given out; the last recipient was the founder and former CEO of PayPal, Elon Musk, who also chairs Solarcity and is the chair and chief executive of Tesla Motors and Space Exploration Technologies.

“I’m very proud to receive this award on behalf of my team,” Hackett said in a statement. “Their actions and efforts have embodied my belief in customer service, transparency, flexibility and honesty. This has made it possible for us to gain and hold the highest customer satisfaction rating in our sector in Australia — so we must be doing something right!”

The idea is to acknowledge work that leads to the “creation of new companies with large, beneficial impact on the planet and its inhabitants”, according to the organisers.

In October 2009, Hackett and co-driver Emilis Prelgauskas broke the world record distance for driving an electric car on a single charge, driving Hackett’s Tesla Roadster 501 kilometres. The record was part of the Global Green Challenge — an evolution of the World Solar Challenge designed to showcase the latest advances in hybrid, electric, solar, low emission, and alternative energy vehicles.

Read more in CIO Management.

“Simon has combined the assets of technical prowess, informed decision-making, and a sense of business opportunity and customer need, to provide innovative delivery of the most important modern service in his continent: Widely available high speed broadband Internet access,” FiRe chair and strategic news service CEO, Mark Anderson, said in a statement.

“The emerging Australian National Broadband Network, slated to deliver 100 per cent population coverage (93 per cent direct fibre-to-the-premises and seven per cent wireless and satellite), on which Internode was one of the first retail service providers to deliver customer connections, flows directly from the roots Simon has been planting in Australia since his first days in business.”

Hackett launched Internode in 1991 and has long been recognised globally for his ability to combine technical and business nous. Internode is now has more than 450 employees in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide and services more than 200,000 ADSL2+ customers nationally.

The company was instrumental in the deployment of a major WiFi wireless network that began in Adelaide in 2003 and today extends to hundreds of sites around the country.

Other projects:

  • Design and construction of a fixed WiMax network to South Australia’s rural farming belt
  • Demonstration of WiMax and LTE for regional broadband services delivery
  • Offers Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) connectivity to customers
  • FiRe is an annual gathering of world-class thought leaders in technology and economics. The event is in its ninth year.

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