We are thrilled to announce that Michele Neylon, CEO of Blacknight, and Paul Kelly, our CTO, have been honoured with the Internet Entrepreneur Award by the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition). This recognition was presented during the i2Coalition’s annual Congressional Fly-in, held on June 27th, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

The i2Coalition, a prominent organisation representing the global internet infrastructure industry, aims to acknowledge and celebrate individuals and entities that significantly contribute to the betterment of the internet. The Internet Leadership Awards are their way of recognising such efforts and the positive impact made on internet governance.

Reflecting on the accolade, Michele Neylon stated, “Blacknight has been a proud partner with the i2Coalition for more than a decade. Being acknowledged on a global stage is a tremendous honour for our small Irish tech firm.”

For over ten years, Blacknight has actively collaborated with the i2Coalition, advocating for robust internet policies and fostering a supportive environment for critical internet infrastructure. The i2Coalition focuses on public policy, education, and advocacy to drive innovation and support the growth and sustainability of the internet. Their initiatives aim to create a better internet experience for users, businesses, and communities worldwide.


Paul Kelly, CTO of Blacknight, highlighted the significance of the award by saying, “While the infrastructure aspect of our industry often goes unnoticed, it is fundamental to everything we do. This recognition underscores Ireland’s pivotal role in the global internet infrastructure landscape.”

Founded in Carlow in 2003 by Neylon and Kelly, Blacknight started with a single server and a vision for web hosting. Today, we proudly operate several data centres across Ireland, employ over fifty professionals, and serve tens of thousands of customers. As an ICANN-accredited provider, we are recognised for our dedication to friendly and efficient customer service, and we generate millions in revenue annually.

The i2Coalition’s recent press release acknowledged Blacknight’s journey and success, stating, “Blacknight has emerged as Ireland’s leading web hosting provider, thanks to their commitment to cutting-edge technology and exceptional customer service. Michele Neylon and Paul Kelly have built a company that not only excels in service but also makes Ireland proud on the global stage.”

Michele Neylon had the privilege of attending the awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., where he joined other distinguished recipients. Among the honourees were Justin Paine of Cloudflare, Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive, and Dr. Laurie Locascio of NIST, each recognised for their exceptional contributions to the internet community.

We at Blacknight are immensely proud of Michele and Paul for this well-deserved recognition. Their dedication and vision continue to drive our success and contribute significantly to the global internet landscape.

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