Interview with JT Chair, Meriel Lenfestey

Change seems to be happening at an ever-increasing pace, whether in our home lives or our work lives. In May’s Edition of Business Brief, JT Chair, Meriel Lenfestey, takes an insightful look into the future and how the telecoms industry – and in particular JT – is tackling modernisation, transformation and keeping pace with change.

Digital tech expert joins JT Board

A former executive at Openreach and the current Chair of one of the largest healthcare providers in Europe has joined the JT Board as a Non-Executive Director.

Mark Lam held senior responsibility for the UK’s fibre network and Chairs the Royal Free London hospital group. An expert in technology, Mark has many years of experience as a board member of health trusts and telecommunications and digital technology companies including as Vice Chair of Broadway Partners, which builds and retails fibre broadband in rural Scotland and Wales.

Meriel Lenfestey, Chair of the JT Board said: “Mark joins the JT Board with considerable experience having served on numerous boards representing private businesses and public and third sector organisations. As Chief Technology and Information Officer at Openreach he was involved in projects very similar to the work JT does in providing and maintaining critical telecommunications infrastructure. Mark’s experience and contacts will be an invaluable addition to the Board.”

A graduate of Oxford University, Mark is originally from Singapore. He has worked in senior management roles at BT Group, Siemens and Carphone Warehouse. Among his other roles and business experience is as a non-executive director of Games Workshop Group PLC, a FTSE 250 manufacturer of the fantasy miniature Warhammer figures.

Mark Lam added: “I am delighted to have been appointed to the Board of JT and am looking forward to working alongside my colleagues, pooling our combined experience in telecoms and technology to help JT grow. It is a great time to be joining the team as we work on our plans for new products and services that make the best use of technology to serve our customers and partners.”

How to stand out in a competitive world

As part of the IoD Jersey branch’s series ‘Real world advice and inspiration’, Katie Corbett, JT’s Chief Commercial Officer was asked to share her career path, lessons learned along the way and what advice she would pass on to directors of the future.

Read the full interview here.

‘Hunted’ star joins panel at JT cybersecurity event

A former British intelligence officer and star of the show ‘Hunted’ will be one of three keynote speakers at the first in a series of ‘Together Talks’ hosted by JT.

‘Let’s talk security’ will feature Ben Owen, an intelligence expert who has appeared in the UK and US versions of the hit show and is currently filming the Australian series, consults across the globe on cybersecurity. Ben helps businesses of all sizes understand their vulnerabilities by assessing the latest intelligence and demonstrating why proper data security is vital.

The Founder and Managing Director of Satisnet,  JT’s partner for Managed Security Services, John McCann, will be sharing his views on how Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) can identify and fill the gaps in your cyber security program.

Joining Ben and John at the free event hosted by JT will be counter terrorism and security specialist Dan Bettison who will talk about the growing risk of physical threats from organised crime to businesses here, in the Channel Islands.

Kate Marshall, Head of Guernsey Enterprise, said: ‘’Increasingly, evidence shows that businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors can experience a cyberattack as companies become progressively digitalised and deal with sensitive data. Unfortunately no-one is immune, which is why robust risk management measures and education on the right cybersecurity behaviours are key to helping to prevent an attack or breach from occurring.’’

The event takes place on Wednesday 26th April at St James, aimed at businesses of all sizes in all sectors. Following the talk, attendees can stay to visit the JT exhibition and meet local experts who will share the latest cybersecurity solutions available to help defend against internal and external cyber threats. They will focus on IT, compliance, risk, cybersecurity and data protection.

Kate added: “The systems that connect us enrich our lives in so many ways, but we must make sure that we are doing all we can to stop those who are intent on trying to find and exploit any weakness in security. This event will give those businesses an idea of the tools and knowledge to do that – working together makes us more secure.’’

Register FREE via Eventbrite, here:

JT boosts opportunities for local school leavers

Local students who want to launch their careers in an exciting industry are being invited to join one of the New Talent schemes run by JT. Following on from National Apprenticeship Week last month and now National Careers Week, JT is looking for students in the Channel Islands who want to make a great start to their career by gaining a professional qualification and earning while they learn.

Sixteen apprentices, bursaries and graduates are currently receiving on-the-job training, moving through various parts of the business so that they get the opportunity to see everything that the communications provider does. JT are also sponsoring a scholarship with the Jersey College for Girls foundation and will shortly be welcoming students on placement as part of their HND in computing qualification.

Sarah Gosiewska, Head of Talent at JT, said: “We are a rapidly evolving global business, committed to growing talented local people who we want to see achieving great success. It doesn’t matter whether they are starting from scratch or already have an idea about what their career might look like, the beauty of our New Talent schemes is that they help people identify the areas within the business they enjoy – helping them to grow in confidence and recognise where their strengths lie.  Each new starter is trusted to work in real workplace situations, knowing they have a network of people dedicated to supporting their growth. I love seeing how they thrive alongside our experienced teams.”

JT started the scheme in 2011 and are pleased to have seen a year on year increase in the diversity of applicants. Applications for new candidates closes 10th April.

Sarah added: “We want to hear from creative, organised, can-do local people who are getting ready for the world of work and have a genuine interest in digital technology. This is a fast paced industry so they must be willing to learn and work as part of a team. We firmly believe that learning should not stop just because formal education has.”

JT appoints new Non-Executive Director

A senior financial professional with over 25 years’ experience in the telecoms industry is the latest to join the JT Board as a Non-Executive Director.

Louise Easterbrook is the Chief Financial Officer of GSMA where she is responsible for overseeing the business and financial performance of the association, which represents mobile network operators around the world and hosts the world’s largest and most influential connectivity event, MWC. At GSMA, Louise leads a team of over 100 people managing all aspects of Finance, Legal, HR, IT, Project Services and Facilities.

Louise is also the Treasurer of GSMA’s Mobile for Development Foundation Board, set up to oversee a wide range of activities where mobile technology can provide solutions to development challenges for underserved communities.

Her career has included several senior roles at Vodafone and Cable & Wireless, including  Regional Financial Controller, Africa at Vodafone and Group Director, Investor Relations at Cable & Wireless.

Meriel Lenfestey, Chair of the JT Board said: “Louise is a well-known and respected professional within the telecoms industry and her experience and connections will be a huge benefit, boosting JT’s voice and presence around the world. We have exciting plans as we continue to invest in our mobile networks and services and with Louise’s work in high growth markets, her appointment adds further strength to our Board. With a genuine passion for inspiring and encouraging young people, Louise’s mentoring skills will be of great benefit to us all and I am confident that her background and focus will play a key role in helping JT with its long-term ambitions.”

Louise is a qualified Chartered Accountant and will be a member of the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee.

Louise Easterbrook added: “JT has built up a formidable reputation around the world for successful innovation and I am looking forward to helping the business as it takes further strides with its international activities. As a full-service global connectivity and business solutions provider, JT operates in an industry that’s changing rapidly, reaching into the lives of more people in the communities it serves as it delivers new products and technologies. It is a fascinating time to be joining the team and I am delighted to be working with such a great team of talented people.”

Meeting the experts at the world’s leading communications conference

A team from JT is this week attending the world’s largest gathering of experts in technology and mobile connectivity. The Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona is the most influential event of its type and brings together global mobile network operators, device manufacturers, technology providers and all those with an interest in the future of tech.

As a business that uses technological innovation to benefit the communities it works in, the team from JT will see first-hand the latest equipment and systems and forging new partnerships with other like-minded companies and innovators.

Marcus Irwin, Head of Product Innovation at JT, said: “With more people and devices connected to the internet than ever before, the next decade will bring greater access to information and new forms of communication. MWC is the place to meet those who are leading change in our industry. It’s where you can network with tens of thousands of senior industry decision makers and witness how ideas become the next technology that will change our lives. We are always looking for ways to evolve our own mobile network so that it’s ready for the Channel Island’s expanding digital landscape.”

MWC Barcelona is on between 27th February and 2nd March and is organised by GSMA, the association that represents mobile operators around the world. Its partners include large multi-national corporations including Microsoft, Samsung and IBM.

Marcus added: “There have been some huge steps forward because of better connectivity. Technology is evolving all the time and we need to form partnerships with the innovators so that we can work on solutions to problems as well as identifying where technology can make our lives better, more efficient, and ever more connected. That’s why we’ll be there to meet those that share our desire to do the best we can for our communities and discuss how that should be delivered.”

JT partner with Guernsey’s biggest music festival

JT is offering local music lovers FREE Weekend tickets to Guernsey’s biggest music festival which is set to be better than ever before. The Guernsey Together Music Festival is back for its third year with some of the hottest UK and European tribute acts supported by local bands, showcasing the best of Guernsey’s music scene.

The eagerly anticipated community event has grown from a one-day festival, to a weekend-long extravaganza with multiple stages and crowds of up to 5,000 festival goers each day. Held at the Rabbit Warren in St Sampson, Guernsey’s own home grown music talent will share the line up with huge acts paying tribute to Coldplay, Abba, Ed Sheeran and many more. For those in the mood for something a little different, the BBC Introducing Stage will be showcasing up and coming bands, giving young musicians and singers the opportunity to perform in front of a large audience, while DJs will be entertaining the crowds in the popular Tropical Dance Tent.

Kate Marshall, Head of Guernsey Enterprise at JT, said: ’’For many years we’ve supported local events that provide an opportunity for talented young people to shine. Community is at the heart of cultural life in Guernsey and it’s fantastic to be able to play a small part in bringing together amazing acts in a family friendly festival setting for as many islanders and visitors as possible to enjoy.’’

Away from the main stage, there’s the family zone with bouncy castles and entertainment, crafts and boutique food stalls selling delicious Guernsey food. Tickets went on sale in January and over 70% have already been sold. As part of its support for the event, JT is offering FREE weekend tickets for islanders who switch over to JT, offering a chance to get some of the few remaining tickets.

Alex Lock, co-organiser of Guernsey Together Festival, said: “All the best elements that have made the last two Guernsey Together Festivals so memorable are back. It’s going to be a celebration of music, dance, food and drink over two days. This is a festival for everyone and by partnering with local businesses like JT, together we’ve been able to make FREE weekend tickets available which will open up the event to even more people and will enable us to deliver the biggest music festival Guernsey has ever seen.’’

Working together to deliver technology the green way

Local telecoms provider JT is making 120 refurbished laptops available to charities in the Channel Islands as part of its new initiative to support good causes. JT Community Giving was launched in November last year inviting schools, charities and other groups to apply for help, whether it’s for project funding, technology support or a request for volunteers.

In the first round of applications the scheme received a high number of requests for laptops from organisations that need help with their digital support services.

JT has partnered with local IT firm SystemLabs, who have kindly donated their time to refurbish the used laptops safely and securely, fitting them with new hard drives so as to extend their lifespan for continued good use.

Pip Carpenter, JT’s Head of Commercial Market, said: “One of our aims as a local business is to make a positive contribution to our community, and making use of IT equipment we no longer use seems like the obvious and sustainable thing to do. The JT Community Giving Scheme has opened up an opportunity for us to extend the life cycle of some of our devices while helping charities across the Channel Islands who are often restricted by budget limitation. These laptops have been restored to as-new condition, with complete cleaning, restoration, and necessary hardware replacement, it’s a great green alternative and means we can support groups that do so much to support our community.’’

Alex Blackwell, Chief Operations Officer at SystemLabs, added: “The incentive by JT to repurpose their old laptops is a great way to reduce waste and enable successful applicants to give the laptops an extended life and new home. Being offered the opportunity to work with JT to complete the refurbishment of their legacy devices and securely recirculate them met with our business values around sustainability and giving back to the Island.”

The second round of JT Community Giving is open now and closes on the 31st March. It’s open to all not-for-profit businesses based in the Channel Islands, as long as they can show the direct benefit the request will have on our community.

To find out more or to apply, please visit

JT celebrates 13 years supporting live acts

Island music lovers are being urged to save the dates this summer as the line-up for the 2023 Cobo Bay Balcony Gigs are announced, with great local bands adding to the party on the beach.

Organised and hosted by the Cobo Bay Hotel, and proudly sponsored by JT for the 13th year in a row, live music, food and a friendly atmosphere will provide something for everyone from April through to the last weekend in August on Guernsey’s magnificent west coast.

Whether you love Big Band music, Bon Jovi or the Beach Boys, the FREE family events will capture the spirit of a real Guernsey summer and a collection at every gig will be made for the Guernsey Cheshire Home.

Kate Marshall, Head of Guernsey Enterprise at JT, said: “We have sponsored and supported the Cobo Bay Balcony Gigs for a long time, and I am delighted to say that these much-loved Bank Holiday afternoons will be bigger and better than ever. I am really excited about the local bands that will be supporting the headline acts at these mini community festivals. So, tell your friends, meet up and have fun. If you can’t make it or want to connect with people you know around the world, you can share JT’s live stream of each Balcony Gig.”

This year’s line-up includes tribute acts of well-known and much loved icons such as Dolly Parton and Meatloaf who will kick-off the series of gigs on Sunday 30th April.

David Nussbaumer, organiser of Cobo Bay Hotel’s Balcony Gigs, added: “Last year the weather was amazing, and everybody had a fantastic time, and this year there’s a great selection of bands from the UK joining our local musicians on the famous hotel balcony. The performers look forward to playing here and love getting up close to the enthusiastic audiences that book tables on the hotel terrace or dance on the beach. It’s the highlight of the year for the hotel. Customers book year after year and have become our friends and we can’t wait to greet and serve them again. Everyone agrees that there is something special about a Balcony Gig, so there really is no excuse, come and join in the fun.”

Once again JT and the event organisers are asking those who attend to play their part and collect and take their rubbish home, helping keep Guernsey’s beaches and surrounding areas litter free.

The schedule of gigs is –

Sunday 30th April: A Tribute to Meatloaf, supported by a Tribute to Cher

Monday 29th May: A Tribute to Robbie Williams, supported by a Tribute to the Police

Sunday 25th June: Big Band Collective

Sunday 16th July: Wrong Jovi, supported by The Silverados

Sunday 6th August: A Tribute to Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, supported by Coolplay

Monday 28th August: A Tribute to The Beach Boys, supported by City Limits