E129 - Jon Benger at Altnets

James Dean
Jon Benger

By James Dean & Jon Benger

On today’s episode, we’re joined by our host and Director of Telecoms James Dean and special guest, Jon Benger the Commercial Manager at Altnets. During today’s episode, Jon shares his journey in the Telecoms space from when he started out when he was 16 to where he is now. Jon also tells us the advice he would give his 16-year-old self-knowing what he knows now.

Jon’s story began in his early years when he displayed average academic performance but struggled to find fulfilment within education. At the age of 16, fuelled by a burning desire to break free and dive straight into the workforce, he set his sights on the world of telecoms.

Initially, Jon took on various engineering roles, gaining hands-on experience and gaining his technical skills. He explored different areas of the telecoms industry, immersing himself in diverse projects that allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the field. It was during this period that Jon’s unwavering determination and commitment caught the attention of industry professionals.

An opportunity came knocking when he secured an apprenticeship at a company called Telent. While starting in their telecoms division, Jon’s abilities quickly shone through, and he swiftly transitioned from the frontlines of engineering to the dynamic realm of project delivery.

Upon completing his apprenticeship, Jon faced an unexpected hurdle. The company, unfortunately, was unable to offer permanent roles to any of the apprentices. However, a stroke of luck intervened, and despite the setback, Talent recognised Jon’s immense potential. While they couldn’t provide him with a position in the telecoms department, they had just established a new division focused on systems engineering. Recognising the opportunity for growth and diversification, Jon eagerly embraced this new role.

A turning point…

In a surprising turn of events, Jon’s most stand-out career move came when his wife fell pregnant with twins in 2018. At that time, Jon held a senior engineer position at Telent. However, faced with the newfound responsibility of impending fatherhood, he made a bold decision to leave his job and venture into entrepreneurship.

Starting his own business was a leap into the unknown for Jon. Suddenly, he had to take on multiple roles, acting as the salesman, commercial manager, and even handling the purchasing team. This shift demanded a significant amount of adaptability and resourcefulness on his part. Jon embraced the challenge head-on, determined to build a successful venture despite the uncertainties that lay ahead.


Interestingly, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic presented an unexpected opportunity for Jon. While the global crisis disrupted many industries, it oddly worked in his favour. During this period, he had the chance to take a step back and refocus his efforts. This pause allowed him to evaluate his business strategies, identify areas for improvement, and devise new plans to propel his venture forward.

Advice to his 16-year-old self…

Jon shares valuable advice he would give to his 16-year-old self. Reflecting on his experiences and growth, Jon shares the importance of taking more risks while also highlighting the distinction between risk-taking and recklessness.

By encouraging his younger self to take more risks, he highlights the importance of embracing challenges, stepping into unfamiliar territory, and pushing the boundaries of his capabilities.

Tune in on the 13/07/2023 to hear the full episode!