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Broadband Forum creates new Advisory Council

FREMONT, CA – The Broadband Forum today announced the formation of a new Executive Advisory Council bringing together industry leaders to help ensure that the Forum delivers direction to the broadband industry in a fast-changing environment.

The creation of the Advisory Council originated in discussions at the Forum’s Special Meeting, held in Atlanta last year, which saw the development of a new operational model and immediate actions to leverage new technology and approaches to serve the business requirements of the stakeholders in the broadband market.

“The idea of the Advisory Council came from the recent changes in the industry; there has been a paradigm shift both in terms of technology and methodology,” said Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh. “This raises the question of what sort of deliverables are needed and, in any organization, it is always important to ensure the question of business value is central to your activity – this is what our new Advisory Council aims to do. Now more than ever, any work the Forum undertakes needs to have a strong business case and the expertise and experience of our new panel will help ensure this.”

The initial list of executives joining the Broadband Forum’s new Advisory Council includes:

  • Robert Balsamo, VP Advanced Technology at Calix
  • Didier Boivin, Marketing Vice President, Corporate Board Member, at Metanoia Communications
  • Don Clarke, Principal Architect, Network Technologies, at CableLabs
  • Jim Crammond, Senior Director, Connected Home Division, at Intel
  • Michael Dargue, Principal Consultant at Cartesian
  • David Eckard, Fixed Networks CTO at Nokia   
  • Heather Kirksey, Director of the OPNFV
  • Guru Paralkar, Executive Director of ON.Lab and CORD Project board member
  • Robert Qi, Chief Strategy Officer, Network Solutions, at Huawei   
  • Kevin Schneider, CTO at ADTRAN
  • Xiongyan Tang, Chief Technologist of China Unicom
  • Bill Walker, Director of Network Architecture – SDN, NFV, and Cloud at CenturyLink
  • Gavin Young, Head of Fixed Access at Vodafone

Mersh continued: “I am looking forward to discussing the many strategic questions facing the industry with this illustrious group. This team has a lot of knowledge and experience and we will continue to add to it in the near future.”

Following its meeting in Atlanta and subsequent evolution, the Broadband Forum is putting an increasing focus on software and working with open source projects. This is helping to deliver on the Broadband Forum’s Broadband 20/20 vision, which focuses on specific new broadband home and business opportunities that leverage SDN, NFV, the IoT and ultra-fast technologies. The initial discussions with the Advisory Council will address this new direction as a priority.

Gavin Young, Head of Fixed Access at Vodafone, said: “Vodafone is delighted to be part of the Advisory Council. With the rise of open source communities, new disruptive technologies and the rapid pace the broadband industry is evolving at, organizations working together like this is more important than ever.”

Kevin Foster, Chairman of the Broadband Forum, said: “Establishing the Executive Advisory Council is an important step forward for the Broadband Forum. The Board has always sought advice from senior executives. In a time of rapid change in the broadband industry this feedback is invaluable and so formalizing this arrangement is a logical step for us to take and I am delighted to have access to the collective wisdom of such an august group.”


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