New advisory board to guard future of broadband investment, consumer value

Created July 13, 2023
News and Business

The Broadband Forum has established the Broadband Forum Executive Advisory Board (EAB), which it says is the next stage of intelligent, services-led broadband and will be supported by fixed and wireless industry standards. Consisting of major broadband companies from across the globe, the Forum says the new body will ensure that the future investment needs of service providers are addressed, and greater value ultimately delivered to residential and business subscribers.

The EAB will advise the Board of Directors to help the organization and the wider broadband industry gain new insights to pinpoint industry challenges and explore new market opportunities.

Potential topics on the agenda moving forward could include making broadband truly ‘multi-service and multi-customer’, application aware and differentiated broadband, network convergence, security, sustainability, and increased network and service agility with Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning and Software Defined Networking (SDN).

The EAB Chair will be an experienced independent industry representative elected by the EAB members on a biannual basis. Currently, Craig Thomas holds the interim EAB Chair role and Bernd Hesse, the EAB Co-Chair role. Executive Industry Advisors will represent industry thought leaders, including operators, vendors, industry associations, and analysts, and be invited to positions on the EAB on a 24-month term.

The companies involved in the first inaugural meeting included: AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Calix, DZS, Ericsson, Fibre Broadband Association (FBA), FTTH Council Europe, F-Secure, Huawei, Lumen, NBN, Nokia, Orange, and Vodafone. The role of the EAB is not to make decisions but rather to agree and provide wider insights and industry direction, critical thinking, and analysis.

“Broadband continues to evolve, but so too does the broadband subscriber. Within the connected home there is a ’gamer’, a homeworker, a HD video streamer, an IoT and smart home device user, and each need the relevant service quality and experience,” said Craig Thomas, VP of Business Development and Strategic Marketing at Broadband Forum. “In addition, the current and future advancements in broadband technologies will make broadband infrastructure truly multi-service and it needs to meet the demands of enterprise, mobile backhaul, and Industrial IoT alike.”

“We continue to undergo a paradigm shift from connectivity driven to services-led broadband, but we need investment from the whole industry to increase the value of broadband to end customers,” said Bernd Hesse, BASe chair and CMO of the Board of Directors at Broadband Forum. “I was delighted to bring together global companies from across the industry and establish this new body. The EAB represents the executive and strategic voice of the industry to drive a future dynamic and proven broadband ecosystem.”

“It is important to align industry-wide standards with the future investment needs of service providers in order to achieve reduced R&D investment cycles and multi-vendor interoperability, so ultimately we continue to deliver best broadband services to our customers,” said Ahmed Hafez, VP Technology Strategy, Deutsche Telekom. “I look forward to working with my industry peers on the EAB to ensure our future broadband network and service requirements guide the Broadband Forum’s strategic direction and work.”

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.