Industry body the Broadband Forum has established a new Executive Advisory Board (EAB) to support what it calls the forthcoming stage of intelligent, services-led broadband with fixed and wireless industry standards.
Comprising major broadband companies worldwide, the group says this new body will ensure that future investment needs of service providers are met and greater value is ultimately provided to residential and business subscribers.
“Broadband is continually evolving, but so too does the broadband subscriber. Within the connected home, there is a ‘gamer’, a home-worker, a HD video streamer, an IoT and smart home device user, and each requires the relevant service quality and experience,” said Craig Thomas, VP of Business Development and Strategic Marketing at Broadband Forum. “Moreover, the current and future advancements in broadband technologies will make the broadband infrastructure genuinely multi-service, needing to meet the demands of enterprise, mobile backhaul, and Industrial IoT alike.”
The EAB will counsel the Board of Directors, aiding the organisation and the wider broadband industry to gain new insights, identify industry challenges, and discover new market opportunities.
Shifting From Connectivity-Driven to Services-Led Broadband
“We continue to witness a paradigm shift from connectivity-driven to services-led broadband, but we need the whole industry’s investment to enhance the value of broadband for 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 across the industry and establish this new body. The EAB represents the executive and strategic voice of the industry, driving a dynamic and proven broadband ecosystem in the future.”
The inaugural meeting included companies like AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Calix, DZS, Ericsson, Fiber Broadband Association (FBA), FTTH Council Europe, F-Secure, Huawei, Lumen, NBN, Nokia, Orange, and Vodafone. The EAB’s role isn’t to make decisions but rather to agree and provide wider insights, industry direction, critical thinking, and analysis.
“It is crucial to align industry-wide standards with the future investment needs of service providers to achieve reduced R&D investment cycles and multi-vendor interoperability, ultimately continuing to deliver the 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.”
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).
EAB Ensures Relevancy and Value to Service Providers
The EAB ensures that Broadband Forum continues to empower and provide relevancy and value to service providers while delivering new service opportunities, architectures, open standards, and interoperability. This will reduce time to market of products, proof of concept work, test cycles, and proven use cases.
The EAB Chair will be an experienced independent industry representative elected by the EAB members on a biannual basis. At present, 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.