IoT News

Craig Thomas chosen as new CEO of Broadband Forum

October 10, 2023

Posted by: Magda Dabrowska

Broadband Forum logo

The Board of Directors at the Broadband Forum has announced Craig Thomas as their incoming chief executive officer. In this role, Thomas will spearhead the Forum’s leadership during a crucial juncture for the global broadband industry, as it transitions from connectivity-driven to delivering standards for intelligent, services-led networks that prioritise the user experience.

“We are entering a new era for broadband where speed is no longer a constraint for subscriber services. Innovations in broadband connectivity allow the industry to capitalise on the potential of broadband beyond residential connectivity services,” said Thomas. “We can create additional QoE-sensitive monetised lifestyle services for consumers and open up the broadband network to be a ubiquitous one that also meets business, IoT, and converged services demands.”

Thomas continued that the Broadband Forum and its members remain focused on driving a broadband ecosystem that end-to-end has increased service differentiation, intelligence, and agility from the cloud to the user’s device. “Open standards and open software are critical to how operators will build these new, efficient networks.”

Thomas’ term as CEO will start on Jan. 1, 2024, following current managing director Ken Ko’s retirement at the end of the year.

Thomas has been with the Forum since 2020, serving as vice president of strategic

marketing and business development. His experience in the telecoms vendor and service provider industry includes roles at Calix, Tellabs, Tiscali UK Business Services, Cosine Communications, Ericsson, and Alcatel/Newbridge Networks.

“Craig’s selection as CEO was a natural choice for Broadband Forum and we are confident the leadership transition will be smooth,” said John Blackford, Broadband Forum chairman. “During Craig’s time with the Forum, we have seen a ten-year high in membership and contributions from companies large and small, representing innovative vendors, application and content providers, and network and service providers.”

Broadband Forum develops fixed and wireless-wireline converged open standards and open-source software that drive multi-vendor interoperability and certification programs for deployable industry-wide standards, architectures, and best practices. Last year, the organisation published 39 new standards, test plans, marketing reports, and open software releases.

So far in 2023, new areas of work have been identified and the number of documents and new projects continues to grow.

Back in July, the Broadband Forum unveiled essential enhancements to two key standards. These upgrades empower Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to independently manage individual smart home applications, eliminating the necessity for intricate firmware updates.

The features added to USP 1.3 and TR-181 Device 2.16 establish a standardised, interoperable method for deploying and supporting value-added applications in a containerised framework. The features are applicable to various broadband subscriber-connected devices, encompassing Wi-Fi routers, set-top boxes, and smart home hubs.

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