Board of Directors


John Blackford

Chairman, Broadband Forum Board Member; CommScope

John Blackford is a Product Management Director at CommScope within the Assurance Group of the Network & Cloud Business Unit. His current focus is the development of products for the management and control of the connected home. His career includes 20+ years of data and telecommunications experience in engineering, software architecture, and product management.

John currently serves as the Broadband User Services Work Area Co-Director of the Broadband Forum and is a member of the Broadband Forum board of directors. John previously worked for Efficient Networks, Siemens, 2Wire, Pace, and ARRIS where he has consistently expanded his knowledge of remotely managing devices in the connected home. He has received both the Broadband Forum’s Circle of Excellence award and Outstanding Contributor award. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Midwestern State University.

Term through 2022.


Tom Starr

President, Broadband Forum; Lead Member of Technical Staff, AT&T

Tom Starr serves as Broadband Forum’s President, and has served as a member of the Broadband Forum Board of Directors from the inception of the Broadband Forum in 1994 to the present. Tom Starr is a Lead Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Labs in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Tom is responsible for the development and standardization of new local access technologies for AT&T’s network. These technologies include GPON, Gfast, VDSL, and ADSL.

From 1988 to 2015, Tom has served as a leader of ANSI accredited standards working group T1E1.4 which develops xDSL standards for the United States, received the Committee T1 Outstanding Leadership Award in 2001, and now serves at ATIS-NAI Chair. Tom participates in the ITU SG15 Q4 group on xDSL international standards and serves as Chair of ITU-T Working Party 1 of Study Group 15. Tom is a co-author of the books “DSL Advances” published by Prentice Hall in 2003,”Understanding Digital Subscriber Line Technology” published by Prentice Hall in 1999, “Broadband Access” published by Wiley in 2014, and the high-tech adventure novel “Virtual Vengeance” in 2014.

Tom holds an MS degree in Computer Science and a BS degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois in Urbana, IL. He holds 25 US patents in the field of telecommunications. In 2010 Tom was named as one of the 100 most powerful people in the telecoms industry worldwide, in the Global Telecoms Business Power 100.

Term through 2021


David Sinicrope

Vice President, Broadband Forum; Director IP and Broadband Standardization, Ericsson 

David Sinicrope is currently a Director of Standards and Industry, leading transport standards activity at Ericsson’s Business Unit Network Products. His current focus is standardization and strategic product management in the areas of mobile transport including IP, Ethernet, MPLS, and their use in current and evolving mobile networks. His career includes 25+ years of data and telecommunications experience in standardization, product management, architecture and system design.

David currently serves as Vice President of the Broadband Forum Board of Directors and as Routing and Transport Area Director of the Broadband Forum Technical Committee. David has served as the Vice Chairman of the IP/MPLS Forum, and was also a long time Chair of the Applications and Deployment Working Group. Prior to BU Network Products, Mr. Sinicrope was Head of Standardization and Industry for Ericsson’s Development Unit IP and Broadband.  He was with Ericsson’s PA IP and Broadband Networks (formerly Redback Networks), and Ericsson IP Infrastructure Inc. (formerly Torrent Networks) as a technologist and systems architect. Before joining Ericsson, he was with Virata Inc. as a Product Manager Protocol Software and was also a Principal Engineer at Lucent Technologies/Ascend/Cascade Communications where his focus was on ATM and Frame Relay core switching architecture and development. From 1988, he was with IBM Networking Systems where he was responsible for ATM, Frame Relay and ISDN standards, architecture and development for IBM’s SNA and routing products.

Term through 2022


Frank Van der Putten

Treasurer, Broadband Forum; Director of Standards, Fixed Networks Business Group, Nokia

Frank Van der Putten was born in Aalst, Belgium in 1963. He obtained an Electronic Engineering Degree in Communication Techniques from the Ghent University in 1986 and a Business Management Degree from the Leuven University in 1991. In 1986, he joined the Ghent University Communications and Information Transmission Laboratories to work on image processing.

In 1988, he joined the Alcatel-Lucent Research Center to continue working on image processing and evolved into home networking and DSL access technologies. From 1994, he was involved in the DAVIC standardization activities, where he chaired the physical layer working group until end 1996. Since then, he has been involved in DSL standardization within the ANSI, ETSI, ITU-T SG15 and the Broadband Forum. He is currently serving as Rapporteur of ITU-T SG15 Q4 (dealing with broadband access on metallic conductors, covering DSL and, as member of the Broadband Forum Board of Directors, and as Director of Standards for the Nokia Fixed Networks Business Group.

Term through 2022


Robin Mersh

Chief Executive Officer, Broadband Forum

Robin Mersh joined the Broadband Forum as Chief Operating Officer in July 2006, and was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in July 2010. Robin has authored many articles and has spoken at and chaired many broadband industry conferences and exhibitions. He has worked in the telecommunications industry for over 18 years, starting at Cable & Wireless and then moving on to BT before meeting his wife and moving to the US in 1999.

Robin has worked in business development and alliance management for various OSS software companies in the United States, mainly in network and service provisioning and activation, where he negotiated and managed several large OEM agreements. He is originally from Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London in 1992.


Aleksandra Kozarev

Secretary, Broadband Forum; Senior Manager Standardization, Intel

Aleksandra Kozarev is currently a Senior Manager Standardization at Intel, where she is involved in the ultrafast broadband standardization activities. In this role, she works closely with the strategy and development teams working on the wide range of communications technologies that are essential for enabling significantly higher broadband services in the connected home.

In 1998, she joined the Siemens Semiconductors Research and Design Center in Austria to work on DSL access technologies. Prior to this, Aleksandra spent several years at the University of Novi Sad, Serbia where she worked as research and teaching assistant and obtained her Doctor of Technical Sciences (Dr.) degree in the area of image processing. Since 2004, she is involved in the work at Broadband Forum, ITU-T SG15, ETSI ATTM (serving as Rapporteur of VDSL2) and other national and international standards and regulatory organizations. Within the Broadband Forum she currently serves as the leader for the VDSL2 Physical Layer Testing Project Stream.

Prior to Intel, Aleksandra worked in standardization for companies including Lantiq and Infineon Technologies.

Term through 2021




Board Members

Bernd Hesse

Broadband Forum Board Member; Calix

Bernd Hesse brings over 30 years of accomplishments in the global telecommunications across the optical carrier Ethernet Metro- and Access markets. He is the founder and chairman of the NGPON2 Forum, WDM PON Forum, Cloud Access Forum (CAF), Virtual Access Forum (VAF), and G.FAST Forum.

Currently, Bernd has the role of Senior Director Technology Development at Calix. Prior to that role, he held a variety of executive positions at Ericsson in the office of the CTO (CU AT&T), including Head of Engagement practices for Access and Transport. Before Ericsson, he was VP of Business Development and Marketing at Novera Optics where he led all international activities. Prior to Novera Optics, Bernd was the Director of Product Management, Marketing and Application Engineering at the optical Business Unit in Centillium Communications, leading the introduction for EPON and transceiver chips. Bernd has also held leadership positions at Optunix (now FiberZone Networks), Cisco, and Raynet.

Term through 2022.




Manuel Paul

Broadband Forum Board Member; Deutsche Telekom

Manuel Paul, senior standardization expert at Deutsche Telekom, serves as a member of the Broadband Forum Board since 2013.

Deeply engaged in strategy, innovation and engineering projects (inc. leading roles) within the DT group, Manuel coordinates Software-Defined Networking standards & collaborative community activities. He serves in leadership positions at the Broadband Forum and the Open Networking Foundation and is co-initiator and leader of the 5g Convergence project stream within the BBF Wireless-Wireline-Convergence Work Area. He has been involved in the SDN movement since the early days and has driven and contributed to various related standardization and community activities. In the past, he was also active in other standards developing organizations incl. the Internet Engineering Task Force.

Prior to his current position at DT, Manuel was a research professional and technology consultant for T-Systems, where he was active in a broad range of projects concerning packet transport technologies and transmission systems engineering, next generation network design and corporate R&D.

Term through 2021


Mauro Tilocca

Broadband Forum Board Member; Project Manager, IP Networks – Fixed Access, Telecom Italia 

Mauro Tilocca graduated cum laude in electronic engineering at the Politecnico of Turin in 1994. He joined CSELT, former Telecom Italia’s R&D center, the same year dealing with transport network aspects. He has been also an ETSI technical editor.

Since 1998 Mauro began working in the access network department with a main focus on xDSL. He has been involved in the specification and implementation of Telecom Italia’s DSL validation framework, lab facilities and in the scouting and qualification of DSL technologies and commercial products. He collaborated with chipset vendors within framework projects and was in charge of Telecom Italia’s Independent Test Lab third-party service. He’s been responsible for the interoperability and assessment of DSL products, for the engineering of evolutionary infrastructural components for FTTx deployment. He participates in the definition of standardization strategies.

He currently manages a project for the specification and engineering of solutions and the definition of the Test Lists for the access network deployment for Broadband and Ultra-Broadband services of TI’s Next Generation Access Network (NGAN), the definition of the technical specifications for FTTdp scenarios and the study and scouting of SDN and NFV for the access.

Term through 2022


Helge Tiainen

Broadband Forum Board Member; InCoax

A business and technology expert in the ICT field with involvements in more than 40 ICT companies during the past 15 years covering financing, business and product development, organization development and turn-around management in positions. Before that 9 years at Nokia in different senior executive positions covering solutions for home communications, mobile devices and displays.

He is also the Chair of Access Working Group in the MoCA Alliance leading the work with MoCA Access 2.5.

Term through 2021


Ning Zong

Broadband Forum Board Member; Huawei Technologies

Ning Zong is a Standard Manager in Network Research Department, Huawei. He has been contributing to many SDOs including ITU-T, IETF, ETSI and BBF with a wide spectrum of technologies such as SDN/NFV/Cloud, Video, etc. for over 12 years. He has good experience in leading standard development and industry promotion, as a standard leader such as IETF WG co-chair, ITU-T Rapporteur, ETSI NFV Program Mgr & IFA WG vice-chair, BBF CloudCO PS co-leader, and Open Broadband Oversight Committee (OBOC) member. Particularly in BBF, he has been serving as a co-leader of the CloudCO Project Stream to guide and contribute to the work of CloudCO architecture, as well as a member of OBOC to promote the industry engagement and influence of the CloudCO.

Term through 2021


Francisco de Carvalho

Broadband Forum Board Member; Senior Specialist, CP Interconnectivity, BT plc

Francisco leads the research activity responsible for the creation of long-term programmable network capabilities in BT Technology, including the definition, development and standardization of open, L2 wholesale models suitable for the UK market.

Prior to this role he was responsible for future 5G FWA technologies trials and associated strategy leading to business case definition. He was also responsible for the completion of the 5G Rollout Operations Model, bringing together senior stakeholders from IT/OSS, Delivery, CFU and Group together to ensure the E2E view was agreed and consistent and agreed.

Past responsibilities include the technical delivery aspects of BT’s 4G Assure and UltraFast WholeHome Product, leading a team of experts and designers and building upon his own expertise as a Subject Matter Expert in IP Security and Small Cells Networks within BT’s 4G CPE product development integration team.

Fran acquired experience of LTE Security Gateways whilst working as Country Manager (UK) and business solutions development director (Eastern and Northern Europe) for Stoke Inc., a silicon-valley startup. While at Stoke, Fran developed and executed on their interoperability strategy, working in partnership with operators and 4G core suppliers and through the Small Cells Forum Plenaries and Plug fest events.

Fran holds a BSc Hons, EE+E from the University of Mancester, MSc in Telecommunications Engineering from King’s College London and received his Doctorate in Telecommunications Engineering on Mobility Architectures from University College London in 2012.

Term through 2022




Technical Committee

Lincoln Lavoie

Technical Committee Chair 

Lincoln Lavoie has participated in many of the Broadband Forum’s initiatives since 2003, such as projects on testing and interoperability of various broadband technologies, including DSL, Gfast, TR-069, GPON,, and NFV/SDN. He helped organize industry events, including the first public demonstration of VDSL2 Vectoring and the DSL, TR-069, Gfast, and GPON plugfests. Lincoln participated in the Board’s Testing and Certification Oversight Committee, providing input on the BBF.247, BBF.069, and certification programs.

Term through 2022

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Marketing & Software

Craig Thomas

Senior Director Strategic Marketing

Craig’s role within the Broadband Forum is to own and drive the marketing strategy from focus to delivery. Supporting our vision, key principles and meeting the needs of our members and industry education as a whole.

An accomplished public speaker he brings over 25 years’ experience of telecoms marketing to the Broadband Forum. Having International product, field and strategic marketing roles from dial-up to the latest PON technologies as well as IP MPLS, SDN/NFV and mobile backhaul. Previously he has held senior strategy, product and marketing positions at Calix, Tellabs, Talk Talk, Cosine Communications, Ericsson, Alcatel and Newbridge Networks.



William Lupton

Software Architect, Broadband Forum

William Lupton, BBF Software Architect has played the lead role in introducing YANG data modeling to BBF, was co-editor of TR-355 (BBF’s first published YANG data models) and is now co-leads the Common YANG Project Stream. After a long association with the forum, William has served as Software Architect since March 2015, with a remit to develop and support BBF’s software activities that spans many of the Forum’s work areas including being co-chair of the Forum’s Software Advisory Council.

Mr. Lupton spent the first part of his career writing software to control large optical telescopes and their instruments, including a stint of three years in Australia and a decade in Hawaii. He returned to the UK in 2000 and started working with the DSL Forum in 2003 on WT-082 (which became TR-064) and WT-087 (which became TR-069). He worked for a succession of member companies, edited several TR-069 Amendments, and was one of the main forces behind the DM Schema (the XML Schema used for writing TR-069 data models) and TR-181 Issue 2 (the Device:2 data model)