Officers

Broadband Forum Leadership


Kevin Foster

Chairman, Broadband Forum; General Manager, Access and CPE Platform, BT ...

Kevin Foster is General Manager, Architecture, Engineering and Innovation for BT’s UK Access and CPE Platforms. He is also Chairman and a member of the Board of the Broadband Forum and Chairman of the UK NICC DSL Task Group.

In previous roles in BT he was responsible for BT's technical standards development programme and he led BT's DSL engineering team through the halcyon days of early ADSL broadband development subsequent birth and roll-out of VDSL technology. He has over 33 years’ experience in the design and development of wireline digital transmission in BT's access network and international telecommunication standards.

During his career, Kevin has been very active in telecommunication standardisation in ETSI, FSAN, ITU-T, ATIS, the Broadband Forum and the UK NICC. He has published many technical papers and standards contributions. He has also contributed to several books and patents on aspects of DSL engineering.

Kevin received the BT Chairman's Award for Corporate Social Responsibility and the BT Gold Award for Innovation in 2011 and the prestigious BT Martlesham Medal for lifetime achievement in access in 2012.

Kevin is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and a Chartered Engineer. He holds an MSc (with Distinction) in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of London, a BSc (Hons) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and a Diploma in Industrial Studies from Loughborough University.

Term through 2020

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 G-PON, G.fast, 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 2019

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 2020

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 G.fast), as member of the Broadband Forum Board of Directors, and as Director of Standards for the Nokia Fixed Networks Business Group.

Term through 2020

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.

Ken Ko

Secretary, Broadband Forum Board Member; ADTRAN ...

Ken Ko is a Senior Staff Scientist at ADTRAN, where he researches communications technologies and supports standards development with the Broadband Forum and other organizations. Ken joined ADTRAN in 2008 after over 25 years developing communications products and technologies for Paradyne, AT&T, Rockwell Semiconductor Systems and other companies.

In addition to his standards work with the Broadband Forum, Ken has worked with the ITU, ATIS, ETSI, MEF, the FCC, BITAG, and other national and international standards, regulatory, and advisory organizations. Ken holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of South Florida.


Term through 2019

Board

Members

John_Blackford_ARRIS

John Blackford

Broadband Forum Board Member; ARRIS
John Blackford is a Product Management Director at ARRIS 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 (BUS) Work Area Co-Director of the Broadband Forum. John previously worked for Efficient Networks, Siemens, 2Wire, and Pace, where he 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 2020.

Les Brown

Broadband Forum Board Member; Director of Access Standards, Huawei ...

As Director of Access Standards for Huawei, Les has more than 31 years of experience in wireline data communications technologies. His extensive experience features work with voice-band modems, DSL modems, and wireline based home networking, including DSP algorithm design, performance evaluation/optimization, mentoring/managing more junior DSP modem designers, and particularly the standardization of data communication technologies. Les was first involved in voice-band modem standardization, participating in the work on ITU-T Recommendations V.32, V.32bis and V.34, in the 1980s.

During the 1990s, Les was the Rapporteur for the 56k modem project, which resulted in Recommendation V.90. Since 1997, he has been involved in ITU-T Q4/15, where he has chaired the work on projects like VDSL2 (Recommendation G.993.2) and G.inp (impulse noise protection - Recommendation G.998.4), and currently chairs G.hn (home networking - Recommendations G.9960, G.9961, G.9963 and G.9964) and G.fast (next generation access over short loops). Les also chaired the ITU-T Focus Group on Smart Grid. He has also participated in ATIS COAST NAI, ETSI ATTM TM6, and NIST SGIP. For two years, Les was the editor of the Japanese DSL committee. Since 2002, Les has been the Chair of the former Test and Interop working group (now Metallic Transmission working group), where he has guided work on projects such as TR-67, TR-100/105 (ADSL2/2plus testing), TR-114/115 (VDSL2 testing), TR-127 (Dynamic testing of splitters and in-line filters with xDSL transceivers), and more recently TR-286 (MELT testing), TR-273 (testing of bonded multi-pair xDSL systems), WT-249 (vectoring testing for VDSL2), MD-257 issue 2 (an overview of G.993.5 vectoring), and WT-208 (G.hn home networking interoperability and performance testing), along with updates to the previous TRs.

Prior to Huawei, Les worked in standardization for companies including Lantiq, Infineon Technologies, Texas Instruments, Centillium, and Conexant Systems (Mindspeed), and he spent 20 years in a number of technical and standards positions at Motorola ISG.

Les has also served on the board of directors since 2007, representing Texas Instruments, Infineon Technologies, Lantiq and most recently Huawei Technologies.

Term through 2019

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 2020.

Aleksandra Kozarev

Broadband Forum Board Member; 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 2019

Manuel Paul

Broadband Forum Board Member; Deutsche Telekom ....

Manuel Paul is a senior expert in international standardization for Deutsche Telekom. He serves as a member of the Broadband Forum Board since 2013. Within Deutsche Telekom (DT) Mr. Paul works in standardization, as well as in strategy and R&D projects for DT's All-IP network transformation, coordinating activities related to Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and packet network standards. He is also active in other standards bodies such as the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

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 2019

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 2020

Technical

Committee

Michael Fargano

Technical Committee Chair, Broadband Forum, Industry Standards Program Manager, CenturyLink ...
Michael Fargano is the Industry Standards Program Manager at CenturyLink. Fargano's career spans more than 30 years and is grounded in many successful telecommunications R&D projects, architecture/engineering projects and standards projects at several telecommunications companies/business-units: Bell Labs, Bellcore, U S WEST Advanced Technologies, Qwest Emerging Technologies and CenturyLink CTO Office.

Fargano's current standards management responsibilities are broad and include sustainability/energy-efficiency, electrical/physical infrastructure, quality/reliability, security, all layers of communications (broadband, Ethernet, IP, etc.), services/applications (voice, video, multi-media, IoT, etc.), regulatory driven standards (NG911/emergency-services, Lawful Intercept, etc.), operations and OSS, Cloud Computing, Network Function Virtualization and SDN.

In addition, Fargano has been an adjunct instructor at several institutions and universities including Bell Labs, Stevens Tech, University of Denver and University of Colorado covering a variety of technical topics including telecommunications network management and standards. Fargano was/is the chairman of several standards committees/working-groups and is a mentor/advisor to many standards developers and leaders. He was honored with several industry awards including the ANSI Meritorious Service Award and ATIS Leadership in Standards Development Award. He also holds several patents. Fargano graduated from a simultaneous Bachelor/Master four-year program in General Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology. He also holds an advanced business/technology management graduate certification (“mini MBA”) from the University of Denver - Daniels College of Business with a specialty in Strategic Program Management.

Term through 2019

Marketing

& Software

Mark Fishburn

Strategic Marketing Director, Broadband Forum ...

Mark’s role with the Broadband Forum is to create and support new strategies for the development of the broadband market and to communicate and educate the market regarding new and existing technical contributions developed by members of the Forum. His other industry roles have included Chairman of the Board, Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) where he was instrumental in the creation of the MEF’s Carrier Ethernet strategies over a period of 13 years. He was also Chairman of the Board of the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Alliance, and board member of various industry groups.

Mark is also founding president of strategic marketing company, MarketWord since 2006. Other business positions included VP Technical Strategy and VP Marketing for network test company Spirent Communications, and UK Managing Director for Retix both of which he helped grow from startup to successful public companies.

He has been closely associated with Ethernet and Networking for most of his career, installing the first commercial European Ethernet system in 1982 while at Xerox. He has won more than 25 industry awards and studied BSc. Special Mathematics at the University of London.

William Lupton

Software Archiect, 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).