During its General Assembly, the FTTH Council Europe formally adopted its working programme and announced the results of the annual election of its President, Board members and Working Committee Chairs.
As the European elections just took place, with a new Parliament soon entering into office and a new College of European Commissioners to be appointed in the months to come, the FTTH Council Europe is keen to continue engaging with EU and national policy makers as a constructive contributor to the discussion and is therefore outlining its upcoming projects.
The FTTH Council Europe will release a follow-up report to the copper switch-off study published in March this year. Even though the benefits of copper switch-off represent a win-win both for the end-users and the industry, and the transition to fibre will have a positive impact on the environment by reducing energy consumption, only a handful of Member States made tangible progress in the migration process. The approach remains very patchy in Europe with most of the Member States lacking a strategy with regards to copper switch-off. The Council are in a period of technology change and the way this process will be managed will be crucial in ensuring that no citizen is left behind. The Council are planning to issue policy recommendations on this issue and to propose solutions to tackle the regulatory hurdles, which prevent Europe from becoming a full fibre continent.
The FTTH Council Europe will also pursue its work on fibre/5G Convergence. Fibre deployment will be the main underlying infrastructure of 5G and it will be instrumental to the European 5G leadership. The FTTH Council Europe is therefore convinced that fibre availability should be part of the measurement of 5G readiness and is willing to put its expertise and knowledge at the service of the European Institutions by contributing actively to their work.
Misleading fibre advertisement will also be on the agenda of the FTTH Council Europe. The Council believes that misleading fibre advertisement prevents consumers from making an informed choice about the products, which are available to them and risks hindering the fourth objective of the recently adopted European Electronic Communications Code, which is fibre take-up. The Council’s request is to complement the new Code with guidelines on fibre advertisement.
Finally, new Board members of the FTTH Council Europe and Committee Chairs were elected. They are all united in working towards the mission of the association to accelerate ubiquitous, full fibre- based connectivity empowering a leading Digital Society throughout Europe.
The Board of Directors consists of the following nine members in 2019:
Kees de Waard, Skylane Optics, The Netherlands – President
Vincent Garnier, Commscope, France – Treasurer
Eric Joyce, ADTRAN, Ireland
Mike Knott, Corning Optical Communications, United Kingdom
Magnus Angermund, Hexatronic Group, Sweden
Conny Franzén, Inteno Group AB, Sweden
Eric Festraets, Nokia, Belgium
Luigi Gambardella, Open Fiber, Italy
Antoni Bosch, Prysmian, Spain
The working programmes of the Committees were also agreed. They are the place to exchange knowledge amongst fellow members and to shape positions.
The Working Committee Chairs appointed at the General Assembly were:
Eric Joyce, ADTRAN, Chair of the Market Intelligence Committee
Tom Bambury, Fujikura, Chair of the Deployment & Operations Committee
Florian Damas, Nokia, Chair of the Fibre Business Models Committee
Karin Ahl, Rala, Chair of the Policy & Regulation Experts Group