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INCA Conference & Awards Dinner 2019

Online registration for the conference is now closed. For details of late availability please contact Gill Williams directly on 07801 069013.

The Road Ahead: INCA's 2019 Conference and Awards Dinner: photo speeding along winding country road

INCA Conference 2019

INCA’s 10th anniversary Conference #TheRoadAhead is being held at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel in central Manchester on 16th and 17th October. Featuring leaders from the digital infrastructure sector, policy makers, investors, a tech showcase, plus of course a highly informed and engaged audience, this is a 'must attend' event for all of us with an interest in digital infrastructure in the UK.

Since INCA's inception a decade ago we have consistently delivered high value high quality conferences and events designed to serve the needs of the sector, and this – our tenth anniversary conference – will be no exception. Our objective remains to get the right people in the room to discuss the key issues of the day.

Whilst we use the conference to celebrate our collective achievements over the year – and our Awards Dinner will do just that – the real thrust of the event is always about looking ahead, assimilating the impacts of policy and regulation, movements in investment, changes in technology, to shape strategies for the future.

The timing of this year’s INCA Conference comes at an opportune moment. We are one year on from the publication of the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review and we have a new government that may well demand an increase in pace from industry.

Conference Programme

INCA Conference Programme PDFThe programme for the two day event is packed with topics, speakers and key issues of the moment.

The first day features three substantial workshops, running in parallel: a Tech Showcase highlighting key innovations, an Investor Workshop focussing on what's happening from a finance and funding perspective, and a Rural Gigabit Futures session which will bring together all of the learning from our series of roadshow events around the country earlier in the year.

The first day of the conference rounds off with our special Awards Dinner where we will celebrate the winners of the INCA Golds (below). Download the programme (PDF) or view below.


Day One (October 16)

11:00 - 16:30 : Tech Showcase
in partnership with Mills Ltd.

The always popular Tech Showcase on the first day of INCA Conference will feature leading operators and suppliers to the sector discussing the latest approaches to design, build and operation of new full fibre and wireless networks. Coordinated by INCA Chair Rob Leenderts and Pete Rothy of Mills Ltd. This session is ideal for people involved in the practicalities of new network development, those designing and commissioning networks, purchasing and contract management.

11:00 : Registration & Refreshments

11.30 : Welcome/Introduction – Rob Leenderts, INCA & Pete Rothy, Mills

Public Sector Perspectives

11:35 : The Importance of Data – Tom Jackson, DCMS

11:50 : Re-use of Assets – Ruth Spencer, Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole Council

12:00 : Local Body Perspective – Navin Sankersingh, Kikiri Connect

Planning & Design

12:10 : Strategic Planning of FTTH – Richard Stevenson, ESRI

12:20 : Opportunity Analysis – Chris Bird, Flomatik

Wireless Innovations

12:30 : 5G & mmWave Solutions – Andrew Miles, BluWireless

12:40 : Wireless Innovations – John Deering, Radwin

12:50 : Spectrum Developments – Simon Fletcher, Real Wireless

13:00 : Lunch

Fibre Innovations

13:45 : Ribbon Fibres & Cables – Russell Woolsey, Sumitomo

13:55 : Fibre Innovations – Mike Knott, Corning

14:05 : Faster Fibre Deployment – Matt Hunter, Hellermann Tyton

Network Design & Build

14:15 : Scalability & Flexibility – Core & Metro Matt Burley, ECI Telecom

14:25 : Operator Perspective – Investment – Steve Leighton, Voneus

14:35 : Build Challenges – Jarlath Finnegan, Obelisk

14:45 : Panel Discussion: Fibre v Wireless for Gigabit Broadband

14:55 : Break for Refreshments

Network Operations & Management

15:15 : Tooling Innovations – Pete Rothy, Mills

15:25 : Digital Transformation in Field Ops – Walter Dickson, GeoPal

15:40 : OSS/BSS – Wholesale & Automation – Henrik Thuren, NetAdmin

15:50 : Network Lifecycle Management – Anders Flodin, DigPro

16:00 : Standards, Mapping & Switching – Mike Locke & Rob Leenderts, INCA

16:15 : Panel Discussion – Moving to Wholesale

16:30 : Closing Remarks



14:00 - 16:30 : Rural Gigabit Futures : chaired by James Saunby (INCA and GreySky)

As Boris Johnson promises gigabit capable connectivity for all by 2025, what about rural areas? Is full fibre everywhere really possible? What about fixed wireless, 5G and whitespace? This is a deep dive into the issues about how we extend gigabit coverage to hard to reach areas.

Government officials are working on plans to extend gigabit coverage as part of the ‘Outside-In’ approach favoured by DCMS. Through the Spring and early Summer of 2019 INCA ran a series of Rural Gigabit Future workshops around the country, in partership with local authorities, DCMS and operators, to get under the hood of local conditions and differing needs for improved connectivity.

This workshop will hear about the Government’s latest thinking with Carolyn Johnson of DCMS, and bring together views from local authorities, operators and communities with everything that we learned from our programme of regional workshops. The event will also feature the launch of a new INCA report, written by James Saunby, looking at the issues and options for rural gigabit connectivity.

14:00 : Welcome & Introduction – James Saunby, INCA

14:05 : Latest Policy and Research

  • Carolyn Johnson, DCMS
  • Laura Wilkinson, Plum Consulting
  • James Saunby

14:55 : Refreshments and Networking Break

15:15 : Supplier Perspectives

  • Steve Jagger, Quickline
  • Evan Wienburg, Truespeed
  • Barry Forde, B4RN
  • John Irvine, WightFibre
  • Nigel King, Cambium

16:00 : Community Perspectives

  • Shaun Marley, Stirling Council
  • Liz Harrison, Kent County Council
  • Sarah March, Connecting Cambridgeshire

16:30 : Wrap up


14:00 - 16:30 : Investor Workshop : Charles Cameron, Malcolm Corbett

Over the past three years investment has started to flood into the digital infrastructure sector. INCA’s 2018 report with Point Topic calculated that £3.36bn of investment into the altnets was announced last year. This workshop is an opportunity to discuss what investors are looking for in business plans and management teams, the evolving mix of technologies that are attracting funding and future plans for expanding the commercial viability of new networks. In addition to representatives from investment organisations we will hear from BDUK about their thinking on future subsidy and from Ofcom on how they aim to continue supporting competitive investment through the regulatory environment.

This workshop will appeal to those wanting to gain a deeper insight into the evolving policy and regulatory position supporting competitive investment, with views from people at the sharp end of investing in new networks.

14:00 : Welcome & Introduction – Charles Cameron, Cameron Barney LLP & Malcolm Corbett, INCA

14:10 : Government Support – Matt Agar, BDUK

14:30 : Regulating for Competitive Investment – Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom

15:00 : Break for Refreshments

15:20 : Investment in the Sector – Key Perpectives

  • Sean McLachlan, Aviva
  • Thierry Levenq, CEB Fund
  • Oliver Bradley, Macquarie Capital
  • Reef Read, PMP Conseil
  • Louise Wilson, Abundance

16:00 : 2nd Wave Independents

  • David Cullen, ITS Technology Group
  • Steve Leighton, Voneus
  • Michael Maltby, Jurassic

16:30 : Key Lessons & Final Wrap up



Day Two (October 17)

James Heath, DCMSDay two provides a full programme of plenaries, panel discussions and workshop sessions. James Heath, Director of Digital Infrastructure at DCMS is confirmed as a keynote speaker, and he'll be outlining the state of play with respect to the FTIR.

Also confirmed are James' colleagues from DCMS Justin Leese (Programme Director, Building Digital UK) and Carolyn Johnson (Programme Lead, Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme).

From industry we have Catherine Colloms, Openreach's Director of Corporate Affairs and Brand, Alastair Davidson, Director of Wireless Infrastructure Group, and Wenbing Yao, Director of Strategy and Marketing with Huawei. Many more speakers will be confirmed in the coming days.

09:00 : Welcome Plenary & Introduction, INCA's First 10 Years – Malcolm Corbett, INCA & Lorne Mitchell

09:10 : UK On The Map - Digital Infrastructure Growth, Fibre & Wireless

A summary of the UK’s position in digital infrastructure and the vital role that the independent sector is playing with contributions from:

  • Kees de Ward, President FTTH Council Europe
  • Oliver Johnson, Point Topic.

09:30 : Digital Communications Transformation & Future Demand

The global perspective on Digital Communications Transformation and Future Demand.

  • Wenbing Yao, Huawei
  • Phil Coppin, Sterlite Tech
  • Mike Knott, Corning

10:00 : Workshop Session 1 - a choice of three parallel workshop sessions.

  1. Public Sector Support for Digital Infrastructure

    • chaired by Liz Harrison (Kent County Council)
    • Carolyn Johnson (DCMS)
    • Matt Smith, Fastershire
    • Viv Collins (Welsh Government)
    • Andy Lister (Scottish Government)
    • Billy McClean (Northern Ireland)
  2. Progress on Barrier Busting

    • chaired by Barry Forde (B4RN)
    • Richard Maddock, DCMS
    • Sharon McDermott, Trenches Law
    • Tim Strannack, Community Fibre
    • Ben Allwright (Flomatik)
    • David Cullen, ITS Technology Group
  3. Labour & Skills

    • chaired by Carolyn Kimber (DPA)
    • Matt Evans (BSG)
    • Graham Smith (Highways Electrical Association)
    • Phil Stewart, John Henry Group
    • Anthony Basham, SCTE
    • Openreach, speaker tbc

11:00 : Refreshment break

11:20 : Independent Operators - The Second Wave

Leaders from the second wave of independent operators discuss their ambitions and approaches to delivering new services. This is a great opportunity to hear from some of the new entrants operating in a variety of markets with an array of business models and technologies.

  • John Irvine, WightFibre
  • James Warner, Glide
  • Mark Stansfeld, Airband
  • Matthew Hare, Zzoomm
  • Oliver Helm, Full Fibre

12:00 : Digital Infrastructure Policy Support - FTIR+1 : James Heath (DCMS)

One year on from the Government’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, and with widespread discussion of the Prime Minister’s ambition to significantly advance the full fibre timetable, James Heath, Director, Digital Infrastructure will provide an update on the current policy agenda. This will be immediately followed by reaction and debate with leaders of the sector, both independent operators and Openreach.

12:20 : Reaching the Targets - Can we get there? What do we need?

  • panel chaired by Malcolm Corbett, INCA
  • Gareth Williams, Gigaclear
  • Greg Mesch, CityFibre
  • Catherine Colloms, Openreach
  • Andrew Wileman, Virgin Media
  • Graeme Oxby, Community Fibre

13:00 : Digital Infrastructure in the UK Economy - Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science and Innovation

13:20 : Lunch

14:20 : Regulating for Competitive Investment - Markham Sivak, Ofcom

The second afternoon session puts Ofcom centre stage. Regulatory policy affects the structure of the market, investment decisions and deployment plans.

14:40 : Panel: Is Ofcom Doing Enough To Support Competition?

  • chaired by Andrew Glover, Bridge Fibre
  • Alex Blowers, CityFibre
  • Beth Wainright, TalkTalk
  • James Frederickson, Gigaclear
  • Nigel King, UKWISPA

15:20 : Break

15:40 : Workshop Session 2 - a choice of three parallel workshop sessions.

  1. Converging or Colliding? Service Delivery in a Fibre-Wireless World

    • chaired by Jon Kingsbury, UK5G
    • Steve Jagger, Quickline
    • Jonathan Bremmer, Zayo
    • Paul Morris, Vodafone
    • Alastair Davidson, WIG
    • James Body, Ch4lk Mobile
  2. Mapping the Digital Infrastructure Future

    • ​chaired by Rob Leenderts, INCA
    • Heath Pritchard, Geospatial Commission
    • Richard Stevenson, ESRI
    • Matt Agar, BDUK
  3. Trials and Tribulations - Lessons Learned for Future Funding

    • chaired by Daniel Heery, Cybermoor
    • Justin Leese, DCMS
    • Ian Corden, Plum Consulting
    • Barry Ford, B4RN
    • Shaun Fensom, Cooperative Network Infrastructure

16:30 : Open Digital Infrastructure – Wholesale & Switching

  • Lorne Mitchell (chair)
  • Guy Miller, TalkTalk
  • Niall Halpenny, Sonalake
  • Andrew Glover, Bridge Fibre / ISPA / INCA
  • Anders Flodin, DigPro

16:55 : Final wrap up



INCA Awards Dinner

Alongside the Conference, we take the opportunity through our INCA Golds awards programme, to celebrate the brightest and best in innovation and achievement in the sector. For more information about the Awards programme go here. The ceremony takes place at a special gala dinner on the evening of October 16 at the Mercure Piccadilly Hotel. Not to be missed.


Conference pricing

  • Non-member delegates: £350 + VAT (£420 inc. VAT)
  • INCA Member delegates: £280 + VAT (£336 inc. VAT)
  • Awards Dinner, per person £150 + VAT (£180 inc VAT)

Not an INCA member yet? Apply now and get the member rate on delegate passes. Tier One and Two INCA member organisations can claim free conference passes. To book seats for the Awards dinner only, please go here.


Sponsors and Exhibitors

INCA Conference has always delivered great value to the organisations that sponsor and exhibit at the event. If you have a project, a product, or a service to showcase, INCA Conference is definitely the place to be. Contact Gill Williams for details of the available sponsorship options. Don't leave it too late as we have a limited number of sponsorships available.


Image by Jiří Rotrekl from Pixabay

October 16th, 2019 10:30 AM  to  October 17th, 2019 5:30 PM

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Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel
Portland Street
M1 4PH
United Kingdom
Conference fees
INCA Member delegate £ 336.00 + £ 67.20 VAT
Non-member delegate £ 420.00 + £ 84.00 VAT
per person £ 180.00 + £ 36.00 VAT

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