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Conference Speakers

Matt Agar

Matt Agar has been BDUK’s commercial lead since its creation in 2010 and is responsible for commercial strategy, design and assurance for each of Government’s delivery programmes for broadband connectivity and was responsible for developing and mobilising the Local Full Fibre Networks programme. Matt has been a telecoms / IT / infrastructure commercial professional for 19 years and leads BDUK's team of commercial, legal, financial, technical, State aid & regulatory and data modelling specialists to enable BDUK to achieve its fibre infrastructure and rural broadband objectives and support all network operators to invest and deploy services in urban and rural areas across the UK.

Anthony Basham

Anthony is a Sales Engineer/ Sales Director for Technetix covering the Nordic areas, and Chair of the SCTE Training Sub Committee. With 25 years of experience in HFC, in different areas of engineering, from R&D, sales engineering, field support, service technician, network technician, Operations and Development Manager, Head of Product and Application Engineering. From the customer all the way to the headend.
For the SCTE Anthony has been on the Executive Committee for the last two terms, working with standards, and training.

Chris Bird

Chris joined Flomatik in November 2016 as Business Unit Lead for Managed Services, bringing significant telecoms operations, transition and change management skills, having over 30 years’ combined experience with BT and the cable industry plus roles with operators BSkyB, Vodafone and Telefonica/O2.
A highly motivated Senior Operations Professional with a proven track record of delivering at both national and regional levels within a fast-changing technological environment. Commercially and customer focused, Chris uses his leadership and business management experience to deliver operational excellence with a knack for formulating strategic direction and process re-engineering.

Alex Blowers

Alex Blowers has been Head of Regulatory Affairs at CityFibre since 2016. Alex has had a varied career including spells working within Government, for the regulator and for telecoms companies, focusing on policy and regulation. He was Director of Ofcom’s first Telecoms Strategic Review in 2004-5 and Ofcom International Director from 2006-2011.

Oliver Bradley

Oliver Bradley is Managing Director at Macquarie Capital, the advisory, capital markets and principal investment arm of Macquarie Group. He head’s the Digital Infrastructure team, which invests directly in and supports the growth of companies that are facilitating the increasing data consumption of businesses and consumers, including fibre networks and data centres. 
Prior to re-joining Macquarie earlier this year, Oliver was Corporate Finance Director at CityFibre, where he played a leading role in their transformative FTTH contract with Vodafone, infrastructure debt raise and sale to infrastructure funds. Before CityFibre, Oliver was a commercial specialist at the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, part of the UK government. There he advised ministers on digital infrastructure policy and was responsible for the Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, which saw the UK government commit £400m, matched by private sector investors on the same terms, to a commercial investment fund focused on investing in full fibre infrastructure.

Charles Cameron

Charles is a partner at Cameron Barney LLP, a UK-headquartered merchant bank that provides advice and finance for many technology-enabled businesses . In particular, Cameron Barney has provided advice to a number of the UK AltNets over the past several years and is a partner with Infracapital in the DIIP, one of the UK government-supported digital infrastructure funds.

Before founding Cameron Barney, Charles was the CEO of InTechnology plc and a director within Goldman Sachs, Jefferies and Kleinwort Benson working in London, Tokyo and New York

Viv Collins

Viv is a Project Director responsible for delivering telecoms infrastructure projects across Wales. An Electrical/Electronics Engineer with experience in infrastructure delivery, Viv was employed with Atkins from 1993, working with the Welsh Office delivering roadside infrastructure projects and Intelligent Transport Systems. In 2004 she joined the Welsh Government, and in 2013 moved to the Digital Infrastructure team.

Catherine Colloms

Catherine joined Openreach in 2016. She is responsible for Openreach’s corporate communications and reputation strategy, including media and digital, public affairs, brand and corporate responsibility.

She has a BA in modern history from Merton College, Oxford and an MA from the Courtauld Institute.

Phillip Coppin

Phill Coppin is the Head of Global Business Development and Application Engineering at Sterlite Technologies with nearly three decades of international experience in optical fibre and optical fibre cable design, development, manufacture, sales, marketing, and application engineering. He has worked in world class research and manufacturing environments including British Telecom Research Labs, Corning, and Sterlite Tech.

Malcolm Corbett

Malcolm Corbett is the founder and CEO of the Independent Networks Co-operative Association (www.inca.coop). INCA brings together the UK’s Altnets building the next generation fibre and wireless digital infrastructure in the UK, alongside supporters in the public and private sectors.

Prior to setting up INCA, Malcolm ran the Community Broadband Network, founded in 2004 to support local broadband initiatives through mentoring, advice and consultancy.

Malcolm has a background in the Internet industry. He was a director of one of the first UK ISPs, Poptel, and he co-invented the .coop global Internet domain. He has also been active in social enterprise and co-operative movements in the UK and internationally.

Malcolm has a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Surrey.

David Cullen

David is the statutory executive director and board member at ITS Technology Group responsible for strategic direction and oversight of regulatory compliance. ITS is a leading ‘wave 2’ altnet in the UK, with a focus on applying comprehensive re-use and agile commercial models, to accelerate fibre roll-out across the UK.
David is also a board director of INCA (having been chair from 2012 to 2018). He currently sits on the Greater Manchester Digital Infrastructure Advisory Group and also the Welsh Assembly’s Superfast Broadband Business Exploitation Advisory Panel.
He is a highly experienced strategic thinker and business developer in many sectors, and has contributed to a number of key reports, including as co-author of “Costs for Digital Communications Infrastructures- a Cost Analysis of the UK’s Digital Communications Infrastructure options 2017-2050” commissioned by the National Infrastructure Commission to inform the National Infrastructure Assessment and published on Dec 2017, and contributor to “The Future Telecommunications Infrastructure Review”, published by DCMS July 2018, both documents being key references for 2019 election manifesto statements on broadband and fibre infrastructures.

Kees De Waard

Kees de Waard, President of the FTTH Council Europe & CCO at Skylane Optics.

Kees de Waard joined the board of the FTTH Council Europe in May 2018 and was elected by the board as the President in May 2019.

Kees has more than 25 years of experience in the fibre optics industry.

He joined Skylane Optics in January 2018 serving as CCO, driving international sales and marketing expansion.

Prior to joining Skylane Optics, Kees has served in different roles as VP Sales & Business Development, Director of Business Development and Director of Sales in European as well as Global companies.

Kees holds a degree in Applied Physics.

Walter Dickson

As Head of Sales, Walter's primary objective is to build on GeoPal's established reputation as the Mobile Field Operations solution of choice for the Telecoms & Utilities Sectors.

Matthew Evans

Matthew is CEO of the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), the government-industry forum tackling strategic issues across the converging broadband value chain. Matthew joined the BSG in April 2014 and has led work on future bandwidth demand modelling, the Open Internet, reducing barriers to network deployment and digital inclusion.
He has recently been leading the sector's response to Brexit and a future migration system.

Shaun Fensom

Working with consultants CBN, Shaun Fensom advises on digital infrastructure deployment as a tool for economic and social development, covering technical feasibility, business case, business planning and governance issues. Shaun has been closely involved in the conception and development of the Thin Layer and Digital Exchange models working with Tameside, Brighton and other local authorities.
Shaun is a founding director of the Manchester Digital trade association, which he helped found in 2001.

Anders Flodin

Anders Flodin
Anders has spent the last 25+ years in the business of software products for the telecom industry, working in Sales, Marketing, Product Management and Business Development. He is now with Digpro heading the telecom products dpCom and dpWholesale.

Barry Forde

Retired from Lancaster University in 2009 and founded Broadband for the Rural North Ltd (B4RN), a not for profit community benefit society which is deploying a full fibre FTTH network across rural England. This is now delivering 1GbE symmetric broadband to over 6,000 properties in the deeply rural last few percent of the country. Awarded an MBE for services to rural broadband in 2015. Currently Chief Executive of B4RN. Holds a Professorial Fellowship in the Department of Computing, Lancaster University and is a Fellow of the RSA

James Fredrickson

James is Gigaclear's Head of Policy and Regulation. James joined Gigaclear in early 2017, having previously worked in Vodafone's Regulatory Affairs team. Through his role, James has been a leading industry voice on the development of the Broadband Universal Service Obligation and DCMS's Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review.

Andrew Glover

Andrew runs two ISPs – Bridge Fibre, focused on business parks, and Air Broadband, a rural FWA provider. He is also working with a new wholesale full fibre provider.

Andrew is currently the chair of ISPA and on the board of INCA.

Niall Halpenny

Niall is a 25-year telecoms veteran with international experience having worked in extensively in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is currently Director Telecoms for the software solutions provider Sonalake who specialise in Analytics and Automation in the area of B-OSS. Earlier roles included CTO of Threefold, Project Director of the GSM Association as well as positions with BT, Orange, MobilCom Multimedia and Ericsson. Niall holds a B.Eng from Dublin City University and an MBA from the Smurfit Business School.

Matthew Hare

Matthew founded Zzoomm in December 2018 to bring full fibre to towns across the UK. This followed the sale of Gigaclear which Matthew had founded in 2010 to Infracapital in May 2018.

Liz Harrison

Elizabeth Harrison is the Strategic Programme Manager for Kent County Council’s broadband programme and has over 15 years of experience in working across the regeneration, digital and infrastructure agendas. Elizabeth is responsible for leading the Council’s broadband upgrade work, which has already delivered better broadband connectivity to over 140,000 homes and businesses through a variety of different approaches – including projects that have worked collaboratively with communities on locally driven solutions. Most recently, Liz has been working with Building Digital UK on the development of a local Kent Top-Up Voucher for the Rural Gigabit Connectivity Voucher Scheme.

James Heath

James Heath is Director, Digital Infrastructure at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). He is responsible for the development of the UK Government’s strategy for fixed and mobile digital infrastructure, advising the Secretary of State and Minister of State for Digital, and overseeing the Government’s 5G Trials Programme.
Prior to joining DCMS, James was Director of Policy & Charter Review at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), overseeing public policy, government relations and regulatory affairs at UK and EU levels. James held a range of roles during his career at the BBC, including Head of Policy & Regulation and Head of Strategy for News & Sport.
Before joining the BBC, James worked as a policy adviser at ITV plc, the British Chambers of Commerce and the Labour Party.

Daniel Heery

Daniel has 19 years’ experience of delivering innovative digital infrastructure and services, mainly in rural areas. He has practical knowledge of building and managing fibre and wireless networks in some of the most challenging parts of the UK. This is complemented by his knowledge of telecoms policy and its practical implications. He has carried out consultancy work for clients ranging from European
Commission, UK Government and Local Authorities to Community Development Trusts. They have benefitted from his detailed knowledge of policy and delivery of bespoke broadband solutions. His expertise goes beyond infrastructure and he has managed a successful testbed for innovative health applications, recently supporting 100 elderly residents to become more active and healthy. He has just completed a successful 5G testbed project for DCMS, trialling rural 5G connectivity for rural areas.

John Irvine

John joined WightFibre as CEO in 2012. WightFibre, operating exclusively on the Isle of Wight, was a turnaround under John’s leadership. WightFibre recently attracted a £35M investment from Infracapital Partners to deploy full fibre broadband to 65,000 homes and businesses across the island. John has previously held leadership roles in a mix of telecom companies including Truphone, Verizon, Level 3, BT and IBM.

Tom Jackson

Tom is an experienced analyst who has led mixed-disciplinary teams across a variety of departments, to put data and analysis at the heart of the government’s decision making.

Steve Jagger

Steve is Managing Director of Quickline, a primarily wireless internet service provider. The network provides connectivity to businesses and homes covering much of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and surrounding Counties. The networks have been built both commercially and with BDUK grant funding.

Carolyn Johnson

Carolyn joined BDUK in 2016. Her current role involves leading a team of Project Directors in the North including Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Carolyn is the Lead for the Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme launched in May 2019.

Oliver Johnson

Chief Executive of UK based analyst house Point Topic Oliver has been involved in online environments for more than 30 years. He joined Point Topic as the COO in 2004 and moved to CEO in 2007.
Starting with internet projects in the mid-80s running bulletin boards, through building some of the first commercial websites in the UK in the early 90s and then to monitoring and analysing B2C and B2B market demand and supply he has built up a significant breadth of experience. Over the last 15 years he has researched, analysed and reported on global broadband markets and players down to zip code consumer modelling. Familiar with the range of influences that drive broadband, from political to legal to technical to socio-demographic effects he originates the bulk of Point Topic’s modelling and data analysis.

Carolyn Kimber

Carolyn is the Secretary General of the Digital Policy Alliance, a cross party organisation that provides consensus driven information to UK and EU parliamentarians on significant ICT issues. She is also a member of the Nominet Stakeholder Committee and was previously Chair of the 2012 UKTI ICT Olympics Legacy Committee, was twice past Chairman of the Communications Management Association and is a past Director of Women in Telecoms and Technology.

Nigel King

Nigel's career in wireless spans more than 45 years and has lead development teams for Racal, STC and Nortel. Currently Nigel is CTO of Cambium Networks and also the regulatory director of UKWISPA. In the last 25 years Nigel has focused on Fixed Wireless Access.

Jon Kingsbury

Jon Kingsbury is Head of Digital Economy and Creative Industries at the Knowledge Transfer Network and co-founder of the UK5G Innovation Network.

Jon’s industry experience includes 15 years of executive business, production and commissioning roles at Channel 4.com and BBC Online.

Jon was also Director of Creative Economy programmes at Nesta, where he set up and ran the Creative Business Mentor Network, the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts and funded many digital initiatives, such as HyperIsland UK.

A passionate advocate of media education, Jon is Deputy Chair of the Board of Governors at Ravensbourne University, London

Mike Knott

Mike Knott is a Market Development Manager with a specialisation in Fibre To The Home, and he is considered to be an expert in this field within Corning. During 10 years in this role he has gained extensive experience in FTTH network deployment, and visited network operators in over 40 countries throughout the world.
He is recognised as an authority in the industry in the field of optical connectivity, and was recently appointed to the Board of the FTTH Council Europe.
He is a chartered engineer and member of the Institution Of Mechanical Engineers. He has held various technical and product line management positions within Corning and spent 3 years as Planning Manager with a network operator, now Virgin Media, during the CATV network build in UK.

Rob Leenderts

With more than 25 years’ experience in IT and Telecoms across a wide variety of roles, including Technical Design, Marketing, Commercial, Product and Business Development, Rob is a considered a subject matter expert in Wholesale Broadband, Open Access, Backhaul Solutions and end to end service provision, having worked for major Wholesale Carriers, such as Orange Business Services, Cable&Wireless and Vodafone Carrier Services, in the UK for many years.
Rob also has significant experience in Public Sector, specifically around the effective re-use of assets for Local Authorities and Network Rail Telecom and has a wealth of experience in OSS/BSS solutions.

Justin Leese

Justin has been in the Telecoms industry for over 30 years in companies such as Thus, Virgin Media, Ericsson and Openreach. Whilst at Virgin Media (NTL) his team launched the first UK's first broadband internet service and whilst at Ericsson he was the Programme Director for the UK launch of 4G in 16 cities for EE as well as the launch of Voice over IP services across Germany for Deutsche Telekom. In September 2017 he joined the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as Programme Director for the UK Fibre Programme and 700MHz Spectrum Clearance

Steven Leighton

With more than 20 years of experience in the telecoms industry, Steve Leighton is CEO at Voneus, the champion of rural community and leading provider of wireless superfast broadband infrastructure for poorly connected or difficult to reach communities.
Prior to working at Voneus, Steve co-founded Keycom Plc in 2000, a company specialising in the delivery of voice and internet services to the UK’s tertiary education sector. Here he held the role of Sales and Marketing Director for four years before becoming involved in other online start-ups, including Greenroom Digital and Findsyou Limited.
Before transitioning to the telecommunications industry, Steve had a successful Government career, culminating in the role of Head of Communications Sponsorship at the Department of Trade and Industry.
As CEO of Voneus since 2011, Steve aims to ensure all communities within the UK receive ultrafast broadband and for Voneus to become the market leader for rural broadband provision.

Andy Lister

Andy has over 20 years’ experience in telecommunications with NTL, COLT and NYnet. Andy was one of the founder members of NYnet, set up by North Yorkshire County Council in 2007 to provide cost effective connectivity for public sector organisations and to address the issue of rural broadband. Andy was Programme Director for Superfast North Yorkshire, one of the first BDUK pilot projects and in 2018 joined the Scottish Government R100 Programme, with responsibility for Aligned Interventions.

Mike Locke

Mike has been in the connectivity world since email addresses were all numbers. As an ex-physicist with a marketing degree, he was Amstrad’s UK marketing man before Lord Sugar was a Sir. Being able to spell geo-synchronous led to stints with major satellite operators SES-ASTRA and Eutelsat before starting Satellite Internet in the UK. Having been involved with INCA for some years, he is now supporting their introduction of exciting initiatives such as the INCA Gold Standard scheme for validating high-quality networks and the INCA Marketplace procurement and project control platform.

Sarah Marsh

Sarah is the programme manager for the Connecting Cambridgeshire Programme, a multi-agency programme to deliver a comprehensive digital connectivity strategy and smart cities approach for Cambridgeshire, which incorporates digital connectivity infrastructure rollout - including full fibre and mobile coverage - for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Sarah has over 20 years’ experience in programme and project management and has been involved with the Connecting Cambridgeshire Superfast Broadband roll-out programme since its inception in 2012.
Sarah.marsh@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

https://www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk/

Sharon McDermott

Trenches Law’s founder Sharon McDermott is a senior telecommunications lawyer, having spent 18 years with Virgin Media, mainly as head of legal services. Here, she negotiated large deals in sales, wholesale, retail and the public sector, before moving on to manage vast procurement contracts – including architecture, civil engineering works and service installations – for the Chief Operating Officer.

Now the driving force behind Trenches’ mission to deliver straight-talking, business-changing legal support to telecoms clients large and small, Sharon is an active commentator on industry issues and a passionate advocate of women in tech.

Greg Mesch

Greg Mesch, Founder, CEO CityFibre
35 years of telecom, internet and building fibre optic infrastructure experience across 5 different countries.
Greg was involved in the founding of Esat Telecom in Ireland. Esat was sold to BT for over €1 billion. He went on to make the founding investment in Versatel Telecom NV. Versatel operated in Holland, Belgium and Germany building one of the largest fibre based infrastructures in those markets. Versatel was sold for over €2 billion to Tele2.
Greg then founded CityFibre in January 2011 and has raised over £540m in capital in that period, completed 5 acquisitions, and is now across 50+ cities in the UK with critical core duct infrastructure critical for FTTH to the home rollouts. CityFibre was recently taken private by a group led by Goldman Sachs and Antin Infrastructure Partners. CityFibre has now just announced a £2.5b investment program to build FTTH/P across 37+ cities across the UK covering c. 20% of the market.

Guy Miller

Guy Miller's industry experience spans all aspects of the communications sector, from customer to reseller to wholesaler and carrier. He was Managing Director of wholesale SIP and hosted carrier tIPicall which was acquired by TalkTalk Business in May 2015. As Director of Fibre for Everyone at TalkTalk, Miller is responsible for the launch of full fibre to customers across TalkTalk Business and TalkTalk Consumer.

Lorne Mitchell

Lorne Mitchell is Managing Director of Objective Designers and a seasoned operational strategy and marketing consultant to the Telecoms, Media and Technology industries.

He has deep practical experience of shaping and running change programmes in many clients across many cultures, and previously held senior operational and consulting roles in BT, MCI, AT&T, KPN, PwC and IBM.

As well as being a successful commentator and moderator at leading industry conferences, Lorne’s real passion shines through when he is leading a debate on the latest trends, disruptive services or innovative technologies that will force the industry to change over the next few years.

Paul Morris

Paul Morris
Head of Government Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility, Vodafone UK

Paul joined Vodafone in January 2011. He is responsible for Vodafone’s engagement with the UK Government, devolved administrations and elected representatives on the key policy and legislative challenges facing the company. He is also responsible for its CSR strategy and engagement with the voluntary sector with a focus on programmes to help ensure families and young people have the right skills and resilience to lead a full and healthy digital lifestyle.

Before joining Vodafone, Paul worked for Microsoft in a similar role. He joined the software company in January 2003. Prior to joining Microsoft, he worked for the CBI, where he was Head of Parliamentary and Political Affairs and before that he worked in Parliament.

Chi Onwurah

Chi Onwurah is the Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central and Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy Science & Innovation.
From Sept 2015-October 2016 Chi was Shadow Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy. From Jan 2013 - Sept 2015 Chi was Shadow Cabinet Office Minister leading on cyber security, social entrepreneurship, civil contingency, open government and transparency. From Oct 2010 – Jan 2013 Chi was Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science & Digital Infrastructure working closely with the Science and business community, with industry on Broadband issues, and on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill. Chi continues to encourage women in STEM.
Prior to Chi’s election to Parliament in May 2010 she worked as Head of Telecoms Technology at Ofcom focussing on the implications for competition and regulation of the services and technologies associated with Next Generation Networks.
Prior to Ofcom, Chi was a Partner in Hammatan Ventures, a US technology consultancy, developing the GSM markets in Nigeria and South Africa. Previously she was Director of Market Development with Teligent, a Global Wireless Local Loop operator and Director of Product Strategy at GTS. She has also worked for Cable & Wireless and Nortel as Engineer, Project and Product Manager in the UK and France.
Chi is a Chartered Engineer with a BEng in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College London and an MBA from Manchester Business School. She was born in Wallsend and attended Kenton Comprehensive School in Newcastle, where she was elected the school’s ‘MP’ in mock elections aged 17.

Jonathan Oxley

Jonathan Oxley joined Ofcom as Group Director, Competition in November 2014 and was appointed to the Ofcom Board in January 2015.

In addition to his Ofcom role, in December 2018 Jonathan was appointed Chief Executive of the UK Regulators Network, comprising thirteen independent regulators in the UK.

Prior to joining Ofcom, Jonathan was a Partner in PwC’s Strategy and Economics practice, specialising in telecoms, media and technology.

After graduating, Jonathan joined BT as a graduate trainee manager, where he stayed for eight years before moving to Metropolitan Fibre Systems (Verizon).

Heath Pritchard

Heath Pritchard is Head of Major Projects at the Geospatial Commission, an independent expert committee within the Cabinet Office, tasked with unlocking the economic, social and environmental value of location data. He is responsible for the commission’s major projects portfolio, including the Commission’s National Underground Asset Register programme. Prior to joining the Commission, Heath worked for the Greater London Authority for 10 years where he led and delivered digital initiatives focused on housing delivery, regeneration and grant management. Heath is expert in (and a massive advocate of) incremental and iterative approaches to delivery.

Reef Read

Reef is a senior manager at PMP’s telecoms practice which advises investment funds, operators and local authorities on M&A and greenfield deals covering fibre, tower and data-center assets. The practice has worked on fibre deals covering more than 15 million premises throughout Europe. Prior to joining PMP, Reef was a consultant in London where he worked with UK telecoms operators including BT, Virgin and Sky.

Navin Sankersingh

Navin led various digital connectivity projects across the UK since 2012. Working on strategic policies; setting up project teams; managing procurements and contracts to ensure more access to superfast broadband.
He set up Kikiri Connect to continue his work on Britains digital agenda. Helping investment and delivery of digital connectivity projects. As well as working with government, suppliers, vendors, land developers and community on driving full fibre and 5G.
He is a parish councillor in Bedfordshire with a background in rural development and town planning in the Caribbean. Now supporting more connected and smart communities across the globe.

James Saunby

Consulting Director of GreySky Consulting, and INCA board member. James launched GreySky in 2005 following a research and corporate career in the UK IT sector. Since splicing his first fibre in 1987, James has gone on to develop and promote the availability of broadband, superfast broadband and ultrafast broadband throughout the UK.

Markham Sivak

After a diverse career in the public and private sectors operating in Australia, UK, Spain, the middle and far east, Markham has been engaged in telecoms regulatory policy in Ofcom for the past 12 years.

He has been involved in the development of regulation of the fixed networks, passive infrastructure access, numbering, call charges and is currently leading Ofcom's implementation work for the development of the new BT obligation on duct and pole access, and the creation of the new regulatory framework for fixed networks intended to be in force from April 2021

Graham Smith

During almost 40 years in the highway electrical industry Graham has held many roles within both local authority and contracting and joined the HEA as its Chief Executive in November of 2016. Born in Guisborough within the North Riding of Yorkshire Graham spent 30 years living and working in the North East. Graham's first step into the lighting industry was with Middlesbrough Borough Council from 1980-94. Moving to contracting with David Webster Ltd included a move to Hertfordshire early in 1994, and in 2004 Graham moved on to Cartledge Street Lighting, then part of May Gurney Ltd.

Mark Stansfeld

Mark Stansfeld joined Airband as Chair of the board in 2019. An accomplished telecoms executive, he has held board level positions at O2 and Giffgaff. Mark remains chair at mobile phone ‘disruptor’ giffgaff, and his role as chair of three major bodies - Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Worcestershire 5G Consortium and the Midlands Engine’s digital board - is testament to his commitment to connectivity. He has a track record of delivering results in complex environments and helped lead giffgaff to become one of the fastest growing businesses in the UK, winning Best Telecoms Company from 'Which' over multiple years.

Greg Stevens

Greg is an Investments Director at Abundance with experience in the structuring, evaluation and origination of project financings as well as project management. He brings a breadth of experience as both a developer and financier across sectors and scale, having worked for boutique firms on relatively small projects and, whilst at one of the world's leading Project Finance banks and large developers, on multi-billion pound projects.
With a detailed understanding of all aspects of project financing and analysis, Greg is able to identify and subsequently advise how the Abundance model can fit most companies and projects.

Richard Stevenson

Richard Stevenson is the Telecoms lead for Esri UK. With over 25 years’ industry experience, Richard has worked for companies including; O2 Telefonica, Vodafone and Tech Mahindra. Richard is passionate about supporting organisations to optimise their assets, reduce costs and generate revenue growth through leveraging Esri's geo-spatial technology and location intelligence. Prior to Esri UK, Richard worked as the commercial lead for a successful IoT platform start-up providing mobile solutions for smart cities. Richard has a Bachelor (Hons) in Engineering and Business Studies and is a Chartered Marketer.

Phil Stewart

Phil Stewart is a senior leader with 30 years telecoms experience and a passion for customer service. Beginning as a apprentice telecoms engineer, Phil has worked with BT, Cable & Wireless and Virgin Media where he was Virgin’s UK Director of Customer Service. Currently employed as Transformation Director at John Henry Group Ltd, Phil is based in Brighton. Outside of work he plays acoustic guitar in his kitchen (generally alone!) and supports his wife, who provides foster care for disadvantaged children.

Beth Wainwright

Beth Wainwright is Head of Regulatory Policy at TalkTalk, the UK’s value-for-money telecoms company. Prior to joining TalkTalk in 2015, she worked at Ofcom for eight years in different roles including Spectrum Policy and a secondment to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Evan Wienburg

Passionate about delivering life changing telecommunications, Evan and his team are building regional full fibre active ethernet networks in both rural and urban environs. As CEO of a rapidly growing company Evan enjoys the challenge of scaling and working with a talented and motivated team. Team is the cornerstone of everything Truespeed does, and is key to the delivery of happy customers.

Andrew Wileman

Andrew Wileman has worked in the telecoms sector for more than 20 years, during which time he has held commercial, regulatory, strategic and policy roles, across both UK and EU operations. He is currently Director of Regulatory Affairs at Virgin Media which, in addition to day-to-day regulatory responsibilities, includes a strong policy and strategic element.
Andrew has an engineering and legal background. He is a Director and member of the board of the United Kingdom Competitive Telecommunications Association (UKCTA) and chairs the Operations Board of the Broadband Stakeholder Group.

Laura Wilkinson

Laura Wilkinson is a Consultant at Plum. She has contributed to numerous projects and whitepapers relating to telecommunications regulation and spectrum policy, providing both qualitative and quantitative analysis.
Her work has assessed the impacts of regulatory intervention on key stakeholders and identified suitable policy remedies. She has also conducted market research for both regulators and industry clients in the telecommunications, media and technology sectors.

Gareth Williams

Gareth is currently CEO of Gigaclear, one of the top UK’S leading rural fibre providers. Previously, Gareth spent 17 years at Interoute, 11 of those years as CEO. Interoute’s network encompasses over 70,000km of lit fibre, 15 data centres, 17 virtual data centres and 33 colocation centres with connections to 195 additional partner data centres. Under his leadership, he grew Interoute into one of Europe’s largest cloud services platforms, and revenues grew from E188m to E710m. He left the business after its successful sale to GTT Communications for E2.3bn.

Russell Woolsey

Russell has over a dozen years of experience in optical fibre splicing, selling and supporting optical fibre fusion splicers in Carriers and fibre optic cable installation companies across EMEA. Working for Sumitomo, one of the market leaders in optical fibre fusion splicers, that has been producing fusion splicers for 40 years. Sumitomo, a £24Bn Japanese company with around 250,000 employees, is also a global leader in producing optical fibre along other optical fibre network products, both active and passive components.

Wenbing Yao

Wenbing Yao joined Huawei UK in 2008 and took up the role of VP Business Development and Partnerships in April 2018. She is an Advisory Board Member of UK5G and Board Member of TechUK. Since 2017, Wenbing has been with Huawei Corporate Elite Program on end to end network transformation. Between 2012 and 2016, Wenbing was the Director of Strategy and Marketing, responsible for developing the mid and long term business strategy for Huawei UK; driving strategic business development in areas including 5G, IoT, Smart City, Big Data, Media and Broadcast, Data Centre IT infrastructure; leading joint innovations with key telecom customers and organising market communication activities. Before 2012, Wenbing held various positions in a global account in Huawei, leading the solution marketing and industry and research collaborations team.
Wenbing received her Ph.D degree in Communication and Information Systems from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, P.R.China, in 2001. She was a lecturer in wireless communications at Brunel University from 2003 to 2008, and a research fellow from 2002 to 2003 in heterogeneous networking technologies and mobile healthcare systems.
Wenbing lives in Basingstoke, and is a keen badminton player and a dog lover.