October 19, 2004 Newport, RI -- George Bell, senior staff consultant, FTTP, at Verizon, received the first annual FTTXcellence Award during a presentation today at the 27th Annual Newport Conference on Fiberoptic Markets. The award, co-sponsored by Corning Inc. and Lightwave, recognizes outstanding achievements by an individual in the advancement of optical technology in access networks.
Bell has been with Verizon for 35 years and his primary focus, as a member of Verizon's FTTP team, is the outside plant portion of Verizon's FTTP architecture. "By those who work with him, he is called an FTTP pioneer," said Larry Aeillo, president and CEO of Corning Cable Systems, in announcing the award before a gathering of approximately 100 conference attendees. "His years of experience are invaluable to Verizon's FTTP deployment efforts. His work has been instrumental in allowing Verizon to establish and maintain a deployment velocity that will ensure Verizon meets its objective to pass one million homes in 2004 -- and 2 million homes in 2005. Finally, his leadership and 'can do' attitude also positively impact those who work together with Verizon in this initiative."
Bell was selected by a panel of three judges -- Bernhard Deutsch of Corning Cable Systems, Robert Whitman of Corning Fiber, and Stephen Hardy of Lightwave magazine -- from nominations submitted by members of the fiber-to-the-x (FTTX) community.
"While Corning and Lightwave sponsor the award and determine the winner, the FTTXcellence Award in reality reflects the esteem in which the people who are actually deploying this technology hold both this year's winner and the other candidates considered for this honor," said Hardy during the award ceremony. "That's because neither Corning nor Lightwave choose the nominees; similarly, people were not allowed to nominate themselves. Candidates for this award had to be nominated by their peers, who not only offered each candidate's name for consideration but also wrote a brief essay that described each nominee's achievements."
Bell received a piece of Steuben glass art that reflected the award's FTTX context. In addition, a donation was made in his name to One Economy Corp., a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing affordable Internet access to people living in low-income housing. Alec Ross, senior vice president, corporate and business development at One Economy, represented the organization at the ceremony.
"It was a quite a surprise to me," said Bell in his acceptance speech, "and I am both humbled and appreciative of the consideration of my peers and those who nominated me.
"I'm appreciative of the corporation that has given me 35 years of training to step up to this moment in terms of building the network and being able to have a free hand to do it," he added.