2009 FTTH Council Awards celebrate industry contributions

OCTOBER 7, 2009 -- The FTTH Council has announced the 2009 recipients of its annual FTTH Awards, which celebrate the contributions of individuals who have advanced fiber to the home.

OCTOBER 7, 2009 -- At the recent 2009 Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Conference & Expo, the FTTH Council announced the 2009 recipients of its annual FTTH Awards. For seven years, the council has celebrated the contributions of individuals who have advanced the fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) industry.

The winners of this year's awards are as follows.

The Chairman's Award - Verizon Communications Inc. The Chairman's award, given at the discretion of the chairman of the FTTH Council board of directors, singles out an individual or company that has shown tremendous effort to promote, educate, or accelerate fiber.

In a year where many companies struggled with making the right decision for their future, Verizon has remained steadfast in its commitment to fiber to the home and continues to move into new markets. Verizon's FiOS now has 2.5 million TV customers, 3.1 million Internet customers, and passes some 13.8 million homes in 18 states. The service currently provides Internet connection speeds up to 50 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream, as well as more than 100 HDTV channels and up to 500 all-digital video and music channels to subscribers.

Accepting the award on behalf of Verizon was the company's senior vice president and chief technical officer, Richard Lynch.

The Star Award - EATEL. The Star Award recognizes a person, community, or company that has gone above and beyond what is expected in the advancement of fiber to the home.

In business since 1935, EATEL now delivers local phone service, long distance, and television and Internet services to more than 30,000 customers in mid-Louisiana. An FTTH pioneer in the Gulf South, EATEL's 300 employees have operated one of the largest FTTH deployments in the country since 2004. The company has repeatedly repaired and rebuilt its network after massive hurricane damage from Katrina, Ruth, and Gustav, and assisted other Louisiana service providers in restoring their networks. EATEL is recognized by industry professionals for their employees’ high level of technical expertise and the company's level of service professionalism.

The Star Award was accepted on behalf of EATEL by Robert Burgess, president and chief operating officer.

The Photon Award - Nelson Saito of Furukawa do Brazil, Gilberto Guitarte of Tyco Electronics, and Peter Ballhaussen of Corning Cable Systems. The Photon Award recognizes an FTTH Council member or members who, through volunteering, have demonstrated a high level of dedication to the organization and contribution to the industry.

This year's Photon Award was given to three people who have been instrumental in launching the FTTH Council's Latin America Chapter in May 2009, with a mission to help accelerate deployment in countries such as Brazil, Chile, and Argentina while reaching out to promote the benefits of FTTH for economic growth, education, and health care in the region. The recipients are Nelson Saito of Furukawa do Brasil, the chapter representative, and Gilberto Guitarte of Tyco Electronics, the technical committee chair, as well as Peter Ballhaussen of Corning Cable Systems, who is the chair of the international committee of the FTTH Council. All three recipients have been heavily involved in organizing meetings, publicizing chapter activities, translating and disseminating important documents, conducting webinars, and organizing the Latin America Track at the 2009 FTTH Conference & Expo.

The chapter has already signed 15 members and is now busy organizing activities to further build its strength and ramp up its promotion of FTTH across Latin America. This effort has been an enormous success, according to the council.

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