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FTTH Council Delays Annual Conference Over Coronavirus Fear UPDATE

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 (4:11 pm) - Score 606

The FTTHCouncil Europe has today announced that their annual conference on full fibre broadband connectivity, which was this year due to be held between 21st and 23rd April 2020 in Berlin (Germany), has been significantly delayed to the end of the year as a result of rising concern over the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19.

The event is usually quite a useful one, not least because it’s often accompanied by an annual update on the roll-out of gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) style broadband networks across Europe (see last year’s update).

Nevertheless it was perhaps inevitable, given the worsening public health crisis with the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), that this year’s event would either be completely scrapped or delayed.

Instead the council has ultimately decided to delay it until 1st-3rd December 2020, albeit still due to take place at the same venue. We have asked whether the council will also be withholding their annual country ranking until the same time and will report back if they respond.

FTTH Council Europe – Statement

Currently, Europe and the world are experiencing a major public health crisis with the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and our thoughts are with all those, who have been directly affected. According to World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the new cases of COVID-19 infection throughout the EU have been increasing exponentially daily for the last few weeks, which inevitably raises concerns regarding the safety of the attendees and participants of large conferences and exhibitions. Moreover, several prominent shows and trade fairs have been cancelled or postponed due to the accelerating spread of the virus, and Switzerland and France have banned all major events gathering a large number of people.

Since its very first edition, the FTTH Conference has been a major hotspot for senior executives from the digital communications sector as well as top-level decision-makers, EU and national policymakers, infrastructure manufacturers, vendors, investors and broadband stakeholders at large for Fibre and 5G in Europe and beyond from around 100 countries in Europe and across the world.

The FTTH Council Europe is committed to delivering an excellent and successful event in conditions where meetings can be held, interesting and topical discussions can take place, business decisions can be made and partnerships and alliances can emerge and enrich the industry. Our top priority, therefore, is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all the FTTH Conference attendees.

It is also important to highlight that amid coronavirus concerns many companies and organisations that are to attend and exhibit at the FTTH Conference have been forced to install so-called “No Travel Policies”, which would potentially prevent some participants from attending the Berlin Conference.

We have been carefully monitoring the development of the current exceptional circumstances in consultation with Messe Berlin, public authorities and expert advisors.

Due to the progressive spread of the coronavirus, which is currently accelerating day by day, resulting in force majeure measures across the world we believe that the best solution in the interest of all stakeholders is to postpone the FTTH Conference 2020, initially scheduled for 21-23 April in Berlin, and move the event to a later time slot, 1-3 December 2020 at the same venue, Messe Berlin – hub27.

Our goal is to deliver again a pre-eminent fibre and digital policy summit that represents relevant elements of the industry value chain and we want to ensure that the FTTH Conference 2020 becomes a memorable, fruitful and safe experience to every attendee. FTTH Conference Berlin Postponed to 1-3 December 2020

We thank all our members, sponsors, speakers, partners and attendees for their continued support and we look forward to continued cooperation to deliver another outstanding FTTH Conference 1-3 December 2020.

We would not be at all surprised if similar events in the United Kingdom ended up adopting the same sort of stance.

UPDATE 20th April 2020:

The council has announced that they will release their newest FTTH/B Market Panorama and country ranking on 23rd April 2020 as part of a special WEBINAR event (here).

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar AnotherTim

    If only there was a way to connect computers together so that you could talk, video-conference, and share presentations, they could have held it online.

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