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26th - 27th May 2021

IIC/BEREC Telecommunications & Media Forum 2021

Telecommunications & Media Forum (TMF), Virtual Event

Wednesday 26 – Thursday 27 May 2021
26 May: 1300-1730 CEST / 1200-1630 BST
27 May: 0920-1330 CEST / 0820-1230 BST

Strengthening Europe’s digital communications capability, resilience and inclusivity

Following the success of the joint conference held in Riga in 2019 celebrating the IIC’s 50th anniversary and BEREC’s 10th anniversary, the two organisations agreed to continue collaborating biennially. We were therefore delighted to have arranged this joint event as an online conference this year.

This independent forum brought together statutory national regulators and industry in a collegiate, neutral setting to debate policy issues. Senior level stakeholders from the telecommunications, media and technology sectors participated once again.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has underpinned TMTs role in societal resilience, digital transformation and the revitalising of economies, but it is also a stark reminder of the necessity for digital connectivity for all. Identifying the steps needed to strengthen Europe’s digital capabilities, increase the resilience of the electronic communications market and close the digital divide provided the backdrop for this year’s conversations.

Day One : Discussion on ‘Manipulative practices: Why they’re hard to regulate, but why we should’ between Dr Helen Nissenbaum (Cornell Tech) and Jeremy Godfrey (ComReg, Ireland)

Day Two: Keynote conversation between BEREC Chair Michel Van Bellinghen (BIPT, Belgium) and the Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission (USA), Jessica Rosenworcel

Watch all the session recordings here

Speakers

Alejandra De Iturriaga Gandini
Alejandra de Iturriaga Gandini Vice Chair BEREC; Board Member ERGA; Director for Telecommunications and Audiovisual Sector, Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC), Spain

Alejandra de Iturriaga Gandini is currently Director of Telecommunications and Audiovisual Sector at the Spanish National Authority for Markets and Competition (CNMC). At the present she is Vice Chair in the Body in the European Regulations for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and Member of the Board in the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA).

Ms de Iturriaga is responsible for managing, supervising and coordinating the CNMC activity on electronic communications and audiovisual services.

Her functions in the electronic communications sector involve the analysis of electronic communications markets, reference offers, conflict resolution between operators and sanctioning procedures, and consultancy activity.

In the audiovisual sector, she is responsible for the enforcement of the obligations imposed on the different actors related to advertising, protection of minors, and financing of European works, amongst others.

Annemarie Sipkes Incoming BEREC Chair 2022; Director Telecommunications, Transport and Postal Services Department, Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM)

Annemarie Sipkes has held the position of Director of the Telecommunications, Transport and Postal Services
Department at the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) since April 2018. She has significant public sector experience, including six years (2012-2018) as the Director of Knowledge and Strategy at the Ministry of Education, Culture & Science in the Netherlands.

During her career, Ms Sipkes has also worked at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, the Central Bank of the Netherlands and for KPMG, the accounting and professional services company.

Ms Sipkes holds an MSc in Economics and an MA in Arts, Sciences and Technology.

Benoît Loutrel Member, Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA), France

Benoit Loutrel has been a board member of Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), the French audiovisual media regulator, since early 2021.

Mr Loutrel previously worked on digital transformation for an internal advisory/consultancy of the French government. In particular in 2019, he led France’s experiment to regulate Facebook in fighting hate speech online.  He is a former Director General of France’s Electronic Communications and Postal Regulatory Authority (Arcep) (2013 to 2016), where he also worked from 2004 to 2010. In the interim, he set up a 4.5-billion-euro digital investment plan as part of France’s “Investissements d’avenir”. He previously spent eight years at the World Bank in infrastructure financing and was also director of public policy for Google France for a few months in 2017.

Mr Loutrel studied industrial economics and regulation at Ecole Polytechnique, ENSAE, and Toulouse School of Economics

Boutheina Guermazi Director, Digital Development, Infrastructure Practice Group, The World Bank

Boutheina Guermazi is the Director of Digital Development (DD) Department of the Infrastructure Practice Group of the World Bank. She heads a global team working on building digital economies in developing countries, to drive shared prosperity and reduced poverty. The team advises policymakers and regulators, works in collaboration with leading firms and partners, and designs investment and technical assistance programs to improve broadband connectivity and use of digital technology to address development challenges of client countries. The work covers a wide area of focus including broadband networks, mobile networks, cloud infrastructure, internet of things, and big data analytics. The team works collaboratively across sectors to ensure the availability and use of digital government platforms, identification for development and other key foundations to harness digital development, while strengthening cybersecurity, privacy, and data protection. Ms Guermazi also leads the Digital Development Partnership (DDP), a Multi-Donor Trust Fund focusing on Digital development globally.

Prior to her role as Director, Ms Guermazi was Practice Manager of Digital Development covering Africa and the Middle East regions of the World Bank. She also served as Lead Operations Officer in the Regional Integration Unit of the Africa region of the World Bank. During her tenure, she has written and published articles and book chapters on trade law, telecommunications policy, and regulatory reform.

Before joining the World Bank, Ms Guermazi was Assistant Professor at the University of Law and Political and Social Sciences of Tunis, and a Telecommunications consultant to the Sector Reform Unit at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Ms Guermazi holds a PhD in Telecommunications Law and Policy from the Faculty of Law at McGill University, Canada; an LLM in International Law from Indiana University, USA; and a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Law from the University of Tunis, Tunisia. She held a Fulbright Scholarship and was a research scholar at the University of Michigan (USA), the Social Science Research Council (USA), and the Center of Studies for Regulated Industries (Canada).

Carlos Rodríguez Cocina Director European Regulatory Affairs; Head of Brussels Office, Telefónica

Carlos Rodríguez Cocina was appointed Director for European Regulatory Affairs and Head of Telefónica’s Brussels Office in 2016. In this capacity he coordinates Telefonica’s regulatory position with its business units in Spain, Germany and the UK , and manages the interaction with the EU institutions and other relevant stakeholders in Brussels. He currently represents Telefónica on the Executive Board of ETNO, the Board of Management of the European Internet Forum and the Board of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Mr Rodríguez was previously the Manager of Regulatory Affairs of Telefónica Internacional USA, acting as the first permanent representative to the company’s group in Washington DC.

He holds a degree in law from the University of Oviedo, Spain, and a specialisation in international trade from the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX).

Chris Chapman President, International Institute of Communications; Chairman, Nihilent Australia Pty Limited

Chris Chapman was appointed President of the International Institute of Communications on 1 April 2016.

Mr Chapman previously held the position of Chairman and CEO of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). He was appointed in February 2006 and was re-appointed for a 2nd five year term in October 2010 until April 2016. He was appointed an Associate Member of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in September 2007.

Mr Chapman is a seasoned executive with experience in the media, broadcasting and film, internet, telecommunications, sports rights and infrastructure development worlds.

Before joining ACMA, Mr Chapman held a number of senior management positions with the Seven Network, Stadium Australia Management, Optus and Babcock & Brown. He has also been the Chairman of Film Australia and Sports Vision Australia, and a previous member of the National Film and Sound Archives’ Advisory Council.

Mr Chapman has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales and has completed the Harvard Business School AMP program.

Claudia Selli Vice President, European Union Government Affairs and Head of the Brussels’ Office, International External and Regulatory Affairs, AT&T l Warner Media

Claudia Selli is the European Government Affairs Director of AT&T International External Affairs. Her main task is to advocate AT&T positions in Brussels towards the European institutions as well as in other European Member States and particularly in Germany.

Prior to joining AT&T, Ms Selli worked at the European Commission, DG Information Society where she actively took part in the negotiations with the European Parliament on several telecom files such as Roaming I and II, Safer Use of the Internet, the reform of the Europe’s telecom regulatory framework, the Audiovisual Media Service Directive etc. She has previoiusly also worked in the European Parliament.

Ms Selli holds a Masters in International Politics from the ULB University and graduated at “La Tuscia University” in Viterbo, Italy.

Clive Carter Regulatory Affairs Director, BT

Clive Carter is Regulatory Affairs Director for BT, and leads regulatory engagement at Group level. His team creates and socialises BT’s regulatory strategy, overseeing risks and opportunities. Mr Carter is also responsible for regulatory governance and portfolio management across regulatory affairs, so that we have robust, efficient and agile processes.

Before joining BT, Mr Carter led Ofcom’s Strategy and Policy team.  He also ran Ofcom’s Digital Communications Review and was responsible for negotiating with BT on the Commitments.

Dan Sjöblom Director General, Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS)

Dan Sjöblom is the Director General of the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) and was appointed by the Swedish Government on 1 February 2017.

He served as Chairperson of BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication) in 2020, having served as a vice-chair in 2019.

Prior to taking up his position, Mr Sjöblom was the Director General for the Swedish Competition Authority for eight years, between 2009 and 2017.

He is also board member of the Swedish Broadband Council.

Mr Sjöblom has served as a civil servant at the European Commission between 1996 and 2009. He holds a Master of Laws from Stockholm University.

David Wheeldon Group Director, Policy and Public Affairs, Sky

David Wheeldon is Group Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Sky, advising the CEO and Group Executive Committee on strategic public policy, regulatory advocacy, government relations and industry engagement across Sky’s major European markets where his team cover a wide range of media, telecoms, consumer and digital issues. Previously Mr Wheeldon looked after Sky’s sustainability strategy and for its initiatives to inspire customers and staff in sports, arts, environment and schools. He has also served as deputy president of the Association of Commercial Television Europe and he is currently a board director of Internet Matters, a not-for-profit company that helps keep children safe in the digital world. Prior to Sky Mr Wheeldon held a similar role at the London Stock Exchange Group where he was responsible for the Group’s UK, EU and global public policy covering listed companies, equities trading and the capital markets. In the early 2000’s, he was a partner in a leading London based communications firm where he provided political advice to major international businesses. He began his career as a university administrator before becoming a political speech writer and strategist.

Declan McLoughlin Senior Manager, Sustainability, Risk & Policy, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI)

Declan McLoughlin is a member of the leadership team of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). His role has a focus on sustainability, policy development and risk management.

He is responsible for implementing the BAI’s strategic objectives as they relate to sustainability and is its Chief Risk Officer.

He is also centrally involved in developing the BAI’s regulatory approaches to linear, non-linear and online media, including preparation for the transposition of the AVMS Directive, guidelines governing elections & referendums as well as rules applying to political advertising.

Mr McLoughlin is a member of the Contract Awards Committee, the statutory committee responsible for the licensing of radio and television services in Ireland, and is a former chairperson of the national community radio association.
He has worked as a manager in the field of media for nearly 25 years and is with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland since 2009.

Emmanuel Gabla Membre du Collège, Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP), France

Emmanuel Gabla was nominated as Membre du Collège at the board of Arcep at the beginning of 2019. He was previously the Head of the Economic Section of France’s embassy in Norway from 2016 until his appointment at Arcep.

Mr Gabla began his career in 1993 at the Ministry of Post & Telecom, which developed the 1996 Act that opened the telecoms sector up to competition. Starting in 1999, Mr Gabla served as an advisor on telecoms, the information society, postal affairs and industrial aspects of the internal market to the Permanent Representation of France to the European Union, as Technical Advisor to the Prime Minister, Jean Pierre Raffarin, in charge of telecoms and postal affairs, industrial property and space, and the head of the Technologies and Information Society department at the Directorate-General for Enterprise.

From 2009 to 2015, Mr Gabla was a member of the Board of the French broadcasting authority, CSA, and a member of the General Council for the Economy, Industry, Energy and Technologies from 2015 to 2016.

Mr Gabla is a former student at the Ecole Polytechnique, a graduate of the Ecole nationale supérieure des télécommunications (ENST), and a Chief Telecommunications Engineer.

Fiona Taylor Head of International Public Policy, Verizon

Fiona Taylor leads Verizon’s International Public Policy function with a team located across three continents. She is in charge of defining the company’s public policy strategy across Verizon’s international footprint, advising cross functional teams on policy issues affecting the business and the company’s global strategy.

Verizon and its subsidiaries are among the world’s leading providers of communications, entertainment, information technology and security solutions, with annual revenues in 2019 of $130 billion. Outside of the US, Verizon also serves large business and government customers, including 99% of the Fortune 1000, covering over 150 countries worldwide.

Ms Taylor has also headed Verizon’s EU representation in Brussels since October 2010. She represents the company before international policy-makers including EU institutions and in different organisations such as the European Internet Forum (EIF), ETNO, etc., and has served as Vice-chair of the Digital Economy Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU (AMCHAM EU).

Prior to joining Verizon, Ms Taylor worked with the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO), where she led the public policy function. Her responsibilities included the overall strategic positioning and advocacy of the association focusing on the impact of Internet-related policy and regulation on the member companies.

Florian Damas Head of Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Nokia Bell N.V.

Florian Damas, Head of Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Nokia Bell N.V. is responsible for the development of corporate positions on key regulatory and thought-leadership issues for Nokia.

Mr Damas advises regulators and competition authorities to ensure infrastructure interoperability and competition. He engages with governments in supporting national broadband plans and reaping the maximum economic and societal benefit from ICT.

Mr Damas is an active member of several trade associations and non-for-profit organisations.

Before joining Nokia, Mr Damas worked for several telecommunications providers including MCI Worldcom (now Verizon) and COLT Telecom, and the equipment vendor Alcatel-Lucent.

He is personally involved during his free time in helping a non-profit organisations to provide online courses using open source software over fiber access.

Frank Krüger Head of Directorate Digital Society and Infrastructure, Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure; Chairperson, Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG)

Frank Krüger is head of the Directorate “Digital Society and Infrastructure” at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).

After training as a bank officer, he studied economics and, in 1994, began working as press desk officer at the Federal Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. In 1998, Mr Krüger started working for the Federal Ministry of Economics in the same position. Since 1999, he has been working in the field of telecommunications, and since 2008 his focus has been on broadband policy. From 2005 to 2008, Mr Krüger represented Germany in Brussels in the fields of telecommunications and audiovisual media. In 2011, he was appointed to a Head of Division for broadband policy. In 2014, he switched to the BMVI and was appointed to a Director.

Helen Nissenbaum (Dr) Professor of Information Science, Cornell Tech; Director, Digital Life Initiative

Helen Nissenbaum is a Professor at Cornell Tech and in the Information Science Department at Cornell University. She is also Director of the Digital Life Initiative, which was launched in 2017 at Cornell Tech to explore societal perspectives surrounding the development and application of digital technology, focusing on ethics, policy, politics, and quality of life. Her own research takes an ethical perspective on policy, law, science, and engineering relating to information technology, computing, digital media and data science. Topics have included privacy, trust, accountability, security, and values in technology design. Her books include Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest, with Finn Brunton (MIT Press, 2015) and Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life (Stanford, 2010).

Grants from the NSF, AFOSR, and the U.S. DHHS-ONC have supported her work. Recipient of the 2014 Barwise Prize of the American Philosophical Association, Nissenbaum has contributed to privacy-enhancing software, including TrackMeNot and AdNauseam.

Dr Nissenbaum holds a PhD in philosophy from Stanford University and a BA (Hons) in philosophy and mathematics from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Jack Hamande Member of the Council, Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT)

Jack Hamande joined the Institute in September 2013 as Chairman of the Council until January 2017, when he was nominated as a Member of the Council.

Mr Hamande acquired a great deal of experience in management, previously working for the Walt Disney Group, AT&T, Verizon Business, Cisco and Proximus. His managerial responsibilities increased and broadened over the years, especially as regards strategy, regulation, engineering and business development. In 2009 he changed the course of his career by joining the Belgian federal public sector as Director General for Organisation and Personnel Development at the FPS Personnel & Organisation. There he initiated several programmes applying to the whole of the federal public service in areas such as efficiency, customer orientation, leadership development, performance management, culture, diversity and well-being at work.

Mr Hamande holds a Masters degree in Psychological and Pedagogical Sciences (ULB) and a degree in management.

James Waterworth Director, EU Public Policy, Amazon

James Waterworth has been Director of EU Public Policy at Amazon since 2017 and is responsible for the company’s engagement with EU policymakers and legislation. Prior to Amazon he worked for the Computer and Communications Industry Association, Nokia, Telefonica and Cable & Wireless.

 

Jeremy Godfrey Commissioner, Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), Ireland

Jeremy Godfrey joined the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) as Commissioner in 2013 and was Chairperson of the Commission from February 2015 to February 2017. He was Chair of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) for 2019, and Vice-Chair for 2020.

Mr Godfrey has almost thirty years’ experience in the ICT sector, as an industry executive, business consultant and Government official.

Prior to joining ComReg, he was Government Chief Information Officer in Hong Kong. In this role, he had responsibility both for Government IT and for IT-policy issues such as digital inclusion, internet governance and the promotion of inward investment in the IT sector.

Mr Godfrey began his career in the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry, serving as private secretary to the Cabinet Minister as well as in a variety of other roles. He then spent ten years in the Cable & Wireless Group, in Hong Kong and in the UK, mainly in strategy, marketing and regulatory roles – including Director of Strategy and Director of Marketing for Hong Kong Telecom.

Between 1998 and 2008, Mr Godfrey worked for PA Consulting Group where he was a partner in the Hong Kong office, serving clients in the communications, transportation, financial services and government sectors. Projects that he led included major change initiatives, business start-up projects, and due diligence assignments. He worked in around a dozen markets in Asia and the Pacific.

Mr Godfrey has a Master of Arts from Cambridge University, where he studied mathematics.

Jessica Rosenworcel Acting Chairwoman, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Jessica Rosenworcel, Acting Chairwoman at Federal Communications Commission, believes that the future belongs to the connected. She works to promote greater opportunity, accessibility, and affordability in our communications services in order to ensure that all Americans get a fair shot at 21st century success. She believes strong communications markets can foster economic growth and security, enhance digital age opportunity, and enrich our civic life.

From fighting to protect net neutrality to ensuring access to the internet for students caught in the Homework Gap, Ms Rosenworcel has been a consistent champion for connecting all. She is a leader in spectrum policy, developing new ways to support wireless services from Wi-Fi to video and the internet of things. She also is responsible for developing policies to help expand the reach of broadband to schools, libraries, hospitals, and households across the country.

Named as one of POLITICO’s 50 Politicos to Watch and profiled by InStyle Magazine in a series celebrating “women who show up, speak up and get things done,” Ms Rosenworcel brings over two decades of communications policy experience and public service to the FCC. Prior to joining the agency, she served as Senior Communications Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV and Senator Daniel Inouye. Before entering public service, Ms Rosenworcel practiced communications law in Washington, DC.

Ms Rosenworcel is a graduate of Wesleyan University and New York University School of Law.

Jimmy Ahlstrand Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Telenor Sweden

Jimmy Ahlstrand is Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Telenor Sweden. He joined Telenor in 2019 and now leads Telenor Sweden’s work within legal, public and regulatory affairs, privacy, sustainability, compliance and communication.

Mr Ahlstrand is also Chairman of the Board for N4M, Sweden’s second largest mobile network and a board member of the Swedish Government’s Broadband Council since its foundation in 2010.

Prior to taking up his position, Mr Ahlstrand was CSO for the Swedish broadcaster, SVT, between 2009 and 2019. He holds a Master of Political Science from Uppsala University.

Johan Keetelaar Director Public Policy, Head of Connectivity and Access EMEA, Facebook

Johan Keetelaar joined Facebook as Director Public Policy in 2018. In this role Mr Keetelaar leads Facebook’s Connectivity Policy activities in Europe, Middle-East and Africa.

Prior to joining Facebook, Mr Keetelaar was the Director of Telecommunications, Post and Transport and Director Competition at the Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) and a member of BEREC.

Before the launch of the ACM in 2013 Mr Keetelaar worked at the Netherlands Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority (OPTA) as Director Markets. Prior to that in the telecommunications and aviation industry for almost ten years.

Mr Keetelaar holds an MSc. in Econometrics from the University of Amsterdam.

Julie Ruff Head of Sector for ‘Secure value chain’, DG Communications Networks, Content & Technology, European Commission

Julie Ruff has been Head of Sector for ‘Secure value chain’, DG Communications Networks, Content & Technology, European Commission since 2019 and is responsible for coordinating the Commission work on 5G cybersecurity.
Ms Ruff joined the Commission in 2010 and has worked on digital issues in several Commission DGs, notably on cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime in DG Migration and Home Affairs and on telecoms regulation in DG Communications Networks, Content & Technology.  As part of the Commission’s Secretariat-General, Ms Ruff was involved in coordinating Digital Single Market initiatives. She was also a Member of the Cabinet of Sir Julian King, the EU Commissioner responsible for the Security Union, where she was in charge of cybersecurity and cybercrime
Ms Ruff holds a Master’s degree from the College of Europe in Bruges.

Lisa Felton Head of Global Policy Programmes , Vodafone Group

Lisa Felton leads the public policy strategy and engagement with policy makers in relation to global policy programmes for Vodafone across its global footprint. She has over 20 years’ experience as a lawyer and in policy both within Vodafone and in private practice.

Ms Felton is a Visiting Policy Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute and Chair of the GSMA Mobile Commerce Operator Expert Group

Ms Felton holds an MA from Oxford University in Law and a Masters in International Law of Human Rights.

Lorelien Hoet Government Affairs Director EU, Microsoft Corporation

Lorelien Hoet is Government Affairs Director at Microsoft, and she works notably on EU telecommunications files. Before joining Microsoft in March 2018, Ms Hoet worked as a legal executive at Proximus for 9 years, holding different positions including Head of Legal Consumer business – managing the legal support in the areas of consumer legislation, privacy law, IP law, criminal & security matters, etc. Ms Hoet started her career as an attorney specialised in competition law, working in law firms in Brussels and Stockholm. She was also active as Director Regulatory Affairs at Mobistar (Orange), in charge of the follow-up and application of telecom regulation and competition law files.

Lynn McDay
Lynn Robinson Director General, International Institute of Communications

Lynn Robinson, Director General, International Institute of Communications (IIC), joined the IIC in March 2020.

Lynn is an experienced senior director and trustee / non exec-director, having held key senior leadership positions in the built environment, technology, regulation, accreditation and dental industries. She has extensive experience of professional membership bodies working within the full spectrum including, Regulatory bodies, Industry bodies and Chambers of Commerce and is a well known and established ambassador in these areas having led on many strategic programmes to aid engagement, growth, retention, change management, stakeholder and political engagement.

As an experienced Trustee / Non-Executive Director as Vice Chair at Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust, a unique heritage site in the heart of Bristol, UK, Lynn is also a Trustee / Non-Executive Director at The Bristol and Bath, UK, Parks Foundation.

On becoming the Director General at the IIC, Lynn said: “I am picking up the baton from an inspiring leader who has enabled the IIC to become the trusted, unique and independent international forum for the last 50 years. I see my role as Director General building on that success of shaping the policy agenda for the telecoms, technology and media sector as we move through the next decade.”

Manuel Kohnstamm Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Liberty Global

Manuel Kohnstamm is Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer for Liberty Global. He is responsible for developing and implementing Liberty Global’s regulatory strategy, public policy, government affairs and corporate communications. Mr Kohnstamm is an executive officer of Liberty Global and sits on Liberty Global’s Executive Leadership Team and the Regulatory Committee.

Mr Kohnstamm joined the Europe operations of Liberty Global’s predecessor in September 1999 and held several positions in corporate affairs, public policy, and communications. He was appointed to his current position in January 2012. From 1992 until he joined Liberty Global, Mr Kohnstamm worked at Time Warner Inc., most recently as Vice President of Public Affairs in Brussels for its subsidiaries Time Inc., Warner Bros., and Turner Broadcasting. Prior to joining Time Warner, Mr Kohnstamm worked with the consulting group European Research Associates in Brussels where he conducted macro-economic and policy studies on the telecommunications and defense industries.

Mr Kohnstamm is a member of VodafoneZiggo’s Supervisory Board as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Liberty Global’s subsidiary Telenet Group Holding NV, a Liberty Global subsidiary and a Belgian public limited liability company.

Mr Kohnstamm is Co-chair of GIGAEurope, an industry association bringing together independent private telecoms companies. In addition, Mr Kohnstamm is a trustee of the non-profit organisation Street Child, a charitable organisation focused on improving the lives of some of the poorest and most vulnerable children in the world.

Mr Kohnstamm graduated in Political Science and holds a Doctorandus Degree in International and European Law from the University of Amsterdam. He also holds a Postgraduate Degree in International relations from the Clingendael Diplomat School in The Hague, and successfully completed the Cable Executive Management Program from Harvard Business School, Boston (MA).

Michel Van Bellinghen Chairperson of BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication) 2021; Chairman of the Council, Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT)

Michel Van Bellinghen, Master of Laws (UCL), started off at the university in 1990 as a researcher, then became an assistant under the supervision of Professor Françoise Tulkens, at the UCL Laws Centre for Criminal Law.

Mr Van Bellinghen has been elected to serve as Chairperson of BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication) in 2021, having served as a vice-chair in 2020.

Mr Van Bellingham became an assistant advisor at the Ministry of Justice in 1992 under the supervision of Professor Marc Bossuyt and joined the BIPT in 1997. From 1999 to 2003 he held the position of expert at the private office of Rik Daems, who was the Federal Telecommunications Minister at the time, and afterwards took up the function of Assistant Head of the Private Office. From 2003 until 2009 he was nominated Member of the BIPT Council for the first time. Following this mandate he remained closely affiliated to the Council and supervised the legal department of the regulator during a number of years. He has written scientific publications. In 2013 he held a position on the Council as a Member and in January 2017 he was assigned Chairman of the BIPT Council.

 

Rita Wezenbeek Director Connectivity , DG Connect, European Commission

Rita Wezenbeek is Director Connectivity in DG CONNECT., European Commission.  The Connectivity Directorate’s mission is to ensure widespread access to and take-up of very high capacity networks for all citizens and businesses of the European Union, as a prerequisite for the digital transformation of our economy and our society. Ms Wezenbeek joined the European Commission in 2002. Before moving to DG CONNECT in December 2020, she was the head of DG Competition’s Anti-Trust and Telecommunications Unit, in charge of applying the European competition rules in the area of electronic communications. Between 2010 and 2017, Ms Wezenbeek was the head of DG Competition’s unit dealing with Retail Financial Services and Payment Systems. The unit ia. dealt with the investigations against MasterCard and Visa and was responsible for the competition elements of the legislative processes leading to the adoption of the Interchange Fee Regulation and the Payment Services Directive II, opening the EU payment services market for non-bank players.

Before joining the Commission, Ms Wezenbeek worked for sixteen years as a private lawyer, specialised in European and corporate law, at the Dutch/ Belgian law firm Nauta Dutilh. During this time, she also was a Member of the Commission on European Integration, an independent advisory body on foreign policy to the Dutch government and Parliament.

Tareq Amin Group Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Rakuten, Inc

Tareq Amin currently serves as Group Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer of Rakuten, Inc. and Representative Director, Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer of Rakuten Mobile, Inc.

At Rakuten Mobile, Mr Amin is leading the design and rollout of the company’s next-generation fully virtualized cloud native mobile network in Japan. Leveraging technologies across the cloud, virtualization, OpenRAN and end-to-end automation, the Rakuten Mobile network offers greater flexibility, scalability, security and resiliency, and revolutionizes the way mobile services are provided and consumed. Full-scale commercial LTE service began in April 2020, with 5G service launch following in September of the same year. Amin is also heading the development of the Rakuten Communications Platform, a cloud-native telco platform that enables telecommunications companies and enterprises around the world to build secure and open mobile networks at speed and low cost.

Before joining Rakuten Mobile in 2018, Mr Amin served as Senior Vice President of Technology Development and Automation for Reliance Jio. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Technology Development and Automation organisation, including innovation, development and operations. His organisation led software development, systems engineering, next-generation access networks, technical operations and R&D. Amin drove end-to-end network design and deployment to meet coverage, capacity, and performance needs of India’s largest green field LTE TDD network, supporting industry leading data connectivity and innovative services such as VoLTE/HD Voice and eMBMS.

Prior to this, Mr Amin served as Vice President of Carrier Solutions for Huawei, where he led the company’s strategy for all major technologies and solution innovations, and as Senior Director of National Planning & Performance at T-Mobile, where he managed all budget allocation of capacity, performance and software development related expenditures across USA markets.

Mr Amin holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Physics from Portland State University in Oregon.

Yih-Choung Teh Group Director of Strategy and Research, Ofcom, UK

Yih-Choung Teh is Group Director, Strategy and Research at Ofcom. One area of current focus is the increasing shift to online communications and the associated challenges. He has previously been a Director in Ofcom’s Competition Group, working on issues including Ofcom’s strategy to encourage investment in telecoms infrastructure, and overseeing Ofcom’s broadcasting and media competition programme.

Before joining Ofcom, Mr Teh worked for a strategy consultancy in the telecoms sector, providing policy and strategy advice to public and private sector clients globally. Prior to this he held an academic research post in the University of Oxford.

Wednesday 26 May 2021

1300 CEST Welcome

Michel Van Bellinghen, Chairperson of BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication) 2021; Chairman of the Council, Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT)

Chris Chapman, President, International Institute of Communications

1310 CEST Recovery, resilience and delivering the Digital Decade

Keynote
Rita Wezenbeek, Director Connectivity, DG CONNECT (Directorate General of Communication, Networks, Content and Technology), European Commission

Moderator
Jack Hamande,
Member of the Council, Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT)

Panellists
Boutheina Guermazi, Director, Digital Development, World Bank
Lisa Felton, Head of Global Policy Programmes, Group Public Policy, Vodafone
Manuel Kohnstamm, Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Liberty Global

1500 CEST Digital Markets Act (DMA) & Digital Services Act (DSA) – roles & responsibilities, effectiveness & future-proofing, international consensus

Moderator
Alejandra de Iturriaga Gandini, Vice Chair BEREC; Board Member ERGA;
Director for Telecommunications and Audiovisual Sector, Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC), Spain

Panellists
Annemarie Sipkes,
Director of Telecommunications, Transport and Postal Services, Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM); incoming BEREC Chair 2022
Benoît Loutrel, Member, Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA), France
Johan Keetelaar, Director Public Policy, Facebook
James Waterworth, Director, EU Public Policy, Amazon
David Wheeldon, Group Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Sky
Carlos Rodriguez Cocina, Director European Regulatory Affairs; Head of Brussels Office, Telefónica, S.A

1700 CEST Manipulative practices: Why they’re hard to regulate, but why we should

Dr Helen Nissenbaum, Professor of Information Science, Cornell Tech
Jeremy Godfrey, Commissioner, Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), Ireland

1730 CEST Close of day 1

Thursday 27 May 2021

0920 CEST Welcome

Lynn Robinson, Director General, International Institute of Communications

0925 CEST Green growth, sustainability & ICT's role in the climate change agenda

Moderator
Fiona Taylor, Head of International Public Policy, Verizon

Panellists
Emmanuel Gabla, Membre du Collège, Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP), France
Frank Krüger, Head of Directorate Digital Society and Infrastructure, Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure; Chairperson, Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG)
Declan McLoughlin, Senior Manager, Sustainability, Risk & Policy, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI)
Clive Carter, Regulatory Affairs Director, Group and Governance, BT
Claudia Selli, Vice President European Union Government Affairs, Head of the Brussels’ Office, International External and Regulatory Affairs, AT&T Warner Media

1100 CEST Paradigm shift for secure connectivity and critical infrastructure provision

Moderator
Dan Sjöblom, Director General, Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS)

Panellists
Tareq Amin,
Group Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Rakuten, Inc
Julie Ruff, Head of Sector for ‘Secure value chain’, DG Communications Networks, Content & Technology, European Commission
Yih-Choung Teh,
Group Director for Strategy and Research, Ofcom, UK
Lorelien Hoet,
Government Affairs Director EU, Microsoft Corporation
Florian Damas,
Head of Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Nokia Bell N.V.
Jimmy Ahlstrand,
Chief Corporate Affairs Officer , Telenor Sweden

1300 CEST Keynote Conversation

Jessica Rosenworcel, Acting Chairwoman, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Michel Van Bellinghen, Chairperson of BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication) 2021; Chairman of the Council, Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT)

1330 CEST Close of Forum
Download the agenda (PDF)
Event details
Date:
26th - 27th May 2021
Location:
Online
Region:
Europe

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