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Tuesday, 06 October 2009 09:27

Comms Alliance's NBN expert named as NBN Co CTO - UPDATED

Gary McLaren, who has headed Communications Alliance's initiative to develop network specifications for the National Broadband Network, has been appointed CTO of NBN Co. Steve Christian, a former managing director of networks at Optus, has been named head of network operations. And Comms Alliance has named Paul Brooks to replace McLaren.

Both McLaren and Christian will report to NBN Co executive chairman, Mike Quigley. McLaren will initially be responsible for scoping the technology requirements, including the development of the network, systems and service architecture. Christian will be responsible for establishing the operational management and support requirements for the NBN.

Quigley said: "Gary's expertise, particularly in the area of commercialising new technologies, will be applied to defining the network architecture for NBN while Steve's experience in the start up of new networks and technologies will greatly assist in establishing its operational areas."

McLaren, as the author of two discussion papers on NBN architectures that have formed the basis to two series of Comms Alliance Forums, has been closely involved with NBN issues since the project was announced in April.

Communications Alliance has named Dr Paul Brooks as its new NBN lead consultant to replace McLaren. Brooks is the founder of telecommunications design and strategy consultancy, Layer 10, and is recognised as a leading telecommunications analyst.

Communications Alliance CEO Anne Hurley, said: "Paul is extremely well regarded in the industry and we believe our NBN project teams will benefit greatly from his experience in creating networks from the ground up.  The industry has come a long way since it first came together at our NBN Industry Connection Forums in May and much credit is due to Gary McLaren.  Under Gary’s leadership, a broad cross-section of the industry has worked together to develop detailed positions on key NBN issues and the first discussion papers will be released next month.

She added that in line with NBN Co’s earlier commitment to participate in the Communications Alliance NBN project, McLaren would continue to be involved and would be joined by other NBN Co personnel who will participate across a range of project teams.
Since 2004 McLaren has been providing consulting services to various companies in the telecommunications and IT sectors with an emphasis on commercialisation of new technologies. Clients have included Optus, Telecom Fiji and Telecom NZ-owned Australian carrier AAPT. In 2001 he joined broadband start-up RequestDSL where he was general manager for product management, carrier relations and regulatory.

Christian left Optus in July 2008 after being with the company for 16 years. Prior to that he work for companies associated with US telco, BellSouth, one of Optus' founding shareholders.

NBN Co says it expects to announce further key appointments to its executive team over the coming months.

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