AT&T’s Barbara Stark has taken home the Woman in Telecoms Award at the World Communication Awards 2019 for her pioneering role in the development of Broadband Forum’s globally-deployed TR-069 standard, its User Services Platform (USP), and a myriad of additional contributions to the Forum, as well as her contribution and leadership in other global standards organizations.
Recognized as a Distinguished Fellow within Broadband Forum and involved in a number of industry initiatives including Broadband Forum, HomeGrid Forum, IETF and BITAG, Stark’s work has greatly impacted today’s broadband networks. The CPE WAN Management Protocol, as defined in TR-069, is one that best illustrates her influence and contributions. Recognizing the need for the protocol early on, Broadband Forum provided Stark and others the platform and community to progress the protocol at a time when a number of operators did not see the need for it. Stark, a key contributor throughout its development, helped guide TR-069 to where it is today – more than one billion installations worldwide, closely mirroring the number of fixed broadband connections which exceeded one billion in October 2018.
Broadband Forum is now evolving the TR-069 protocol for the Internet of Things (IoT) era via its USP standard, which uses the same TR-181 data models. As Project Stream Leader for Broadband Forum’s USP project and Project Manager for the Open Broadband Multi-AP initiative, Stark plays an important role in the development of new standards and open source implementations that will allow for rapid deployment of new standards. These standards are vital for creating a stable ecosystem for Connected Home implementations at scale and enabling a better broadband experience for existing broadband connections, as well as accelerating the connecting of the next billion broadband users.
“I’m honored to receive such a prestigious award for my contributions in shaping the broadband industry, and am humbled to join the ranks of the amazing women who have won this award in the past. Although awards like this are bestowed upon an individual, they are the result of a great amount of support made possible through organizations like Broadband Forum and AT&T that I’ve been a part of, and the many colleagues that I’ve worked with through the years. I’m proud of the difference we’ve made to the connected world, and this is really an award that recognizes what industry-wide collaboration can achieve.”
~ Barbara Stark, a lead member of AT&T’s technical staff
USP enables Service Providers to manage, monitor, upgrade, and control connected devices. The TR-181 data model (used by USP and TR-069) provides support for home networks with the latest industry-defined technologies and eliminates the need for proprietary data models to be developed by different vendors. It thereby unifies home network management for all types of deployments and provides significant cost savings at scale.
Other Broadband Forum specifications which Stark has been a leading contributor to include issues of TR-068 and TR-124 (device requirements for CPE routers and Residential Gateways), TR-122 (requirements for consumer-oriented analog terminal adaptors), and access network architecture documents for architecture evolution, disaggregation, and IPv6. TR-124 drove common requirements for CPE residential gateways, while the TR-068 profile of TR-124 was critical in driving the availability of low-cost, basic routers that could be used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) worldwide. These innovations were critical in creating a global market of ISPs for vendors to serve and paved the way for the proliferation of broadband worldwide.
“Barbara as been an active participant at nearly every Broadband Forum meeting since 1999 and a major contributor to numerous Working Areas and projects, ensuring her work left its mark on today’s broadband networks. She is highly respected across the industry for her technical expertise, broad industry perspective and innovative approaches to networking challenges. Her longstanding and steadfast commitment to Broadband Forum, to a number of other industry bodies and to broadband as a whole is greatly appreciated and highly commendable.”
~ Robin Mersh, CEO Broadband Forum
Stark has paved a similarly revolutionary path within IETF, where she is chair of the Home Networking (homenet) and Domain Name System (DNS) Service Discovery (dnssd) working groups. Among her achievements here is the co-authoring of RFC 7084 Basic Requirements for IPv6 Customer Edge Routers, which enables the IPv6 deployments many ISPs enjoy today.
As HomeGrid Forum chair, Stark has seen G.hn technology adopted by many service providers and the number of certified devices grow consistently, year-on-year. She is also an active participant of BITAG, which creates industry white papers in the U.S. for topics of regulatory interest – providing fact-based, authoritative information to educate regulators, law makers and the public.
“As chair of HomeGrid Forum, Barbara has played an influential role in the adoption of G.hn technology worldwide. She is highly regarded in the telecommunications industry for her broad industry knowledge and expertise with the IP-based standards and networking technologies enabling operator deployments. This award is testament to the longstanding commitment that she has shown to the HomeGrid Forum and the other industry bodies that she is an active member of.”
~ Livia Rosu, Marketing Chair and Board Member at HomeGrid Forum