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Cable Europe adds regulatory heft with appointment of Kurth

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 6:27pm
Mike Robuck

Former German telecom regulator Matthias Kurth is joining Cable Europe’s executive committee as its executive chairman.

Matthias recently held the position of president of the German Federal Network Agency, Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), the authority for telecommunications, postal, energy and railway markets in Germany, including frequency management and digital signature.

During his tenure, he played an instrumental role in the liberalization of the German energy market and left behind notable achievements with respect to competition in the telecommunications market. Matthias also served as chairman of the European Regulators Group (ERG) in 2009 to increase regulatory cooperation at the EU level.

“It is a true testimony to the growing maturity of our organization that an executive of Matthias' caliber has agreed to join forces with us. His unique experience and high-level insight will be invaluable for our growing sector,” said Cable Europe President Manuel Kohnstamm. “Matthias brings extraordinary oversight of our sector, given his experience in helping to drive Germany’s broadband take-up, running Europe’s first spectrum auctions for mobile broadband and serving as the chair of the European Regulators Group at a time of crucial regulatory reform in European telecoms.”

Kurth worked as a judge and lawyer for 16 years prior to his roles as president of BNetzA and chairman of the ERG. He served as state secretary in the Hesse Ministry of Economics, Transport, Technology and European Affairs between 1994 and 1999.

“The substantial contribution of the cable industry for high-speed broadband connections in Europe is an enormous success. I'm glad to join a sector, which has practically proven that efficient private investment, better quality of service and fair prices for consumers can be achieved simultaneously," said Kurth. “It’s a great time to be onboard given cable’s performance in connecting Europeans, its ongoing achievement in higher political goals laid out in the Digital Agenda and its consumer-driven business, which is still growing in the current economic climate. Having learned a lot about how to encourage competition and help consumers across crucial European sectors, I look forward to giving Cable Europe a hand in its efforts within a continually evolving policy context.”

Cable Europe/Cable Europe Labs oversees the European cable operator industry in a similar vein to CableLabs’ work in the United States. The two entities pledged to work more closely together last year.

Kohnstamm, who was recently appointed chief policy Officer for Liberty Global, will continue his current supervisory mandate as president of Cable Europe together with vice president Manuel Cubero, chief operating officer of Kabel Deutschland.

“Matthias knows a thing or two about networks, and we’re delighted to count him as part of our very own European network of the best connectivity providers in the market,” said Cable Europe managing director Caroline van Weede. “His stewardship of a variety of high-level political issues while at BNetzA will buttress our leadership here at Cable Europe, where we continue to put our industry’s best foot forward on a daily basis.”

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