Welcome to the first annual installment of the Broadband 50, a list of companies, technologies and people the editors of CED believe will shape the face of broadband in the next year.

Steam or smiles, welcome to the list.

Download the CED Broadband 50 in PDF

Jeff Baumgartner

If that’s steam shooting from your ears, I’ll assume you’re not on the list. Cracking a smile? Let me be the first to congratulate you. 
Before we move on, be warned that the Broadband 50 is the summation of subjective editorial opinion. In other words, this is The List, and it cannot be questioned. That’s a joke, of course, but you’ll learn how to cast doubt on our selections in just a few short paragraphs. 

But first, let me discuss how we created this list. While throwing darts has its merits, the editors of CED (Roger Brown, Mike Lafferty, Duffy Hayes and yours truly), with the aid of our broadband cohorts at sister publication Multichannel News, each made a list of candidates and an argument stating why each one should be considered for inclusion. 

From there, the CED folks deliberated for several hours, paring down the list until we arrived at our best and brightest: our first Broadband 50. This list wasn’t set in stone, however. Originally, Sprint Corp. was firmly on our list. Then, just mere moments later, the company put the brakes on fixed-wireless expansion and scuttled its ION project. So we sent Sprint to the showers like a fourth-string quarterback. 

Let it be known that no noses were bloodied and no bones were shattered during the deliberations. Egos, however, were another matter. We each had companies and people for whom we fought and believed worthy of the Broadband 50, but not all of them made the cut. 

Next, we ranked the list. Considering the diversity of these companies, we thought it would almost be unfair to rank them by company size, revenues, stock prices and other variables that Wall Street values. So, instead, we did what any scientist would do and enlisted the all-knowing Google to help us determine the order.

Here’s where you come in. This represents our first shot at this, so your feedback is more than welcome. Think we were dead on? We’d like to know about it. Think we don’t know a cable modem from a potted plant? Let us hear about it. Please send your comments to; we’ll be sure to share some of them in next month’s issue (minus the profanity, of course). 

At the same time, let us know if there’s a company, person or technology that might be flying outside the reaches of our radar. It’s never too early to start thinking about next year. We certainly are.

Jeff Baumgartner, Assistant Editor