In June that year a team of BT executives unveiled the 21st Century Network (21CN) program, handed out technical and business specifications to multiple vendors, and talked of an all-IP vision that would transform BT's operations, cost base, and culture. Now, with the imminent departure of CTO Matt Bross, that core team of executives -– the 21CN 'Class of 2004' -– has dispersed. (See Bross Quits as BT's CTO.)
So what happened to them? Let's start at the top.
Reynolds left BT in September 2007 and headed to the other side of the world (don't read anything into that!) to become the tallest CEO at Telecom New Zealand Ltd. (NYSE: NZT; New Zealand: TEL), where he has initiated a 21CN-type transformation strategy (but with mobile assets as part of the mix) with a great deal of help from the equipment vendor now run by his former boss, Ben Verwaayen (but don't read anything into that!). (See Telecom NZ Launches 3G, AlcaLu Backhauls New Zealand, Telecom NZ Splits Up, Reynolds Leaving BT to Run TNZ, and 21CN Moves On.)
What's next for Bross? That's a wait-and-see question for the time being. He's back in the U.S. so there are plenty of potential opportunities.
Those three were the most high-profile and senior 21CN promoters, but there was another "Matt B." who was often heard extolling the NGN plan's virtues –- Matt Beal.
The affable executive looked like he was destined for great things at BT, and even sported the title of BT Wholesale CTO at one point, but like other who had championed controversial Carrier Ethernet technology PBT (Provider Backbone Transport) during the 21CN planning process, Beal was shown the door in 2008 as a new, more MPLS-friendly brigade took up their posts at the British incumbent. (See BT Exec Exit and PBT Sidelined at BT.)
Here, though, is a video reminder of Beal from when he was part of the 21CN set.
Beal was last heard of at CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), where he was CTO and VP Network Engineering. That operator has just merged with Embarq Corp. (NYSE: EQ) to form CenturyLink, where Beal still has an office and an assistant (though we didn't get through to chat, unfortunately). (See CenturyTel, Embarq Merge.)
That brings us to the end of our update, so... CLASS DISMISSED!!!
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading