Are You Ready to Rock?

Then pick up your axe, put on your spandex trousers and get yourself down to Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE). Kerrang!!!

Steve Saunders, Founder, Light Reading

May 1, 2015

3 Min Read
Are You Ready to Rock?

Calling All Telecom Rock 'n' Rollers,

Light Reading's 2015 Big Telecom Event in Chicago is now less than two months away, and we're expecting 3,000 industry communications mavens and 100 leading sponsor companies this year at McCormick Place in Chicago, where we will spend two days defining best practices for monetizing high-capacity networks.

But (BUT!) it obviously wouldn't be a big Light Reading event without an even bigger party, and this year we are turning the entertainment volume all the way up to 11 with our BIGGEST EVAH TELECOM PARTY on the first night of the event, Tuesday, June 9.

To make sure we put the "AYYYYY!" in "Partayyyyyy!" this year's shindig will also feature Light Reading's first-ever BTE Battle of the Bands, a Monsters of Rock style face-off between musical groups drawn from the ranks of the telecom industry itself (if not "hewn from the living stone").

Why a Battle of the Bands, you may ask? Because the communications industry has a long relationship with rock and roll. Did you know…

  • The prototype for the first-ever X.25 Packet Switch was invented by Mark E. Smith of The Fall when at technical college in Scarborough in 1976 [Ed. note: I don't think this is true, Steve. Nothing on Wikipedia.]

    • Jimi Hendrix showed off the knowledge he had acquired as a comms technician in the Air Force when he pointed to a local British Telecom radio mast during the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 and said, "Watch out for the attenuated propagation from the big twig." [Ed. note: Pretty sure this never happened either.]

    • The lyric "Your circuits dead, there's something wrong" from David Bowie's Space Oddity was inspired by a dial-up outage at the famous Hansa Tonstudio recording studio in Berlin while he was laying down that track. [Ed. note: Oh FFS, I'm off for a pint.]

      Now, clearly I've always fancied myself as rather an Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla, which is why I will be personally hitting the stage -- hard -- with Light Reading's own popular beat combo, WAR TOAD, but we need some competition to make it a night to remember, and that's why I'm sounding the giant rock flugelhorn horn and issuing THIS CHALLENGE: If your company has a band, bring them along to the party and show us what you've got. We'll provide the huge Marshall amps, sound engineer, gigantic rock stage, lights and rock groupies -- you bring your axes and your rock attitude.

      The competition is purely for fun. No-one will throw anything at you (nothing big, anyway) and having played for Light Reading's end users a few times myself, I can promise you an enthusiastic (a.k.a drunken) reception!

      If you are interested in having your band play at the BTE Battle of the Bands, please just shoot me a line at [email protected] and we'll provide you with the details.

      See you on the night!


      Note: Mandolin players need not apply. No Abba covers, please.

      — Stephen Saunders, Founder and CEO, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Steve Saunders

Founder, Light Reading

Steve Saunders is the Founder of Light Reading.

He was previously the Managing Director of UBM DeusM, an integrated marketing services division of UBM, which has successfully launched 45 online communities in less than three years.

DeusM communities are based on Saunders' vision for a structured system of community publishing, one which creates unprecedented engagement among highly qualified business users. Based on the success of the first dozen UBM DeusM communities, the UBM Tech division in 2013 made the decision to move its online business to the UBM DeusM community platform – including 20 year old flagship brands such as Information Week and EE Times.

Saunders' next mission for UBM is the development of UBM's Integrated Community Business Model (ICBM), a publishing system designed to take advantage of, and build upon, UBM's competitive strengths as a leading provider of live events around the globe. The model is designed to extend the ability of UBM's events to generate revenue 365 days of the year by contextually integrating content from community and event sites, and directories, to drive bigger audiences to all three platforms, and thereby create additional value for customers. In turn, these amplified audiences will allow business leaders to grow both revenues and profits through higher directory fees and online sponsorship. The ICBM concept is currently being discussed with a broad group of business leaders across UBM, and is earmarked to be piloted in the second half of 2013 and early 2014.

UBM DeusM is Saunders' fifth successful start-up. In 2008, he founded Internet Evolution (, a ground-breaking, award-winning, global online community dedicated to investigating the future of the Internet, now in its fifth year.

Prior to Internet Evolution, Saunders was the founder and CEO of Light Reading (, Heavy Reading (

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