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Darin Howe

FTTx Solutions Manager - Corning Optical Communications

 

 

Nominee Questionnaire

Please provide a short bio for voters to get to know you. My current role is FTTx Solutions Manager with Corning Optical Communications. I have 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, working primarily with Outside Plant cable and FTTx deployments. I have served in various roles at Corning including Field Engineer, FTTH Project Manager, Product Line Specialist and Market Development Manager. I also served for 8 years as a Signal Corps Officer in the United States Army and Army Reserve. My educational accomplishments include a BS in Information Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Wake Forest University. I enjoy spending time with my family, teaching and serving at my Church and my hobbies include gardening, hiking, and coaching.

I was born and raised in rural Illinois and I have lived in small towns for most of my life. I have seen the direct impact of fiber broadband in rural communities and small towns. I am passionate about collaborating with others to address industry deployment challenges and helping to connect the unconnected.

Please explain why you consider yourself an excellent candidate for the Board of Directors of the Fiber Broadband Association. With 20 years of experience in the industry and formative education experiences, I will bring a broad set of skills and deep expertise in many aspects of fiber broadband networks to the Board of Directors. I developed a strong financial acumen and business experience from my 15-years working at Corning and completion of my MBA. Leadership skills and strategic thinking have been a critical part of my experience as a US Army Officer and at Corning. I believe strongly in servant leadership and have demonstrated this in many different roles. My current role at Corning, who proudly supports the FBA and its mission, is focused on identifying the toughest challenges for fiber broadband deployment and developing innovative solutions to address those challenges. I approach problem-solving with empathy for the customer and an open, collaborative mindset to pursue opportunities for improvement. We have millions of homes to connect and thousands of miles of fiber and cable to deploy and I am passionate about finding new, innovative ways to get this done. This is why I believe I am well positioned to help the FBA advance their mission to accelerate the deployment of fiber broadband networks to ensure digital equity and enable every community to leverage economic and societal benefits that only fiber can deliver.
How many years has your company been a Fiber Broadband Association Member? Corning was a founding member (2001) of the FTTH Council and continues to be a proud supporter of the Fiber Broadband Association.
How many years have you participated in Fiber Broadband Association activities? 11 years
Please indicate any Fiber Broadband Association Committees or working groups you have participated on including position and years served. I have participated in the Deployment Specialists Committee for over three years as an individual contributor.
Please list any Fiber Broadband Association Contributions (activities supported, assets developed, documents drafted, webinars presented, etc.) I moderated the Network Planning Best Practices panel at Fiber Connect 2023. I also contributed to the recent Microtrenching white paper created by the Deployment Specialists Committee and have presented in a past Conference Breakout Session.
How many years have you been in your current position? Two years
Describe your current job and functional responsibilities. My primary focus is on the roadmap and development of new FTTH and 5G Solutions to meet customer needs and solve important problems. I work with customers and industry partners to identify challenges for FTTX deployments and then work within Corning to apply our innovation capabilities to address those challenges. This includes leveraging FTTH application subject-matter expertise to gain deep understanding of the challenges through insight research and creation of a long-term innovation roadmap for value-added FTTx solutions.
What was your previous position? Market and Technology Development Manager, Outside Plant Cable
How many years did you hold your previous position for? Three years
Do you have experience as a member of a Board of Directors? No
The bylaws prohibit convicted felons from serving on the board. Is there any legal impediment that would prevent you from serving on the Board? No
Is there any legal issue personally of which the Association should be aware? No
Being a Fiber Broadband Association Board Member requires a considerable time commitment. Please confirm that you have the support of your company if you are elected. Yes
Please provide a short overview of your experience with telecommunications, fiber optics, and FTTH technologies. Prior to working at Corning, I spent five years in the US Army working on communications systems including the deployment of microwave radio and satellite equipment as well as IT and Network Operations roles. This is where I had my first experience working with fiber as we planned and executed a network improvement project including the deployment of fiber and new actives gear on our base while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This experience helped me develop an appreciation for the capability of optical fiber to support robust communication networks and led to me joining an industry leader.

I started with Corning in 2008 as a field engineer and project manager spending time installing, troubleshooting, and managing the passive side of FTTH, Data Center, and Local Area networks projects, supporting our technical support phone line, and teaching hands-on installation training classes. I spent 8 years in Product Line Management and Market Development for Outside Plant Fiber Optic Cable where I gained deep technical expertise in the manufacturing, development and deployment of Outside Plant Cable and Optical Fiber products. I have also spent over 3 years focused on FTTH Market Development and FTTx Solutions to support Corning’s business development and innovation efforts for FTTH deployments in North America including working closely with small and medium-sized network operators to optimize architectures, product options and deployment methods for lowest total cost. I am currently focused on improvements for Rural FTTH Deployments to help the industry connect the unconnected with robust fiber broadband.

Please describe the goals you would like to accomplish during your term as Fiber Broadband Association Board Member. With unprecedented government funding for FTTH initiatives planned over the next 3+ years, our industry has an amazing opportunity to accelerate the deployment of fiber broadband networks to make sure that every community can benefit from this essential service. I will support the Association’s goal to position fiber as the best solution for reliable, future-proof broadband for every home.

We are at a critical point to plan and execute BEAD and other government-funded broadband deployments and this will require further innovation to optimize funding and available for maximum FTTH deployment in a timely manner. I will collaborate with our members and other industry partners to continue developing innovative solutions to FTTH deployment and cost challenges.

I will also contribute to initiatives that will lead to the long-term success of the FBA like the five-year strategic plan and operational plans to ensure the financial well-being and strategic alignment of the association.

Have you reviewed the Board of Directors’ Responsibilities document, and do you understand what is required? Yes
Please describe the level of commitment (in terms of time and effort) that you intend to make to the Association during the three-year term. I am committed to supporting the mission of the association and representing the fiber broadband industry through the performance of Board duties. I will dedicate the required time to attend Board meetings and support committees, working groups, and conference activities as needed. I will serve in any capacity where my skills, knowledge and experience can contribute to the success of the FBA. Additionally, Corning has and will continue to be a proud supporter of the FBA with contributions to several committees, workgroups and public policy initiatives.