Izzi Innovation Director Sees Broadband Light at the End of the Pandemic Tunnel

Israel Madiedo sees a connection between broadband and everyday life, and he thinks that connection is only going to grow stronger in a post-pandemic world.

The director of innovation and technology at Mexican cable operator izzi, Madiedo has helped his company weather the operational chaos of COVID-19. In a recent 4Front podcast, he explained how izzi has not only adapted to more broadband-dependent customers but also how the company has developed big plans for growth.

As director of innovation and technology, his job is to develop “crazy ideas” that push cable technology forward in areas such as data and network convergence.

As if all that work weren’t challenging enough, Madiedo and izzi faced added pressure from the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the resultant operational impacts, izzi pressed ahead with its growth plan, launching GPON fiber-to-the-home service in several new Mexican cities.

“We were already a basic service, but last year we became one of the top five vital services,” he said. “I believe the pandemic was an accelerator for digital transformation, and the first thing we knew was that we needed to be reliable and continue to deliver services to everyone, because everyone was now more or less living, working, learning, and playing via home connectivity. So we couldn’t afford to fail. That concept has changed many things in our society.”

Dependence on connectivity isn’t unique to Mexico. A recent consumer survey conducted by Pew Research found that 85 percent of American adults now go online daily, and 31 percent say they go online almost constantly, up from 21 percent in 2015. About 48 percent say they go online several times a day, and only 6 percent say they are online only once a day.

Indications are that the need for broadband won’t subside along with the pandemic, so izzi is already looking ahead, developing new services such as backup connectivity during power outages and services that tailor broadband performance to individual users.

“Many people think we’re kind of stuck in the old cable paradigm,” Madiedo said, “but we’re not.” He points to innovations in customer-premises equipment (CPE) management, network-as-a-platform services and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning as proof of a technological evolution. “We are a very dynamic industry—especially the cable aspect. We have a real opportunity to deliver many new things.”

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