Shining Lights in the Gloom

 The past twelve months has been a most painful and an extraordinarily challenging time for the telecommunications industry. While many new entrant players have faced a struggle for survival, some of our most established and traditional companies have had significant problems of their own.


It would seem that gathering to celebrate achievement at such a time may seem untimely, even inappropriate, but I believe that it is even more important at such moments to identify and acknowledge those who have made the most significant and important contributions over the past year.


However, we all share the responsibility, and the future rewards, which come with working and fighting to rebuild the trust in an industry that has suffered a catastrophic loss of confidence. 


It was Mark Twain who declared: “the rumors of my death are premature!”  And I would say to those who have written the obituary for the telecommunications industry, who have carved the tombstone, and who dare to dance upon the grave, to behold the powerful forces that our industry has yet to unleash.  While a great deal of the financial engineering that accompanied the telecommunications revolution may not have been healthy, the telecommunications industry is here to stay.  On the recent history of telecommunications Arthur C. Clarke observed, “In the span of only three human lifetimes, the world was transformed almost out of recognition.  And the end is not yet in sight.” 



The World Communication Awards 2001 transcends the short-term issues facing the industry by recognizing and embracing the longer-term vision and the unparalleled contributions of our industry to our planet.  The short listed and winning companies and individuals mentioned in this publication are the best among an impressive list of entrants for this year’s awards programme. With the help of our distinguished panel of judges, of which I am pleased to have been the chair, they were selected after a process of rigorous examination and discussion. I hope that by rewarding them we may provide a beacon of light to an industry hitherto recognized for its unprecedented levels of growth, innovation and expansion.


Of particular significance this year is the introduction of a new award for the Most Innovative Enterprise User of a Communications Solution, presented under the auspices of Communications Week International. This award gives the WCA 2001 programme an important new dimension, and I trust that it will become an established, perhaps even expanded, feature of WCA in the future. 


Finally, I would like to add my congratulations to the finalists and winners, and indeed thank all the entrants, who together provided myself and the panel with such a difficult but interesting challenge when making our selection.



Michael Potter

Chair of Judges