Meet these innovators who were instrumental to the advancement of broadband technology.
Over the years, this team has committed itself to advancing the technical, economic and social transformations enabled by broadband. Collectively, they have achieved the development and deployment of commercial class cable modems providing broadband access to educational institutions at all levels, the federal government, industries, and hospitals. Additionally, their contribution to consumer-class DOCSIS (Data over Cable Service Interface Specification) cable modems has enabled the cable industry to deploy a broadband infrastructure that today is the marketplace leader.
They continue to lead next generation solutions and standards for thousands of services over broadband infrastructure to connect not only cities, institutions and governments, but also 4 billion unserved and underserved people worldwide. To reach these objectives, these pioneers continue to be leaders in seeking out new and innovative technologies such as the utilization of TV White Spaces, the unused wireless spectrum.
Much of their ongoing commitment to improving lives through access to affordable, ubiquitous broadband connections is carried out through their contributions to the research, expertise, and policy tools of the UNH Broadband Center of Excellence.
Rouzbeh Yassini-Fard, a technology entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist, is the founder of YAS Foundation, which supports innovation addressing educational advancement, cultural collaborations, medical technology and telecommunications advocacy. Dr. Yassini is widely known as the “father of the cable modem,” tracing to the breakthrough achievements around high-speed data technologies developed by LANcity, a company Yassini founded in 1988
Rouzbeh Yassini-Fard, a technology entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist, is the founder of YAS Foundation, which supports innovation addressing educational advancement, cultural collaborations, medical technology and telecommunications advocacy.
Dr. Yassini is widely known as the “father of the cable modem,” tracing to the breakthrough achievements around high-speed data technologies developed by LANcity, a company Yassini founded in 1988. LANcity was the developer of key technologies including a Media Access Control software solution which Yassini contributed on a royalty-free basis to the global cable telecommunications industry.
Additionally, Yassini has served as an executive advisor to CableLabs, providing guidance and support for the non-profit organization’s Data over Cable Services Interface Specification (DOCSIS) program, and for a far-reaching device interoperability initiative that paved the way for the scaled, global deployment of cable modems, a pillar of today’s worldwide, multi-trillion dollar broadband sector.
As Founder and CEO of YAS Corporation, Dr. Yassini has been instrumental in the creation of multiple start-up companies that have been acquired or have successfully staged initial public stock offerings. He has served as a senior executive consultant with Comcast Corp. surrounding the development of the first IP-enabled cable industry set-top box; with Cablevision Systems Corp. involving the creation of an advanced “Super Network Operations Center;” and with Cisco System regarding service provider solutions tied to high-speed broadband data transmission.
He has served as a member of the board of directors for LANcity (acquired by Bay Networks in 1996); Broadband Access Systems (acquired by ADC in 2000), TrueChat (acquired by Terayon in 2001), Entropic Communications (initial public offering), IRYStec (acquired by Faurecia in 2020), Visteon Corporation, and as an advisor to Liberty Global. In total, YAS Corporation has been an investor in 11 start-up companies from 1997-2002.
Yassini also is Executive Director of the University of New Hampshire Broadband Center of Excellence, an interdisciplinary initiative devoted to the advancement of broadband Internet technology and services.
Yassini holds an Honorary Ph.D. in Science and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from West Virginia University; an Honorary Ph.D. from Merrimack College; and an equivalent MBA from General Electric’s Financial Management Program. Dr. Yassini is a member of the Lane Department Academy and the West Virginia University Academy of Distinguished Alumni.
Dr. Yassini is the author of Planet Broadband (Cisco Press, 2004), a humanized look at broadband technology and its contributions to society. He resides in New Hampshire.
Mr. Grobicki is currently an Executive Consultant for the UNH Broadband Center of Excellence, with 40 years of experience in the high technology industry.
Chris Grobicki - Executive Consultant
Chris Grobicki is currently an Executive Consultant for the UNH Broadband Center of Excellence, with 40 years of experience in the high technology industry. He has held engineering, program management and executive leadership positions on computer and broadband communication product developments and was one of the early pioneers of cable modem and DOCSIS technology for which he is named on multiple patents. Chris was an Executive Consultant with YAS Broadband Ventures working internationally for companies ranging in size from early stage to well established on technology products and services. Before that he was an early member of Broadband Access Systems (BAS) where he formed the group responsible for the development of the RF technology in a carrier-class Cable Modem Termination System. After acquisition by ADC he was promoted to Vice President of Engineering for all broadband communication products.
In the early 1990s Chris joined LANcity, a pioneer in cable modem technology, as Vice President of Engineering. LANcity developed and deployed cable modem products worldwide, and was one of the primary authors of the original DOCSIS standardized cable modem specifications. Bay Networks (which was subsequently acquired by Nortel Networks) acquired LANcity in 1996 and Chris spent several years travelling around the world evangelizing broadband cable modems before he joined BAS.
Chris received a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and did work towards a graduate degree at MIT while working at Raytheon. He is named on multiple patents for development work he has accomplished over the years including cable modem technology.
Mr. Nikolich is an Executive Advisor for the Broadband Center of Excellence, focused on angel investing, identifying technology, and broadband related standard activities to further BCoE’s mission.
Paul Nikolich - Executive Consultant/Investor
Mr. Nikolich is an Executive Advisor for the Broadband Center of Excellence, focused on angel investing, identifying technology, and broadband related standard activities to further BCoE’s mission. Paul holds several patents, serves as a director and advisor for technology companies developing emerging data communications related products and services. He is an IEEE Fellow and holds several senior IEEE leadership positions while serving as Chairman of the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee since 2001.
He joined YAS Broadband Ventures, LLC in 2002 as a partner and continues to serve as their Chief Strategy Officer. In 1998 he co-founded Broadband Access Systems, Inc. where he was Vice President of Technology and Standards. The Broadband Access Systems team invented carrier-class Cable Modem Termination Systems. Earlier Paul helped LANcity develop their first generation Cable Modems. Paul has held technical positions of increasing responsibility at multiple communications & medical imaging technology companies including Motorola, Analogic, Racal Datacom and Sarnoff Digital Communications.
Paul received a BS in Electrical Engineering & Biology and a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, N.Y (now the NYU Tandon School of Engineering)