DSL Library, on broadband via twisted pair telephony cabling




Rob F.M. van den Brink
Google Scholar
The Netherlands



Name:Dr. ir. ing. Rob.F.M. van den Brink
Position: Senior Scientist
Broadband Access Networks
Workplace: TNO
Brasserplein 2
P.O. Box 5050
2600 GB Delft
The Netherlands
Contact: Rob.vandenBrink@tno.nl
[Rob F.M. van den Brink]


Dr. Rob F.M. van den Brink is a senior scientist at TNO in the field of Broadband Access Networks. He was acting from 1999-2009 as Rapporteur/Editor for ETSI to create the two European Spectral Management standards, was Board member of the MUSE consortium (2003-2009) and has now a leading position with the 4GBB consortium.
He has a Ph.D degree in electronics (1994), graduated in Electronics from Delft University in 1984, and joined in that year KPN Research (which is now TNO). He is an expert on Broadband access networks, especially on all physical layer issues for deploying xDSL technology over twisted pair copper loops. He is the architect of the current Spectral Management policy in the Netherlands, advises the SOO regularly, plays a prominent role in ETSI-TM6 and ITU on xDSL standardization, is active in several European initiatives (FSAN, MUSE, 4GBB), and a driving force in getting the industry into motion for the development of G.fast to accelerate 4GBB via Hybrid FttH.
His roots are in microwave electronics, antennas, remote sensing, analog electronics and fiber networks.

He is playing a leading role in the initiation and continuation of the 4GBB consortium (2009-now), a European consortium on the development of Gigabit solutions over Copper. He brought the industry into motion for the development of an associated standard. In convinced in dec 2010 the industry for the need of such development, and several operators proposed via the Broadband Forum for standardization (lead by him and BT). ITU responded quickly and started in Feb 2011 with G.fast. From that moment he wrote several ITU contributions, a white paper and articles in magazines and technical presentations to get this concept running.

He is playing since 1996 a very prominent role in all kinds of xDSL standardization in Europe (ETSI, FSAN), wrote about 100-120 technical contributions to ETSI and ITU in identifying / defining cable models, test loops, noise models, performance tests, and spectral management. This made him the architect of the two Spectral Management standards (ETSI TR 101 830, [2]), the way DSL performance tests are currently specified in ETSI standards for VDSL, SDSL and ADSL, and the editor of an ETSI-TM6 reference document on European cables [1]. He also designed solutions for Spectral Management policies in the Netherlands, created various xDSL tools on performance simulation (SPOCS) and testing that are currently on the market. He holds a world wide patent on the generation of noise for DSL testing, being the core technology of the mayority of todays DSL noise generators.

In 2003, he became Board member of the MUSE consortium, a huge FP6 industry consortium on future access networks. He took a leading position in creating the MUSE Test Suite, a comprehensive document for analyzing access networks as a whole (full service, end-to-end), created by a multi-disciplinary team of experts over a period of four years.

Before 1995, he worked on various aspects of coherent optical transmission systems. His focus was on the design of low noise, wideband optical receivers for lightwave systems, used for both internal as external projects. This resulted in 1994 in a PhD in electronics on Low Noise Wideband Feedback Amplifiers, two patents and several related publications on the characterization of transfer and noise in electrical, optical and acoustical devices. He joined KPN Research in 1985 (that has been incorporated in TNO since 2003), with a background on Microwave technogy (antennas, remote sensing).

Some expertises and skills
DSL technology
  • modeling of cables and DSL modems
  • designing deployment guidelines
  • performance simulations/predictions of DSL
  • benchmarking of xDSL
  • Geographic statistics
Spectral management of metallic access networks
  • designing access rules
  • designing spectral policies
Standardization and international cooperation
  • Rapporteur for ETSI
  • spectral management and DSL
  • consortium building, consensus building
Software tooling
  • numerical analysis
  • signal processing for measurements, analysis, simulation and presentation
  • Parser generators, compilers
  • Matlab, Object Pascal, SQL
Track record
Rob has over 17 years experience in deploying xDSL technology, spectral management and modelling networks plus systems.
  • About 110 ETSI & ITU contributions, ETSI Cable reference document several publications, white papersand patents
  • Rapporteur/Editor for ETSI for the two spectral management standards, and he created most of its content.
  • Architect of most aspects of the performance test in the ETSI xDSL standards
  • Spectral Management in the Netherlands
  • Diana prize in 2001
  • SPOCS, a tool for performance simulations
  • Patents and implementation of the Jabberizer, software-based approach for noise generation, used in market leading products.
  • Board member of MUSE consortium, Chairs MUSE lab trials, leading role in ODESIAN consortium
  • Leading the MUSE Test Suite, covering all OSI layers on analyzing an access network
  • Taskforce leader within 4GBB consortium


Education history

  • 1992-1994, PhD Thesis, "Low Noise wideband feedback amplifiers"
  • 1979-1984, Electronics, Technical University, Delft (interupted by military service)
  • 1973-1978, Electronics, HTS Wegastraat, Den Haag
  • 1972-1973, Havo 4, Bonaventura College, Leiden
  • 1968-1972, Mulo-B, Paulus Mulo, Leiden

Employer history

  • 1984-1985, Technical University Delft - Research group "Microwave technology"
  • 1985-2003, KPN Research
  • 2003-today, TNO

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created by: Rob F.M. van den Brink, The Netherlands