E1 - Andrew Tipping at Zayo Group

Andrew Tipping

By Andrew Tipping

On the first episode of The Route to Networking – The Fibre Edition spin-off series, we were joined by our host, Max Penn and our special guest, Andrew Tipping, the Director of Business Development at Zayo Group. During this episode, they discuss some of the biggest changes Andrew has seen since he started his journey in the Telecoms/Fibre space and how the volume of data people require now has increased massively over the year. They also talk about some of the concerns he sees in the space at the moment.

His journey goes back a while and it all started in the Midlands, where he was born and raised. During the late 70s, the opportunities in the area he was from were slim and he found himself questioning what he could do as a career. He decided the best move was to relocate to London as the job opportunities were a lot bigger and wanted to make something of himself. He joined the Post Office Telecoms which is now BT, and this is essentially where his career started. He progressed through various roles and starting at BT was a great foundation to get into Telecoms.

In 2007, he had a career break, taking 3 months off to see a world outside of Telecoms. He went to work for a franchise organisation that delivered parcels, helping the franchise members. But it wasn’t long before the Telecoms industry called him back. Three years on he joined Cable and Wireless as a BD Manager, jumped to GEO, then Vodafone then 3 years ago joined Zayo and has been there ever since.

Some of the biggest challenges he has seen during his time in the space are the size of the cable being a lot bigger. When data first started, they were using copper with a 2mg service. The volume of data people wants to transmit now is crazy so the level of work and the quality of what is put into it has changed massively.

What is the most important thing you have learnt?…

During his career, he has learnt that there are only so many hours in the day. No matter how seen you are in an organisation, there are only so many hours in one day. Prioritise the importance of tasks, not what’s urgent. If you’re always doing urgent tasks, then everything turns urgent. Another thing he has learnt comes massively with respect. Everybody wants to be popular at school, but management is not a popularity contest. Be respectful of individuals and be prepared to have discussions with managers if you don’t quite agree.

Some advice he gives to those of you who are looking to start in the Fibre space is that unless you’re into science, it’s probably not an industry that you would traditionally go for. People need to understand it to get the basic knowledge in stem and the disciplines. Go on courses that give you the fundamental knowledge of telecoms. You could even look into getting an apprenticeship. At Zayo, they offer apprenticeships and accept graduates so it’s always worth looking into doing something that will get your foot in the door.

This industry is something that never stands still so be prepared to always move with it otherwise you will be left behind. “Change is the only constant”.

To hear the full episode of our first Fibre Edition spin-off series, tune in on 02/02/2023.