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Leading Lights Awards

General Information and FAQs

Got a question about the awards? Please check this frequently asked questions section for answers.

General FAQS

// What are the Light Reading Leading Lights Awards?

The Leading Lights are Light Reading's annual awards program to recognize innovation and achievement in the global communications industry. 

The Leading Lights began in 2004 as a way to honor the companies and people carrying the industry forward. From the beginning, Light Reading’s own editorial independence makes the Leading Lights a credible, authoritative awards program; finalists and winners can use that hard-won recognition to evangelize their expertise and success. 

The entry process, judging and final decisions are completely independent of any other program or process run by or associated with Light Reading and every entry is judged on its own merits.

//  When and where are the Leading Lights Finalists announced?

The Leading Lights Finalists will be announced on Friday, October 14.

The winners will be revealed in an online ceremony on Friday, December 2. You can register here.

//  When and where are the Leading Lights Winners announced?

The Leading Lights Winners will be announced via an online ceremony at www.lightreading.com.

//   What do I need to submit in my entry?

All entries must be written in English and submitted via our online form.

  • Please read the entire entry form before you start answering questions. The information required is pretty straightforward and the "big question" – Why should you win? – has a 500-word limit

  • You may provide up to 3 links with additional information to support your entry. One of those links can be to a Dropbox or Google Drive folder that contains additional articles, charts, data and research supporting your entry.     

// Where do I submit my entry?

The link for submitting entries is right here.

//   What is the cost to enter the Leading Lights Awards?

Early-bird entries will cost $299.

After August 14, Leading Lights entries will cost $399. Credit card payments can be made online when entering. 

//   How do we make payment for our entry?

You can make a payment via a debit or credit card when you complete your submission. You can save and edit your entry at any point up until submission and payment is complete.

//  Who judges the awards entries?

Light Reading’s editors are the primary judges, and each editor oversees a panel of independent contributors and analyst colleagues to help them judge categories where specific expertise is needed. The decision of the judges is final.

The process is overseen by Phil Harvey, Light Reading's chief editor, now in his 16th year with the publication. The first round judges include Iain Morris, Kelsey Ziser, Nicole Ferraro, Jeff Baumgartner, Mike Dano and Fiona Graham. 

//  Who won in 2021?

Here's a complete recap of what happened in last year's contest. 

Here are the finalists and the winners from the 2020 Leading Lights Awards.

//  What advice would you give to anyone entering the awards?

Keep your awards entries clear, concise, accurate and interesting. Focus on why you think your company should win, be specific and, when you make a claim to greatness, back it up with evidence.

Category FAQs

//   What are the awards categories?

The Leading Lights for 2022 will feature 24 categories. Each category will have one winner and, in some categories, additional awards will be possible with our Editor's Choice awards (Keep reading).

CLICK HERE to view the categories

//   What submissions qualify for the product, solution and services categories?

Your product or service must have been introduced on or after July 1, 2021, to qualify for the 2022 Leading Lights Awards. In general, we're looking for the very best from the industry during the past 12 months, so if you're worried about missing the cutoff by a week or two, please let us know and we can help you sort it out.

//  What about the "of the year" categories?

We'll give the most consideration to accomplishments listed on or after July 1.

//   For Best New Video/Media Product or Service, what kinds of companies are able to enter?

For this category, we welcome bundles that include online video subscription services and blend broadband access and compelling content in new ways for consumers or businesses. 

We're also looking at streaming platforms that compete with established brands, as well as new software or services that help telcos and cablecos deliver a superior video experience to subscribers.

//  Could you clarify which type of organization should enter Outstanding System Integrator?

We welcome entries in a broad range of telecom IT categories (cloud-native software, AI and analytics, network management and policy control), especially those focused on supporting new telecom services and business models.


//  What are you looking for in the category called, "Outstanding Use Case: Broadband Deployment?"

We hope to recognize rural or urban broadband deployment use cases, and we aim to focus our attention on technology innovation, as well as the deployment's community impact on its residents, local businesses or other groups.


// Could you clarify which type of organization should enter Outstanding Use Case: Innovative IoT?

We welcome entries in all industrial IoT market segments, especially Industry 4.0 applications, smart cities, smart buildings and venues, as well as logistics, healthcare and agriculture.


//  What does one have to do to qualify as a Light Reading MVP?

We're looking for individuals, at any corporate level, who made an unmistakable difference in their company, in their community, and/or in the culture in the past 12 to 18 months. 

In the past, we've only awarded one person of the year, but we heard several excellent stories about remarkable people working in the communications industry. We look forward to honoring more MVPs and doing a better job of covering their accomplishments.  

// What are the Editor's Choice awards? 

Our editors have been given the ability to hand out additional awards in some closely contested categories, at their discretion. The Editor's Choice Leading Lights will be announced when we make the Leading Lights winners announcements in November.

Additional Questions

//   What information from my awards entry will be released to the public?

We will not publish the awards entries. 

We do, however, reserve the right to use any of the information disclosed, especially product claims and verifiable market share and sales statistics, in our reporting. Rest assured we will be respectful of your company and responsible to our readers. We will contact you to verify anything we aim to report that's not readily available in the public domain. 

Any financial details provided by private companies will remain confidential and not published/released to the public domain unless explicitly approved by the submitting company.

//   Does my company have to be a Light Reading sponsor to win a Leading Light award?

No, the awards are editorially independent. If we could only pick from a pool of our advertisers and sponsors, some of our most remarkable and controversial picks would never have seen the light of day. 

That said, contact sales@lightreading.com if you’d like to learn about all the various ways you can make the most of your Leading Lights efforts in advertising, paid media and custom programming. 

//   Wait! You haven’t answered my question!

Sorry about that. Please send an email with the subject line “Leading Lights Question” to  marketing@lightreading.com and we’ll respond as soon as we can think of an answer. Please DO NOT email Light Reading's editors.