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IPV6, MPLS-TP Are Hot, Says Forum

The Broadband Forum's members are showing a high degree of urgency around IPV6, and are looking for help with MPLS-TP deployments

November 25, 2010

3 Min Read
IPV6, MPLS-TP Are Hot, Says Forum

There's a broad range of views around the telecom sector about the need to introduce support for IPV6 addresses in the near future, but at the Broadband Forum it's a straightforward issue -- the members are showing "urgency" around the issue, with timetables the only flexible metric.

"There's a strong consensus among the members" regarding the need for IPV6 guidelines, says Tom Starr, president and chairman of the Broadband Forum (and a lead member of technical staff at AT&T Labs ) during a recent interview with Light Reading.

"There is no debate, and no dissent amongst the members -- there is a real urgency around IPV6," adds Starr (though he declined to comment on behalf of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)). "We are going to fall off the IPV6 cliff -- it's only the timescale that's up for debate. Is it six months? Nine months? Two years?" (See Report: Most ISPs Are IPv6 Ready, Cisco to Service Providers: Get Moving on IPv6, and IPv6 Prep Warnings Get More Urgent.)

The Forum's CEO, Robin Mersh, says the members have "asked for IPV6 work to be prioritized." As a result, the Forum is working with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to create a solution for the implementation of IPV6, he adds.

So what are the other hot issues for the Forum's members? Starr and Mersh highlighted the following as being in particular demand:

  • MPLS-TP: In response to demand, the Forum has created a working group that's looking at the potential uses of MPLS-TP, the emerging standard for connection-oriented packet transport. But what about PBB-TE -- is there a working group for that technology? "We haven't looked at PBB-TE -- we are contribution driven," says Starr, stressing that the Forum's focus areas are determined by requests from the members. (See Rumor: T-MPLS Group Gets Shouted Down and MPLS-TP Delays Keep T-MPLS Alive.)

  • Traffic management and policy control: "There's a lot of demand for more work in this area," notes Mersh, who adds that the Forum is working closely with the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) on policy management developments. (See the Policy Management Briefing Center.)

  • Access technology testing: An ongoing area of development, with a particular emphasis currently on GPON, home networking standard G.hn, and next-generation DSL. Starr says there's interest in best practices around how to test vectoring, also known as DSM level 3, which was a hot topic at the recent Broadband World Forum in Paris. The Forum is currently working on some specifications regarding the measurement of DSL quality (DSM in general, line bonding, forward error correction, and so on). (See BBWF 2010: NSN Takes DSL to 825 Mbit/s, G.hn Chips Away at Product Promises , BBWF 2010: Ikanos Boasts 100Mbit/s DSL, BBWF 2010: Top 10 Topics, ASSIA Gets Behind DSL Management , and Home Networking's War of Words Rages On.)

  • Applications management: The Forum's TR-69 specification is widely used in the development of remote CPE management tools, but now there's a need to expand its remit to reach beyond the home gateway and into the home, especially with regard to the remote management of specific applications.

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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