MPLS Forum Founded

MPLS Forum Founded

March 13, 2000

4 Min Read

Sixteen leading networking and telecommunication companies announced the formation of The MPLS Forum, an industry-wide association whose mission is to accelerate interoperability and deployment of MultiProtocol Label Switching (MPLS) and its associated technologies. The MPLS protocol is a critical component for extending best-effort IP networks to include support for traffic engineering, quality of service (QoS) and virtual private networks (VPN).

The MPLS Forum has scheduled the first Technical Committee meetings for April 3-4, 2000 at the Sheraton San Jose Hotel in Milpitas, CA. There will be an open session of the committee meeting on April 3 starting at 3:30 p.m. and continuing on April 4 at 8:30 a.m. to allow non-member companies to learn more about the Forum and the activities of the Technical Committee. Companies interested in joining The MPLS Forum are encouraged to participate in this free open session.

David Drury, The MPLS Forum President & Chairman and vice president technology strategy for Marconi said: "MPLS is a critical technology that will help transform today's best-effort Internet into the true multi-service New Public Network of tomorrow. We are excited by the overwhelming support for The MPLS Forum, as such organizations in the past have played a major role in speeding the deployment of new technologies. The MPLS Forum will have a similar impact on the advancement and deployment of MPLS technologies."

The founding members are from the communications software, equipment manufacturer and network service provider communities and comprise: Broadband Office, Data Connection Ltd, Ennovate Networks, George Mason University Advanced Internet Lab, GlobeSpan, Harris & Jeffries, Integral Access, Inverness Systems, Nokia High-Speed Access Products, Lucent Technologies, Marconi plc, Qwest Communications International, Telcordia Technologies, Tenor Networks, Valient Networks, and Vivace Networks. The breadth and diversity of the founding members is indicative of the industry-wide interest and support that MPLS is receiving.

"MPLS is the bridge between IP and connection-oriented networks. It's also the bridge between electrical and optical networking. In short, it may well be one of the truly central concepts in networking today," said Tom Nolle, president and founder of CIMI Corporation, an independent analyst firm. "Network development success hinges on industry-wide dedication to harmonizing MPLS evolution with other networking activities. This Forum is a very strong beginning."

Johnson Agogbua, vice president of engineering and co-founder of network service provider Broadband Office noted that "MPLS technology is a critical piece of the next generation network services that service providers plan to deploy. MPLS allows better integration of private and public network services by bringing together routing and traffic engineering functions in a way that allows rapid customization for different applications, such as voice over MPLS and virtual private networks supporting voice, intranet, and video applications. The MPLS Forum represents an opportunity to further define requirements, applications and interoperability for this convergent technology."

The MPLS Forum will serve as a meeting ground for companies that are creating or deploying MPLS products or services. The Forum will help facilitate worldwide compatibility and interoperability by sponsoring interoperability events through universities and member connect-athons. The Forum will also focus on publishing MPLS Implementation Agreements, marketing MPLS technologies at tradeshows and conferences, acting as a central reference on MPLS resources, and educating the market on the capabilities and advantages offered by MPLS and its associated technologies. Finally, the Forum will act as a liaison to provide inputs to the appropriate national and international standards bodies including the IETF, the ITU, the ATM Forum and the Frame Relay Forum.

The Executive Committee, as elected at the founding members meeting on January 28, 2000 at the ComNet 2000 tradeshow, is comprised of David Drury (Marconi plc) as President and Chairman; Andrew Malis (Lucent Technologies) as Vice Chairman and Technical Committee Chair; Ian Mashiter (Ennovate Networks) as Secretary; John Fryer (Harris & Jeffries) as Treasurer along with Paul Doolan (Ennovate Networks) and Robert Newcomb (Inverness Systems) as Joint Chairs of the Marketing and Education Committee.

For more information about The MPLS Forum or the upcoming Technical Committee meetings, please contact Alexa Morris, MPLS Forum Executive Director, at 510-608-5914 or via e-mail at [email protected]. Additional information regarding Forum membership and the Forum's mission is available on The MPLS Forum web site found at

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