ATLANTA, Ga. -- The Broadband Forum today announced the conclusion of a special three-day meeting held in Atlanta and subsequent agreement of the Board of Directors, with the purpose of examining common strategies for the future of broadband and IP networking. It also aimed to develop a new operational model and immediate actions that leverage new technology and development approaches to serve the business requirements of the stakeholders in the broadband market.
The outcome of the meeting was a course of action that included the following:
Service providers and equipment manufacturers which support broadband came from around the world to the Atlanta meeting to present their latest thinking on broadband networks to a large audience of Broadband Forum members and invited guests. AT&T, BT, CenturyLink, China Unicom, NTT Labs, Orange, Spark New Zealand, Sky, Telecom Italia and Vodafone, along with key broadband market equipment suppliers Adtran, Calix, Huawei, and Nokia, as well as analyst house Infonetics Research and test organization European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC), gave their visions of the future along with their views on how the Forum should contribute to the future of networking in terms of its work and operations.
An important context for the meeting was the emergence of the Cloud Central Office (CO). Demonstrations and presentations of the Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) project – an open source project led by Open Networking Lab and partners – were sponsored by AT&T at its Foundry lab in Atlanta. The demos showed participants how the Cloud CO concept could accelerate operators’ deployment of new technologies in a re-imagined central office.
Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh said: “The meeting, regarded by many as one of the best in our history, pulled no punches. Perhaps the most important message is that while we have made significant strides towards ‘agile, programmable and ultra-fast networks’ in the last year, we need to dramatically extend and accelerate delivery of standards and software to enable the innovation the broadband industry needs.”
The Atlanta meeting outlined many different perspectives and commonalities with some specific conclusions for actions to be taken by the Broadband Forum. The meeting participants expressed agreement on the following:
From the various inputs, the meeting looked at new roles and important changes to be adopted by the Forum to enhance its industry impact and interactive delivery processes.
The exciting new areas where the Broadband Forum can provide great value and lasting impact for the broadband industry include: providing a safe harbor for intellectual property rights (the Broadband Forum has taken a leadership role in this area); providing migration guidance and software; interoperability and performance testing; implementation; functional broadband expertise; and defining software service platforms on which providers, vendors, and application developers can innovate. In addition, the Forum will provide iterative specifications, test initiatives and supporting software, upstream and downstream of specific solutions open to members and non-members. The Forum can provide invaluable implementation best practices guidance to the large number of regional and local services providers which do not have the resources to keep pace with developments.
Many of the innovative definitional, testing and implementation projects currently underway are very well aligned with both adding valuable service and industry thinking. The projects include virtual residential and business gateways, Cloud CO, Software Defined Networking (SDN) broadband management, G.fast deployment projects, residential and business user services platform, hybrid wireline-wireless and broadband assured IP services, etc.