At the behest of its members, the DSL Forum is expanding its scope beyond the various flavors of DSL to include a variety of next-generation networks, including fiber-based and wireless networks.
This effort may include cable. Representatives of the DSL Forum said they will be meeting next month with EuroCableLabs at the 2006 Broadband World Forum Europe conference, set for Oct. 9-12 in Paris, to determine if there are areas of common interest. The DSL Forum was also enthusiastic about establishing contacts with CableLabs in the U.S.
Globally, DSL is by far the dominant broadband technology, used by more than 150 million subscribers. This level of success has drawn the participation of a continuously evolving membership that is now beginning to include consumer electronics vendors and home networking companies.
Given that, the DSL Forum expects to not only continue to help shape network standards but also standards that involve connectivity within the broadband customers’ homes. The initiative for doing that is called the BroadbandSuite.
The larger goal is to minimize provisioning and maintenance issues for service and application providers who must support vast and growing requirements of new applications and hardware associated with next-generation voice, video, data and mobile services.
BroadbandSuite has three focus areas: BroadbandControl, BroadbandAccess and BroadbandHome. Features include:
BroadbandControl: Creates an intelligent, programmable control layer that unifies management of next-generation network elements and devices, which empowers service providers to deliver personalized services that enhance the subscriber’s broadband experience.
BroadbandAccess: Defines specifications for broadband-agnostic access network architectures, evolving from ATM to Ethernet-based access aggregation. With Ethernet, service providers can better support high-bandwidth applications such as IPTV, video-on-demand and videoconferencing.
BroadbandHome: Unifies the home networking environment by establishing a common set of capabilities for networked devices as well as automating device activation and configuration to simplify the service delivery process.