Broadband Forum Opens its Work to the Industry

  • Broadband Forum

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA — Broadband Forum announced it has become an "open" organization – making all of its work visible to the industry. The by-law amendment was passed on 14 October and the transition was confirmed at its Q4 meeting in Panama City, Panama. The move reflects Broadband Forum’s leadership in ushering in an industry-wide evolution to greater agility and transparency that aims to strike the right balance between open source and standards, further opening the whole broadband ecosystem by continuing to drive interoperability and an open market. 

"Our move to an open organization is very much like the key piece of a giant jigsaw puzzle that we have been working on for a number of years, so it is fulfilling to step back and look at the significant transformation that we’ve achieved to date," said Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum. "That said, our evolution continues in step with the transformations taking place across the entire broadband industry. Broadband Forum is very much taking a leading role here; we are one of the first to make the shift, becoming much more like our sister organizations such as the IETF, the IEEE and the ITU. We would encourage anyone who is interested in helping open the whole broadband ecosystem to come and see the work we do in promoting both open source and standards.”

Broadband Forum’s Transformation

Broadband Forum’s transformation began at an Atlanta strategy workshop in 2016 when it committed to embracing the best of open source and standards development. It instigated new agile methods for rapid delivery of innovative software and standards to deliver significantly faster time-to-market and an enhanced Dev/Ops approach.

The Forum’s efforts to modify traditional standards development by marrying the work with software development, with a particular focus on increasing programmability and agility, resulted in the rapid launch of a number of projects, including YANG modelling, Cloud Central Office (CloudCO), data modeling and, ultimately, its Open Broadband projects – Broadband Access Abstraction (OB-BAA), USP Agent (OB-USP-AGENT) and Multi Access Point (OB-MAP).

Broadband Forum’s work has continued to progress rapidly, with initiatives being undertaken across key areas including 5G, the Connected Home, Open Broadband and next-generation access. Some of these achievements were showcased at Broadband World Forum 2019, where demonstrations of CloudCO, Connected Home, and Broadband QED initiatives took place, showing how Broadband Forum now works to quickly move concepts to practical implementations.

Accelerating Global Migration to Cloud-based Broadband Infrastructure

The development of Broadband Forum’s Open Broadband Labs (OB-Labs) across the world has also helped accelerate global migration to cloud-based broadband infrastructure, enabled open source collaboration and ensured interoperability. Broadband Forum is building on this initiative by launching two more OB-Labs. University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) and LAN (which is specifically focused on the Forum BBF.247 PON Certification) have now joined OB-Labs in Asia and Europe (EANTC), providing an industry sandbox to accelerate multi-vendor innovation and incubation in areas like 5G, network slicing, and wireless-wireline convergence worldwide.

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