Broadband Forum has become an ‘open’ organisation – making all of its work visible to the industry.
The by-law amendment was passed on October 14th and the transition was confirmed at its Q4 meeting in Panama City, Panama. Broadband Forum says the move reflects its 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 organisation 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 organisations 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.”
Julie Kunstler, Principal Analyst at Ovum, predicts that Broadband Forum’s move to being open will be welcomed by players across the ecosystem of the broadband industry.
“Broadband Forum’s shift to a more ‘open’ organisation is a positive one that aligns with the industry trends,” she said. “The move should be welcomed by service providers and vendors as it promotes agility and interoperability, keeping pace with the rapid changes across the communications and media industries.”
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 (see video here), Connected Home (see video of services as a USP extension demo here and services as USP software module using containers here), and Broadband QED (see video here) initiatives took place, showing how Broadband Forum now works to quickly move concepts to practical implementations. 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.