Sunday, May 17, 2009

IP/MPLS Forum Merges with Broadband Forum

The IP/MPLS Forum has merged with the Broadband Forum (formerly DSL Forum) to create a single worldwide organization covering the core, aggregation, access and home network.

United under the Broadband Forum name, the new organization has a membership of 220 service providers, equipment manufacturers, chip vendors and industry bodies. Its mission is to help define interoperable network equipment for local broadband access, advancing mobile backhaul solutions as well as empowering the next wave of business services, IPTV, gaming and other applications as they arise.

The union follows an industry analysis undertaken by the IP/MPLS Forum Board last year, which concluded that convergence was the key to the future success of standards specifications work. It then focused on how its work aligned with other organizations and when, in June 2008, the former DSL Forum became the Broadband Forum -- with a focus on convergence and technology agnostic solutions -- it appeared that many gaps towards empowering a stronger end-to-end multiservice architecture could be filled by bringing the two organizations together.

"I am tremendously proud of what the IP/MPLS Forum has achieved in its 18-year history and also proud of the fact that we recognised and addressed the need to follow technology convergence by uniting with the Broadband Forum for the overall benefit of the industry itself," said IP/MPLS Forum Chairman and President Andrew G. Malis.

The newly combined Broadband Forum is meeting this week in Valencia, Spain. There will be three main changes to the organization. These are:

  • In the Technical Committee area, a new IP/MPLS and Core working group will be established to continue the MPLS protocol work and to address all new Core related work brought into the Forum

  • In the Marketing Committee area, a new IP/MPLS focused Vice Chair will be added and new IP/MPLS Ambassadors will be available to represent the organization via the speakers' bureau

  • A combined Board of Directors will be established to oversee the transition. George Dobrowski will continue on as President and Andrew G. Malis has been named Vice President.