United under the Broadband Forum name, the new organisation, comprising an enlarged 220 strong membership of most of the worlds leading service providers, equipment manufacturers, chip vendors and industry bodies, will play an increasingly influential role in defining 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.
Both organisations have played an important and highly valued role as the world has grown into the broadband-rich society we enjoy today. Now, together, we can help guide the industry forward across an ever-widening range of technologies and applications, said Broadband Forum Chairman and President George Dobrowski.
We are very excited by the prospects created by this union of two long standing and well respected specification bodies and our dedicated teams are already working well together as we begin to put the new organisation into action.
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 organisations 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 organisations 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 Broadband Forum stood out clearly as the strongest candidate for us and todays union will see our legacy, our expertise and our membership move into a new era once again for the benefit of the industry we all look to serve.
The newly combined Broadband Forum is meeting this week in Valencia, Spain. There will be three main changes to the organisation. 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 organisation 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.
Todays announcement comes as broadband deployment continues healthy growth around the world, despite the current economic challenges across all industry sectors. More than 410 million users now enjoy the benefits of broadband and the union of the two organisations will only help sustain this momentum, as well as open up new opportunities.
As well as strengthening our global stance in the standards community generally, we will have more resources, wider expertise and the ability to make rapid strides in areas such as defining seamless end-to-end specifications, fostering greater interoperability, delivering enhanced Quality of Experience measurement, enabling greater mobile backhaul capabilities and supporting residential and business services, Dobrowski added.
For our members, their involvement will bring them even greater membership value and they will have the opportunity to play an influential role in how the networks of the future evolve.