Broadband Forum merges with IP/MPLS

By Robert Briel | May 19, 2009

The Broadband Forum and the IP/MPLS Forum are to merge, the two associations have announced. The two organisations bring together industry experts who have, until now, looked at evolving broadband deployments from different ends of the network.
The core and access aggregation work of the IP/MPLS Forum will now blend and strengthen the local transport and digital home management specifications of the Broadband Forum.

United under the Broadband Forum name, the new organisation, comprises an enlarged 220 strong membership of most of the world’s leading service providers, equipment manufacturers, chip vendors and industry bodies, to 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 in a statement.

“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,” added IP/MPLS Forum Chairman and President Andrew G. Malis.

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.