Verizon and China Unicom Join Broadband Forum Board as Work on 5G and Connected Home Services Accelerates

Mike Talbert, of Verizon, and Ding Hai, of China Unicom, were named during the Forum’s Q3 meeting which took place virtually

Broadband Forum has further strengthened its board of directors, welcoming two new operators – Verizon and China Unicom – as its work to develop and standardize next-generation broadband services continues.

Mike Talbert, of Verizon, and Ding Hai, of China Unicom, are the latest members to join the board which includes representatives from BT, Calix, CommScope, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Huawei Technologies, InCoax, MaxLinear, Nokia, and Telecom Italia. Their appointments follow the retirement of Broadband Forum President Tom Starr, of AT&T, who has held a Board position for 26 years. He is succeeded by Bernd Hesse, of Calix.

The new board members were named during Broadband Forum’s virtual Q3 meeting, where several projects around 5G and the Connected Home moved forward, and a new Open Broadband project around measurement of gigabit broadband speeds was launched.

“Broadband Forum has always worked closely with operators across the globe, as they provide us with unique insight into what is important for the industry and ensure that our work remains at the cutting-edge,” said Broadband Forum Chairman John Blackford. “These latest board appointments build upon that collaboration as we come to the beginning of an incredibly exciting period for Broadband Forum. We are continuing to make great strides in 5G convergence, our User Services Platform (USP) efforts are continuing to gain momentum, and we have a new open source project launching that could be a true game changer for gigabit broadband.”

The Forum’s Q3 meeting saw a number of developments. The Broadband User Services Work Area is working alongside the prpl Foundation to explore how using USP can create interoperable smart gateways that provide application developers with an easy way to build new services to operate on the gateway. The Open Broadband – Broadband Access Abstraction (OB-BAA) project team finalized its fourth major release of its reference implementation of the CloudCO’s BAA layer which enables vendors to provide support for white box implementations for various types of access nodes using either standard adapters or via vendor specific adapters, while the OB-USP-Agent Work Area’s Canary Release is nearing completion. This release focuses on providing support for MQTT and Architecture improvements to better support OpenWRT/prplWRT and RDK-based implementations. The Physical Layer Transmission Work Area published its Test Plan related to Reverse Power Feed (TR-338), which specifies a set of test cases and related pass or fail requirements for reverse powering of remote network nodes from customer premises equipment.

The Q3 meeting – which took place from Monday, August 31 to Friday, September 4 – also saw Broadband Forum confirm the next dates of its vBASe series. It will host its first-ever virtual demo at Broadband World Forum, from October 13-15, showcasing the latest developments of its OB-BAA open source project. A panelist session on the Connected Home, along with a live Q&A, will also be held.

vBASe North America will then take place on October 26, with a theme of “2020 Lessons, 2021 Reality”, while vBASe Australia will see Broadband Forum team up with nbn to provide three weekly 90 minute sessions to deliver a market update. The vBASe series continues for the first-ever virtual UFBB 2020 during the weeks commencing November 16 and 23. vBASe UFBB will cover the theme of ‘The Technology Leaders’ and will see three virtual sessions on Market Update, Access technology, and Connected Home technology.