Broadband Forum issues new test plans for technology certification and performance

Dec. 29, 2021
Roll-out of fiber-grade services over existing copper infrastructure based on the Fiber-To-The-Extension-Point (FTTep) architecture will be sped up thanks to Broadband Forum publishing its new Gfast certification and performance test plans.
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Cost-effective roll-out of fiber-grade services over existing copper infrastructure based on the Fiber-To-The-Extension-Point (FTTep) architecture will be sped up thanks to Broadband Forum publishing its new Gfast certification and performance test plans, whereby service providers will benefit from enhanced multi-vendor interoperability test coverage, according to the consortium.

The Forum says its publication of TP-337 Issue 3, together with its Corrigendum 1: Gfast Certification Test Plan and TR-380 Issue 2: Gfast Performance Test Plan "will allow service providers to deploy their equipment with confidence and eliminate the need to retest equipment that has the Broadband Forum stamp of approval. This also accelerates time to market for products, avoiding large investments of time and customizations. This multi-vendor interoperability will ensure developers and implementers have invaluable feedback to improve new products and services, with the end-user having more choices in devices and services at a lower cost," continued a statement.

Critical for multi-vendor interoperability

According to Broadband Forum, providing a testing framework and a set of functional, stability and throughput test cases, TP-337 Issue 3 expands the multi-vendor test coverage for Gfast deployments over twisted pair and coax cabling. It also enables testing of new Gfast features, like CPE software download, enhanced reach and Dynamic Time Assignment (DTA) capability thus addressing the dynamic nature of Internet traffic and providing high throughput for the end-user at all times.

“These latest publications represent an important step forward that coincides with the increased demand on bandwidth as operators seek to provide gigabit services directly to the consumer,” Broadband Forum Physical Layer Transmission Work Area Director Herman Verbueken explained. “It is critical for multi-vendor interoperability to be achieved in deployments for both access and in-premises networks. That is why we continue to work towards creating standardized interoperability and certification so that all those in the industry can reap the benefits that this efficiency creates.”

With the first Issue focused on a single-line twisted pair performance between a Distribution Point Unit (DPU) and Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), TR-380 Issue 2 supports the rollout of Gfast over coax. The coax throughput tests provide service providers with a view of minimal throughputs that can be reached over coax, either in a Point-To-Point environment or an environment where the coaxial cable is shared with SATV services.

Gigabit services over existing copper infrastructure

“Gfast technology presents a viable option for operators across the industry looking to utilize existing copper infrastructure and roll-out gigabit capable services when the delivery of fiber is not possible,” noted BroadbandTrends Principal Analyst Teresa Mastrangelo. “The latest Broadband Forum standards are a significant step forward for accelerating Gfast deployments and will help operators deploy equipment more efficiently, providing an enhanced quality of experience for end-users seeking ultra-fast, seamless connectivity."

Broadband Forum’s Physical Layer Transmission Work Area provides the test plans, technical documentation, and marketing papers to enable multi-vendor interoperability and the new documents further this goal considerably. The latest Issues of the Test Plans build on the progress made by Broadband Forum earlier this year with the publication of TR-419 to help ensure that homes and businesses have access to faster, more reliable broadband connectivity by harnessing copper infrastructure.

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