UNH-IOL Becomes Official Test Site for G.fast

Durham, N.H., and Amsterdam, Netherlands, October 21, 2014 – The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance services for the networking industry, today announced its key role in the advancement of the emerging ultra-fast broadband technology, G.fast. The UNH-IOL will serve as the world’s first and only testing laboratory for the Broadband Forum’s G.fast certification program, which was unveiled earlier today, with an initial interoperability plugfest scheduled for January 2015. The UNH-IOL is also launching a consortium dedicated to G.fast and will begin accepting companies as founding members on December 1, 2014. During this week’s Broadband World Forum at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Center in Amsterdam, the UNH-IOL is participating in the Broadband Forum’s Interoperability Pavilion; UNH-IOL Senior Engineer Lincoln Lavoie will give an educational session on the TR-069 Certification Program, another Broadband Forum certification program led by the UNH-IOL.

The Broadband Forum’s selection of the UNH-IOL as the official test site for the G.fast certification program underscores its role as a neutral, third-party laboratory dedicated to testing data networking technologies through industry collaboration. The UNH-IOL has extensive experience in testing DSL, VDSL2 vectoring and other Broadband Forum technologies. The laboratory has also contributed to the Broadband Forum’s initial development of test plans for G.fast, the ultra-fast broadband technology that enables higher throughput to subscriber terminals. The end goal of the G.fast certification program is to provide service providers with assurance that customer premise equipment (CPE) and demarcation point unit (DPU) technology selected for G.fast deployments will be interoperable. Companies will also be able to certify their initial reference designs through the program as chipsets become available within the market.

“The broadband industry expects expedited delivery of G.fast technology, and the need for robust, interoperable products is mandatory. Broadband Forum and the UNH-IOL are working together to develop a program that will deliver G.fast certified products. We are planning a series of interoperability plugfests shortly as part of the development of the test plan, which will be the basis for the certification,” said Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum.

To nurture a vibrant G.fast ecosystem and accelerate the standard’s adoption by service providers, the UNH-IOL invites qualified CPE and DPU equipment manufacturers to join the vendor-neutral G.fast Consortium. Membership includes the costs of participating in the upcoming series of G.fast interoperability plugfests and certification testing, and early consortium participants will be designated as founding members on the UNH-IOL website. As with similar UNH-IOL programs, membership in the G.fast Consortium benefits manufacturers by giving them access to a certification program that service providers are including in their RFP requirements. In line with expectations for service providers to begin trialing standard G.fast CPE and DPU deployments in early 2015, the UNH-IOL will begin initial testing of G.fast products during the first half of the year, with the aim of delivering the first wave of certifications in fall 2015. The first G.fast chipset interoperability plugfest will be held January 26-30, 2015. Subsequent plugfests will take place approximately every 6 to 8 weeks, with the following event planned for March.

“The testing program will be very similar to other successful programs, such as TR-069 and Wi-Fi, that have helped ensure interoperability,” said UNH-IOL Senior Engineer Lincoln Lavoie. “The addition of G.fast to our existing portfolio of home networking testing services, which includes DSL, GPON, IPv6, TR-069 and Wi-Fi, enhances the UNH-IOL’s role as a one-stop shop for companies developing and advancing the latest broadband technologies.”

The G.fast standard is currently under development by the International Telecommunication Union’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T). The ITU-T is expected to ratify the G.fast standard in late 2014. In parallel with the ITU-T’s standards efforts, the Broadband Forum has developed a deployment architecture called fiber-to-the-demarcation-point (FTTdp), which uses G.fast to deliver the final connection into the subscriber’s premises over existing copper connections. G.fast can provide very high-speed connections over a single twisted-pair cable, with aggregate speeds aiming for 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps). Service providers are supporting G.fast because it can significantly reduce the cost of the last-drop into a home or business, as compared to an all-fiber deployment. The high throughput of G.fast also promises to boost customer satisfaction, thus reducing churn and driving revenue. Ensuring the interoperability of CPE and DPU devices will be critical to maintaining satisfactory levels of customer experience.

UNH-IOL Senior Engineer Lavoie will be addressing another broadband technology, TR-069, and the successful certification program the UNH-IOL has led on behalf of the Broadband Forum since 2012 in an educational session at the Broadband World Forum. The session will begin today at 3:30 p.m. CEST in the Next Big Thing Show Floor Theatre. For additional information, visit the UNH-IOL at the Interoperability Pavilion, the Broadband Forum’s technology showcase that at this year’s event in Amsterdam features 16 of the world’s top vendors, test houses and industry bodies; or visit the UNH-IOL website at www.iol.unh.edu.

About the UNH-IOL

The UNH-IOL is dedicated to being the world's premier data networking resource. Beginning in 1988, the UNH-IOL has built a multimillion dollar testbed and developed testing solutions to help companies efficiently and cost effectively deliver products to market. UNH-IOL’s services fit the needs of the market, while maintaining broad, comprehensive interoperability and conformance testing of networking, data, telecommunications, and storage products. The industry relies on UNH-IOL’s extensive staff experience, standards-bodies participation, 28,000+ square foot facility, and 100+ students who represent the future interoperability testing and verification.

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