Interoperability: Harmony in the Network

The recent hype around new plugfests, with our first ever equipment plugfest having no less than 14 vendors participating at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), highlights the level of significance these events, and the compliance and interoperability they are designed to achieve, have for the industry. (See Broadband Forum Completes Plugfest.)

A plugfest is one of the first steps towards interoperability, enabling companies to have an early opportunity to test and benchmark the interoperability of their products prior to full certification testing.

Interoperability benefits all parties, from service providers to manufacturers, retailers and end users. Service provider networks, having evolved over many years, are not homogeneous. Different layers of networking equipment are added to the network over time, from legacy to upgrades and the latest new technologies. These technologies must all work in harmony to be able to handle many types of traffic and ensure faster widespread deployment of any new technology being introduced.

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