Support for the implementation of the G.fast standard continues to accelerate, as the Broadband Forum has completed the industry’s first G.fast equipment plugfest, part of its ongoing program preparing for widespread G.fast certification.
The event, held in early June at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory’s (UNH-IOL) facilities in Durham, New Hampshire, was designed to give equipment manufacturers developing remote Distribution Point Units (DPUs) and Customer Premises Equipment (CPEs) an early opportunity to test and benchmark the interoperability of their products prior to full certification testing.
A total of 14 companies participated in the event, providing a strong indication of the level of interest in G.fast technologies at this early stage following the approval of the ITU-T’s G.fast standard in April and December 2014.
The Broadband Forum and UNH-IOL have lost no time in developing test plans and setting up a program of plugfests leading ultimately to G.fast certification. The June plugfest follows earlier events for chipset manufacturers that began in January 2015; where seven manufacturers were able to test the interoperability of their implementations. The next events in the series will resume in July, with the manufacturers again coming together to test.
“The plugfests clearly demonstrate the pace with which the industry is embracing the ITU-T’s new G.fast technology,” commented Broadband Forum’s Chairman Kevin Foster “G.fast is a significant answer to a pressing need for faster turnaround, time to market and ROI for vendors. It also answers the needs of service providers seeking to quickly meet the demands of their customers for new services such as 4K-TV and the increased use of data and cloud services. The Broadband Forum has been preparing for this for some time with specifications and test plans, and this latest plugfest allows us to support vendors in bringing forward their chipsets and system devices and to support service providers in making informed decisions on the introduction of services.”
The ITU-T’s G.9701 (G.fast) specification was approved in December 2014 and is designed to provide gigabit broadband connection speeds (up to 1Gbps) over a single twisted pair cable in an existing copper infrastructure. It allows faster deployment of services by enabling the introduction of plug-and-play remote DPUs and G.fast CPE devices self-installed by customers at home.
The plugfest provided companies with their first opportunity to test the interoperability of their DPU and CPE devices, which is a critical first step towards the Broadband Forum G.fast certification program. Participants – a total of 14 chipset and equipment manufacturers – included ADTRAN GmbH, Alcatel-Lucent, ARRIS group Inc., AVM GmbH, Broadcom, Calix Inc., Huawei, Ikanos, JDSU, Lantiq GmbH & Co. KG, Metanoia, Realtek Semiconductor Corporation, Sckipio Technologies, and Technicolor. Additionally, test and measurement equipment was provided to the event by Sparnex Instruments and Telebyte, Inc.
“The UNH-IOL was excited to see such a great turn-out for the plugfest,” said Lincoln Lavoie, UNH-IOL Senior Engineer. “This event was the first chance we’ve had to work directly with both the chipset and equipment companies in the lab, and is a large step forward in the preparations for the G.fast Certification Program, where we’ve begun to build the initial test setups.”