MEF and leading wholesale operators announce project to accelerate Ethernet service interconnectivity

Date: Tue, 11/18/2014 - 17:41

New initiative to increase access via Ethernet interconnect points
MEF and leading wholesale operators announce project to accelerate Ethernet service interconnectivity

MEF GEN14 Plenary Session



MEF announces a new project to define standardized Ethernet Interconnect Points for the thousands of current and future operators of Carrier Ethernet services around the globe. Ethernet Interconnect Points comprise all aspects of an Ethernet connection point between two operators - including requirements relating to location, facilities, ENNI, wholesale service alignment and business process alignment. In the US alone, Ethernet Interconnect Points will replace many thousands of TDM meet points that have been deployed over the last four decades since the introduction of T1.
“This industry effort to standardize local Ethernet Meet Point interconnections among carriers is a big step towards providing a network infrastructure capable of supporting an all IP environment by 2020,” said Mike Lesher, Assistant Vice President, Product Marketing Management, AT&T Mobile & Business Solutions. “Standardization will facilitate the deployment of Carrier Ethernet coverage to all businesses, no matter their network provider. AT&T is proud to be one of the leaders of this important MEF project.”
To summarize the challenges of today's wholesale Ethernet connection arrangements, service providers seeking to provide end-to-end Carrier Ethernet services over network segments not within their franchise for regulatory, cost or other reasons, need to purchase wholesale Ethernet services from suppliers and partners of every size and type to complete those missing segments. A MEF-defined ENNI is the standard interface between operators but there are many questions and requirements that need to be resolved in order to enable effective business processes between the two operators, and to enable end-to-end management and troubleshooting of the service across the connection.
”Consensus among Carrier Ethernet providers is important for the successful definition of standardized Ethernet Meet Points,” said Matthew Duckworth, director of Ethernet product marketing, Verizon Global Wholesale and a co-initiator of the MEF project. “Verizon supports MEF’s efforts to create the framework that will enable the industry to achieve consensus and help accelerate the transition from TDM to IP-based networks.”
The Ethernet Interconnect Points Initiative was formed earlier this year by leading US telcos including AT&T, Frontier, Verizon and Windstream. Having identified the key challenges, the initiative is in the process of being formalized into a MEF project, and it is expected that there will be broad participation from many of the 130+ service provider members of the MEF in this activity. The project is expected to publish the EIP Phase 1 Implementation Guideline in 2015.
"The work of this MEF-facilitated initiative has already clarified some very important technical and process-related aspects of interconnecting to provide universal coverage across multiple franchises", said Todd Wells, SVP of Revenue Strategy for Frontier Communications. "This improved understanding will undoubtedly accelerate availability of faster Ethernet-based services to US subscribers.”
“Standardization of Ethernet meet points is critical to driving greater adoption of Carrier Ethernet in the marketplace. Windstream is dedicated to helping the MEF on this important industry initiative,” said Randy Nicklas, executive vice president of engineering and chief technology officer for Windstream.
As part of the ongoing marketing of its work, the EIP Initiative was introduced at the Verizon Partner Conference at GEN14 in Washington DC.

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