Work Area Goals and Scope

Access and Transport Architecture

Mission: The Access and Transport Architecture (ATA) Work Area (WA) defines and specifies the architecture and requirements for access, routing and transport network infrastructure. ATA produces industry-agreed specifications for applications such as mobile transport infrastructure (fronthaul and backhaul), data center interconnect, residential broadband Internet access, etc. as well as specifications for testing these networks and their application. (E.g., Performance monitoring and testing, Application Level Testing and testing quality of experience.). This work is typically in the form of architecture, equipment requirements, test guidance, implementation guidance, and education materials.

Business Impact: A critical element of the work is the long term support of existing network elements alongside virtualized software based network functions, resulting in a stable network that may be evolved over time. This enables seamless migration of new networking technologies based on their market acceptance, at the same time protecting existing infrastructure investment, and deployment into new different territories. ATA specifications underpin the infrastructure, value-added services and application delivery for fixed and mobile access networks, and allows deployments at the pace of each relevant market. Co-existence of physical and virtualized solutions and from static and dynamic services will create a broadband network mitigating the risks to existing revenue and enabling leveraging new networking technology for according to market demand.

Scope: ATA maintains the primary architectures for the work of Broadband Forum. The architectures, requirements and other deliverables reflect the control, management, and data plane aspects of the access, transport and routed networks used to provider operator, enterprise and “over-the-top” Internet based connectivity services.


Broadband User Services Work Area

Mission: The Broadband User Services Work Area provides the broadband industry with technical specifications, implementation guides, reference implementations, test plans, and marketing white papers for the deployment, management, and consumption of services by the broadband end user. This Work Area represents the end user perspective when incorporating into the Broadband Forum architecture.

Business Impact: The Broadband User Services Work Area develops specifications and publications to create a new kind of the Broadband experience for the end user and provides new means for service providers and application developers to monetize the broadband user’s connection. This ranges from on-demand performance assured business and entertainment services, IoT services related to energy, security, environment, etc. to user control of what can become the data center in the home and small business managed and control with zero-touch diagnostics. All of which opens up large markets and profitable business models.


  • Develop and evolve the TR-069 CPE WAN Management Protocol and a Universal Service Platform (USP) to cover existing use cases, machine-to-machine/IoT use cases, and the virtualization of broadband user services, prioritized by their potential business value
  • Develop and specify new information models to broaden the range of for which TR-069 and USP can be used
  • Develop requirements for broadband user devices and associated software
  • Develop test plans and training programs for Work Area protocols and requirements
  • Develop marketing white papers that supplement Work Area protocols and requirements


Common YANG Work Area

The Common YANG Project Stream has the following main areas of responsibility:

  • Specification of YANG modules that are applicable to multiple Work Areas and/or involve expertise from multiple Work Areas
  • Specification of NETCONF/YANG test plans and certification for the defined YANG modules
  • Maintaining the BBF YANG Best Current Practices (OD-360), BBF-wide YANG processes, procedures and tools
  • Common YANG modules (WT-383) that are applicable to multiple Work Areas and/or involve expertise from multiple Work Areas

The Project Stream is also responsible for identifying YANG work in other SDOs that could or should be used by BBF YANG projects, and will work directly with such SDOs as and when appropriate in order to assist in meeting BBF requirements and timescales.


Fiber Access Networks Work Area

Mission: To define the requirements for deploying Broadband Forum network architectures in fiber access technologies so as to accelerate deployments and ensuring interoperability.

Business Impact: This Work Area’s focus along with the Physical Layer Transmission area is on both cost savings and acceleration of time to market. Standardized interoperability and certification create a trusted base of equipment and services without which significant investments in time and resources can cause years of delay and in-service failures that impact revenue and credibility. Interoperability provides invaluable intelligence as feedback to both developers and implementers of new products and services. As the move to virtualized devices with non-deterministic functions and performance becomes a reality, the need for interoperability testing and reference configurations will become critical.

Scope: Definition of new test suites used to verify the interoperability of the fiber access specific portions of the network. These new projects include:

  • Architecture & Technical Requirements for PON-based Mobile Backhaul networks
  • Multi-wavelength PON Inter-Channel-Termination Protocol Specification
  • Maintenance of existing specifications within the work scope


Physical Layer Transmission

Mission: The Physical Layer Transmission Work Area provides test plans, technical documentation, and marketing papers to enable multi-vendor interoperability in deployments for both access and in-premises networks.

Business Impact: As with the Fiber Access Networks work area, the focus is on cost reduction and accelerating time to market. Standardized interoperability and certification create a trusted base of equipment and services avoiding large investments in time, repeated customized one-off and NxN testing that impact revenue and credibility. Interoperability provides invaluable intelligence as feedback to both developers and implementers of new products and services.As the move to open sourcing gains momentum the role of interoperability becomes every more necessary.


  • Definition of test plans for access network physical layer transmission technologies (such as VDSL2 and and Reverse Power Feeding technologies
  • Definition of test plans for in-premises network physical layer transmission technologies such as power line communications
  • Creation of best practice documentation for advanced features, such as Upstream Power Back-off, Self Install, and Vectoring


SDN and NFV Work Area

Mission: This Work Area focuses on the introduction of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), including migration and coexistence of physical and virtual elements, into the broadband network.

Business Impact: The migration to SDN and NFV in the broadband network facilitates agile deployment of new customized distributed broadband services and applications. This enables new revenues and provider differentiation while managing OpEx both in the access network and in single and multi-tenant residential and business locations.

Scope: The scope includes migration to and deployment of SDN- and NFV-enabled implementations across all aspects of the broadband network. The architecture is based on the initial definition of and extensions to the framework for virtualization in the broadband network.


Wireline-Wireless Convergence

Mission: This Work Area addresses the increasing synergy between wireless access technologies and wired access technologies, as well as that of wireless networking and wireline networking functions. Activities examine scenarios where wireless access technologies play a role or mobile networking is involved in the wireline network.

Business Impact: The principle impact on the market addresses the ability to create seamless connectivity to either wireline or wireless access connectivity from single or multi-tenant business and residential locations that will radically alter users’ network experience. This is the next step in the evolution from the automatic connectivity to available Wi-Fi networks and will become the norm with the advent of 5G.

Scope: Topics in this area within scope are Wi-Fi as last mile for broadband access, small cells, hybrid (dual access) access, functions between wired and wireless networks that may be instantiated as a common element, wireline and wireless network interworking and convergence as the service and subscriber level. The virtualization aspect of identified common functions will enable future study in the area of VNFs and NFVI destined for mobile and fixed networks and next phase of FMC evolution.


Open Broadband

Open Broadband (OB) is a set of independent projects that use a modified IPR Policy and possibly a different software license (which means they have their own participant agreement). An OB project may also allow participation by companies or individuals who are not currently BBF members or observers.

Open Broadband-Broadband Access Abstraction (OB-BAA): The Open Broadband-Broadband Access Abstraction (OB-BAA) is an open source project that specifies the Northbound Interfaces (NBI), Core Components and Southbound Adapter Interfaces (SAI) for functions associated with the access network devices (e.g., configuration, reporting, alarms) that have been virtualized. Inherent in the OB-BAA project is the ability to pull differing access device types, including legacy implementations, together under a single network and service management & control umbrella to be exposed to management elements such as the SDN Management and/or Control and Element Management Systems.

Open Broadband-Multi Access Point (OB-MAP): The Open Broadband-Multi Access Point (OB-MAP) project includes generating requirements for features that extend and enhance the Wi-Fi Alliance EasyMesh and Data Elements specifications for use in a service provider managed subscriber local network.

Open Broadband-Starfish: The Open Broadband-Starfish project is intended to create a common provider interface and object schema for “user-managed objects” that is implementable on both legacy WAN devices and NFV devices.

Open Broadband-User Services Platform-Agent (OB-USP-Agent): An open source project that is focused on creating a reference implementation of the User Services Platform (USP) specification from an “Agent” perspective. USP is a remote management and control protocol where management entities are separated between the Agent and the Controller. A  USP Agent is responsible for exposing a set of “Service Elements” (essentially, a data model composed of objects and parameters that represent a specific set of functionality) for consumption by a Controller. While USP is capable of being used in many different environments, the home network is expected to be the most common environment, and in this environment a USP Agent would reside in a piece of Customer Premise Equipment (CPE), e.g. broadband home router, Wi-Fi access point, IoT gateway.