About the Forum: Mission, Vision, Annual Reports, History

About the Broadband Forum

The Broadband Forum, a non-profit industry organization, is focused on engineering smarter and faster broadband networks. The Forum’s flagship TR-069 CPE WAN Management Protocol serves approximately 800 million subscribers worldwide.

Our work defines best practices for global networks, enables new revenue-generating service and content delivery, establishes technology migration strategies, engineers critical device, service & development management tools, in the home and business IP networking infrastructure. We develop multi-service broadband packet networking specifications addressing architecture, device and service management, software data models interoperability and certification in the Broadband market.

The Broadband Forum Vision

The Forum’s vision is about unlocking the potential for new markets and profitable revenue growth by leveraging new technologies in the home, intelligent small business and multi-user infrastructure of the broadband network. The innovative use of NFV, SDN, Ultra-Fast access and IoT (Internet of Things) enables the delivery of exciting ultra-fast broadband services, for the connected home and business, access and converged 5G infrastructure and Cloud.

Our work enables home, business and converged broadband services, encompassing customer, wireline and wireless access and backbone networks. Our mission is to accelerate the adoption of the work in order to bring new, valuable services to our member companies and all stakeholders who use the developed work.

Open Broadband

Delivering excellent point solutions will always be critical. However, in a broadband ecosystem undergoing radical change of technology & approaches, focusing on individual elements alone is likely to be a limiting strategy. This is why the Forum is taking an open approach to the drivers and technologies that feed broadband transformation to serve the industry and our members. By bringing together the best ideas of open source together with the interoperability and standards required for mass market solutions, the Forum is bringing innovative approaches such as our BAA Project

  • It's a commitment that results in a rich set of related BBF deliverables enabling provider differentiation and accelerated deployment
  • It's not an all-or-nothing monolithic system designed for specific closed solutions
  • It's a toolkit for the development of differentiated services covering the broadband ecosystem
  • It's path to bring the best of open source innovation with the power of generating

This thinking that creates the context for the day-to-day project work.

Expertise and Experience

Broadband expertise is sourced from more than 150 manufacturers and service provider companies and has published over 200 globally adopted standards over the last 26 years. Activity levels driven by the emergence of ultra-fast connectivity, connected users, IoT, NFV/SDN, 5G and software initiatives have seen contribution levels rise rapidly with more than 1500 active participants using state of the art agile development tools.

What makes the Broadband Forum an Industry Leader?

Our core values are at the heart of BBF's work and organization. The Forum’s work is driven by the market opportunities and business dynamics for new technologies not the technologies for their own sake. The organization holds itself accountable for achieving its members established goals and successfully carrying out our mission.

Annual Reports

Download the current (2017) Annual report.


History

Today's Broadband Forum has its roots 25 years ago in a number of distinct forums, each focused on a specific technology to enable services to enterprise, mobile networks and high-speed access.

The Frame Relay Forum, started in 1991, bringing a standardized wide area data interface to multiprotocol routing and bridging that enabled simple LAN interconnect and enabled faster, more cost effective communication of mission critical data such as IBM's SNA. Frame Relay is they key technology in 2G mobile networks to backhaul data to the Internet.

Also in 1991, the ATM Forum was founded to converge multiple types of network traffic over a single network infrastructure. The first networks to handle voice, video and data were based on ATM technologies and interfaces. These networks handled voice from telephony networks, mobile backhaul traffic from the first 3G mobile networks and included the first residential and business DSL networks in the mid 90s. These networks used ATM as their core transport technology from the customer premises to the Internet.

In 1994, the ADSL Forum emerged defining implementation agreements, architecture and testing specifications for Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line technology. The deliverables from this forum founded the basis for our modern day residential and business broadband Internet access. Later in 1999 the renamed DSL Forum expanded to address all forms of DSL, their associated architectures and management. These architectures were often built on the interfaces, technologies and interfaces developed by the Frame Relay and ATM Forums as well as other standards development organizations.

In 2000, the MPLS Forum was established, creating application and deployment solutions for MPLS based networks used to enhance and better enable the transport of IP and to explore converging the different technology specific networks to a single, efficient network infrastructure.

As the telecommunication and data communications network industry sought to converge infrastructure and operate more efficiently, these technologies began to converge to provide corresponding solutions. In turn so did the corresponding forums. In 2003, the Frame Relay Forum and MPLS Forum united creating the MPLS and Frame Relay Alliance to better address the needs of network operators who wanted to maintain the 11 billion dollar service business Frame Relay had become while at the same time efficiently provide TDM, voice, and Ethernet services over a single network.

In 2005, the MPLS and Frame Relay Alliance combined with the ATM Forum creating the MFA Forum. This convergence reflected the use and evolution of ATM in enterprise, telephony, mobile, video and residential DSL networking as well as the more efficient emulation using MPLS over ever higher speed transmission media. This forum later changed its name to the IP/MPLS Forum focusing on the key technologies of the network aggregation and core and their application.

In 2008, the DSL Forum, having expanded its work to address fiber architecture, management and digital home support changed its name to the Broadband Forum, which better represented the expanded scope and the broader mission of Broadband networking rather than focus on a single technology.

In 2009, the IP/MPLS Forum and the Broadband Forum combined their expertise and united to focus on solutions that addressed the network as a whole and not its individual core or access technologies and architectures. The name Broadband Forum was kept to represent the total view of an end-to-end broadband network in all of its applications. The applications such as enterprise interconnect, mobile, video service delivery as well as the traditional residential broadband internet access, along with all of their latest enhancements, are still at the core of what the Forum strives to address.

In its current form, the present day Broadband Forum is a convergence of these predecessor forums that creates an organization with over 20 years of expertise, experience and vision to architect networks and solutions for the next generation.