Testing and Certification Programs / Initiatives

Driving broadband forward through validated interoperability and open source collaboration

Interoperability & its importance

The basis of all network technologies is interworking communications. The fundamental step therefore in introducing new technologies is “can devices, embedded processors and software communicate and interoperate?”

Interoperability is the building block for choice, healthy competition and is a prerequisite for certified compliance to published standards. It’s an applied science that has been developed by the Forum and its test partners for several decades and that begins by making the first connection and continuing with plug fests and event demonstrations such as those at the annual Broadband World Forum held in Europe. It provides an invaluable accelerator to product and service introductions continues with the evolution of product lines and services.

The advent of open source/proprietary, non-standardized solutions that are not of sufficient quality and lack of interoperability have been recently flagged as the top barriers to the implementation of NFV and supporting SDN management means that Interoperability has taken on a new and very valuable role.


How Broadband Forum Drives Interoperability

Since its inception, Broadband Forum has had an objective to establish interoperability in the broadband marketplace. Today “Testing and Certification” programs and initiatives encompass end-to-end broadband testing requirements including fiber, DSL, MPLS and home networking related interoperability and conformance testing, as well as Open Broadband Labs around the world to enable open source collaboration and interoperability. Broadband Forum programs and initiatives include:

1) Developing common test requirements

2) Establishing a test suite which normally includes functional as well as performance tests

3) Hosting test events also known as Plugfests, which can include private members only multivendor Plugfests, conformance testing, public interoperability demonstrations and/or certification

4) In the case of the Open Broadband Labs, a rich set of test resources to be used for staging, functional, performance, interoperability, testing and continuous integration of broadband NFV/SDN, CloudCo, cloud-based services and applications, management, and orchestration.


Testing is typically performed at BBF accredited test labs and leverage their vast skills and experiences that otherwise would have to be resourced by equipment manufacturers and providers – even if such skills were available.

Certification and Testing program / Initiative Impact

  • Creates a confidence and minimizes risks
  • Creates a trusted industry standard for implementation and high customer satisfaction
  • Leverages vast experience and expertise
  • Avoids extensive provider testing before purchase (even if skills were available to create tests)
  • Significantly reduces costs and accelerates time to revenue for all stakeholders
  • Interop certification critical for developing choice of silicon and products and the starting point for provider integration
  • Provides the industry and BBF members with defined interfaces and reference test environment for how their products and solutions can fit into the NFV/SDN cloud-based architecture


“Bringing together key industry players’ architects, users and implementers, Broadband Forum continues to be one of the key driving forces for the development of the broadband industry worldwide. Setting standards and best practices for broadband for more than two decades, BBF stands for real-world operator network deployments and multi-vendor implementations. Interoperable solutions are of utmost importance for large integrated telecommunication companies, concerned with the deployment of large, heterogeneous network environments. Here, BBF plays an important role – helping to transform innovation into broad market adoption and interoperable solutions. With a mission of promotion open standards supporting innovative services, Broadband Forum is well positioned within the industry framework of standards-setting organizations as well as open source reference implementations.”
~ Manuel Paul of Deutsche Telekom and BBF Board Member

Certification Related Links