Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum

Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum

We speak to Robin Mersh and Jason Walls of industry body the Broadband Forum, winner of last year’s Broadband InfoVision Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Broadband Success’ for its TR-069 CPE WAN Management Protocol.

This year’s Broadband InfoVision Awards will take place in Amsterdam on October 23rd. For more information and to register, please visit: www.broadbandinfovisionawards.com

Can you bring us up to speed on where development of the TR-069 protocol is now?

Jason Walls: “Compared to where things were this time last year, we are very close to pushing out amendment five of the protocol, which is going to have lots of improvements, and that is probably going to be a stable release for quite a while.

“We are also working a lot more with external parties on developing official data models for certain devices. So a group will come to us and say, ‘we want to use TR-069 to control our devices or to have devices that can control this protocol’, so they will work directly with us to make sure they are doing it right, and a lot of those end up being official Broadband Forum data models.

“It is terrific finishing amendment five, and we are now taking a look down the road to what we want to do next. The most recent stuff that we added includes looking into how TR-069 can enable certain machine-to-machine communications, even if it is just from a management perspective, so that service providers can know what devices are out there and what their connection details are.”

In what ways has winning the Broadband InfoVision award helped raise the profile of the Broadband Forum’s work?

Robin Mersh: “One of the things that is challenging when doing standards development work is knowing how successful you are – we are always talking about different kinds of metrics, and one of the things we can’t do is just look at device sales, because we aren’t a product company.

“A measure like this is very useful, to be able to say that it has had industry recognition is a very good thing, for an organisation like ours, because it is fairly unusual to get awards like this, and we were the first organisation of our type to win an award in this category with Informa.

“So that was a really good step to take, and believe me we have definitely been using this in our marketing, and making sure that people on the stand are aware that the award does mean something. When we got back to the next quarterly meeting after the awards last October we had a small reception and took stock of how far we had come.

“For people like Jason who chair the technical working group for BroadbandHome, there is a lot of work involved which is on top of their day job, and done in their own time.”

What has been the most surprising feedback you have had from winning the award?

Robin: “One thing I did hear about during last year’s Broadband World Forum was that our member companies that have promoted their adoption of the TR-069 protocol were saying it was a great win for them, as it highlighted the value of TR-069.

“So the fact that they can relate to it and the fact that it is award-winning is very useful and has a knock-on effect to our members that implement TR-069, so I think there were definitely some knock-on effects form winning this award.”


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