Coalescing Around the Home Network
Can ATIS and Others Focus the Industry on the Immense but Complex Opportunity of Home Networking?
Before network service providers can claim — assuming they want to — the mantle of ownership for the end-to-end customer experience by extending their responsibility to the home network, someone needed to claim the mantle of owning the monumental task of defining the practices and standards that will allow service providers to do the job right. ATIS has accepted that mantle.
In mid-January the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) announced the creation of the ATIS Home Networking (HNET) Forum. HNET is the culmination of a year’s work by ATIS’ CTO-led Technology and Operations Council and its Home Networking Focus Group (FG), which conducted a home networking assessment across segments of the industry.
ATIS is not alone in its interest in home networking. The challenges and opportunities of home networking have been on the radar of service providers and independent support agencies and device manufacturers for a long time. In fact, the assessment identified 34 separate groups working on standards related to home networking.
“However, there was no holistic approach. There was no one organization bringing it all together from a single point-of-contact or a de facto organization one could go to in order to get a full grip on what is happening with home networking standards,” said Tom Payne, director of technology programs at ATIS.
Groups working on standards in their primary area of focus include the IETF, the Broadband Forum, the Open Mobile Alliance, the Multimedia over Coax alliance (MoCa), the Homeplug Powerline Alliance and many equipment manufacturers. ATIS now plans to holistically assess the wide variety of ongoing home networking standards development work and provide a pragmatic solution to the decentralized home networking standards development arena.