Two member-based standards organizations – the Broadband Forum and the IP/MPLS Forum – announced they have merged. The united organization will go by the name Broadband Forum.

The merged entity intends to focus on convergence, said Robin Mersh, COO of the Broadband Forum.

"This union is about convergence over IP backbones," said Mersh. "We’re talking much more end-to-end based on the fact that the networks for all kinds of telecoms are IP."

Each of the organizations brings something different to the table.

The Broadband Forum was previously known as the DSL Forum, with a focus on local transport and digital home management specifications. Prominent members include Verizon, AT&T, Microsoft, Qwest and Alcatel Lucent. (For last year’s IPTV numbers from the Broadband Forum, click here.)

The IP/MPLS Forum developed multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) standards for core and access aggregation work. Corporate members include ZTE, Cisco, Tata Communications and Deutsche Telekom.

The new organization will have a combined membership of 220 service providers, equipment manufacturers and chip vendors and will play a role in defining interoperable network equipment for local broadband access, advancing mobile backhaul solutions as well as empowering the next wave of business services, IPTV, gaming and other applications as they arise, according to the announcement.

– Linda Hardesty

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