One of the first initiatives to emerge from this week’s Broadband World Forum in Paris is what’s being dubbed the world’s first GPON certification program, setting the stage for the deployment of “superfast broadband” networks around the world.

The certification program, known as BBF.247, is open to GPON ONU products with Ethernet interfaces; it’s based on the Forum’s OD-247 test plan. The Forum says it proves conformance to TR-156 using OMCI as defined in the ITU G.998, which are the most critical standards to interoperable implementations. Additional test cases and modules for other configurations and functionalities will be added in the future.

“GPON certification will certainly enable us to accelerate the widespread availability of faster broadband,” noted Leping Wei on behalf of China Telecom, the world’s largest network operator.? ?

He added, “With the Chinese market moving toward an estimated 250 million subscriber lines by 2015 and a household penetration of 50 percent, China Telecom sees GPON and the advent of certified GPON products as an important step in making this a reality.” As such, GPON certification also is regarded as a key building block for interoperability on a truly global scale, a point regarded as “critical for mass deployment in the Chinese market.”? 

To help the industry expedite fiber network rollout, the Broadband Forum’s GPON ONU (Optical Network Unit) Certification program is expected to pave the way for swift expansion of superfast broadband and the development of new technologies. The certification is based on test plans developed by the Forum and work undertaken jointly with Full Service Access Network (FSAN). Beta testing has been completed, and the commercial program likely will open to industry participation next month.? 

"GPON has proven to be a viable and successful technology for access networks worldwide," commented Martin Carroll of Verizon, who also chairs the FSAN committee. "Fully endorsed by FSAN, the Broadband Forum GPON Certification program will further substantiate GPON capability to meet the growing demands of evolving operator networks."?

“This certification is key to speeding up our FTTH deployments,” said Alain Maloberti, senior vice president/Network Architecture and Design at France Telecom Orange. “It reduces dramatically the amount of specific testing needed before we choose and deploy new equipment. It will enable next-generation systems to come to the market faster and with interoperability from day one.”

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Jeff Murphy joined Charter as svp, corporate finance and development. Murphy previously spent over 20 years at Credit Suisse Group , leaving in May 2020 as vice

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