The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance services for the networking industry, launched the Home Networking Consortium, aimed at providing the broadband industry a one-stop shop for both Broadband Forum TR-069 testing and IPv6 CPE Ready Logo testing.

By offering this, the group hopes to reduce time to market for customer premise equipment (CPE) and to help ensure service providers that devices in the home connect to the networks of the future and are able to be managed for exceptional customer service once they are connected. 

The UNH-IOL has been named the world’s only official laboratory for all Broadband Forum TR-069 testing, and it’s the only approved laboratory for IPv6 CPE Ready Logo testing in North America.??Comments Erica Johnson, director at the UNH-IOL, “At the forefront of new technologies, we launched the Home Networking Consortium, envisioning a world when every device manufactured for the home can easily be brought online and managed remotely by the resident or provider as needed. In the future, these devices may support home energy management, climate control or security systems but, today, the focus is on devices that facilitate telecommuting and home entertainment.”

She continues, “In the Home Networking Consortium, CPE vendors will tackle two transformative technologies for the connected home – TR-069 and IPv6 – while saving time and costs testing products for both technologies in the same consortium.”??

As broadband subscriber rates accelerate and the number and breadth of Internet-connected devices in the home increase, operators are faced with the challenge of ensuring functionality and maximizing quality of experience for customers. Adhering to the TR-069 protocol for CPE, operators can remotely monitor performance, manage and upgrade many connected devices in the home, securing quality of service and improving customer relationships by providing additional support. 

For the subscriber, this means, for example, fewer hours wasted on the phone with customer support to get service operational or debugging a home gateway. Adhering to the TR-069 protocol also ensures that CPE will work with other devices in the home. For example, the set top-box from one manufacturer will connect to a HDTV from a different manufacturer without any problems.

Pre-Testing Starts Next Week

Beginning the week of July 2, members of the Home Networking Consortium can pre-test CPE in compliance with the Broadband Forum TR-069 Conformance Test Suite;  non-member companies can pre-test a single CPE device using the UNH-IOL’s pay-per-test option. These devices include broadband gateway devices, home routers, IPTV set-top boxes, VoIP phones, femtocell access points, and network attached storage devices.

In addition, the official Broadband Forum TR-069 global certification program is underway. When launched, this will be the only program in the broadband industry that will certify TR-069 in CPE. Products pre-tested at the UNH-IOL are more likely to receive official certification from the Broadband Forum the first time they are put through the Broadband Forum TR-069 global certification program. Certification is proof that CPE vendors meet operator and service provider requirements for compliance to standards.??

“The UNH-IOL’s leadership in TR-069 testing, coupled with its collaborative nature and experience hosting interoperability test events in partnership with the Broadband Forum, led to our selection of the UNH-IOL as the official test laboratory for the TR-069 global certification program, the industry standard for CPE compliance to TR-069,” notes Robin Mersh, CEO at the Broadband Forum.??

Ramping Up For IPv6

In addition to preparing for Broadband Forum TR-069 Certification, members of the Home Networking Consortium can prepare to receive the IPv6 Ready CPE Logo for Home Gateways from the IPv6 Forum. By confirming IPv6 readiness in home networking equipment, CPE vendors will help operators ramp up for the delivery of reliable, uninterrupted Internet service(s) to their customers using IPv6 addresses.??

Although the IPv6 Ready CPE Logo Program is not set to launch officially until 4Q12, members of the Home Networking Consortium can test the IPv6 interoperability of CPE through the IPv6 Ready Logo CPE Test Scenario. Upon passing 100 percent of the test scenario, CPE vendors will be included on the UNH-IOL CPE Router Tested List. 

When making recommendations or purchasing decisions, operators and consumers alike may refer to the CPE Router Tested List to find out what devices will work in homes using IPv6.  Previously offered through the UNH-IOL IPv6 Consortium, membership in the Home Networking Consortium now is required for any CPE vendors seeking to test the IPv6 interoperability of their devices.?

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