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Open Forum Developing Architecture for Federated Service Infrastructure

The Forum, Inclusive of the Infranet Initiative Council (IIC) Members, is Supported by Alcatel, BT, Cisco, Juniper Networks and Nearly 40 Other Companies

CHICAGO (SUPERCOMM 2005) June 8, 2005 - A number of service providers and networking companies today announced an intention to form a member-funded, open standards-based forum, which will encompass the existing work of the former IIC, and will coordinate efforts to develop the architecture for a federated service infrastructure able to support advanced service provider and network user business and service models. The members intend that the forum will be independently hosted by the secretariat of a major standards body and be subject to that standards body's rules. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), ATIS, ETSI, and AMS are currently under consideration. An announcement regarding hosting secretariat selection, and the new name, is expected later following the election of the board and adoption of the terms that will apply to the effort.

Members of the forum will include the members of the Infranet Initiative Council (IIC), which voted on June 2 to transition its activities to a member-funded forum. Additional companies, including Alcatel and Cisco Systems have also announced their support.

The forum will focus on the "business of IP" and coordinate efforts to develop the architecture for an IP infrastructure able to support the broadest possible set service provider and network user business/service models. The forum will have three primary goals:

  • Architecting today's Internet to be a service of the overall IP infrastructure, rather than the Internet itself being the infrastructure. In this sense, the permissive, best effort Internet service is presented as a 'tunnel,' alongside other tunnels presenting the services of more predictable, trusted network environments;
  • Providing for any of the services of a network operators' IP infrastructure to be federated (or interconnected) with other operators according to clearly defined business relationships, and incorporating mechanisms for revenue settlement and SLA accountability;
  • Ensuring that users of the IP infrastructure can access only the presented services, and not the underlying infrastructure itself, to heighten reliability and integrity of the overall federated system of networks.

IIC members participating include BT, China Unicom, Ericsson, France Telecom, Juniper Networks, Hewlett Packard, Korea Telecom, Level 3, Lucent, Qwest, Siemens, Telenor, Tellabs and Telstra. In addition, Alcatel and Cisco Systems have independently agreed to join the forum.

"BT is in the process of delivering its 21st Century network. We see this expanded initiative as a way of working together with other leading suppliers and service providers to define the standards and architecture that will enable the infrastructure for the global network economy of the future," said Andy Green, CEO, BT Global Services. "The co-operation of our partners and the flexibility they have shown to support the new member-funded model shows the commitment we all have in the industry to work together to address the needs of our customers."

"Today's Internet requires substantive improvements to meet the demands of its users and the commercial needs of network operators," said Pradeep Sindhu, CTO and vice chairman of Juniper Networks. "Juniper is proud of the efforts of the IIC in building consensus in the network industry on a possible direction for these improvements. We are very pleased to see that the goal of bringing this important work to the standards bodies is coming to fruition, and we look forward to continuing our work with the forum."

"Cisco has a strong history of working within standards bodies to address the broad transformation of service providers' networks and businesses, and we are glad to align our efforts there with the forum," said Monique Morrow, Consulting Engineer for the office of the CTO at Cisco Systems. "Our intention in working within this forum is to continue delivering sustainable solutions for service providers by helping them develop and plan their organizations, specific network architectures and business models for the future."

"Alcatel has a rich tradition of contribution to the standards bodies and forums necessary to create a growing and advancing communications ecosystem," said Basil Alwan, president of Alcatel's IP activities. "Alcatel is pleased to join this forum and looks forward to continuing to work with the world's leading service providers to advance the global IP infrastructure."