UNH-IOL Launches Consortium Dedicated to the Connected Home

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Takes Holistic Approach to TR-069 and IPv6 Testing for Customer Premise Equipment

DURHAM, N.H. — The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance services for the networking industry, today announced the launch of the Home Networking Consortium. The Home Networking Consortium provides the broadband industry a one stop shop for both Broadband Forum TR-069 testing and IPv6 CPE Ready Logo testing, reduces time to market for customer premise equipment (CPE), and ensures 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 is the only approved laboratory for IPv6 CPE Ready Logo testing in North America.

“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,” said Erica Johnson, Director of the UNH-IOL. “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, ensuring quality of service and improving customer relationships by providing additional support. For the subscriber this means, for example, less hours wasted on the phone with customer support to get your service operational or debugging your 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.

Beginning the week of July 2, 2012 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. 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,” said Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum.

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. Every device in the home needs an IP address to connect to the Internet, yet the Internet is running out of address space. There are a limited number of IP addresses in the protocol used today (IPv4) and at the same time there is an explosion in the number of Internet-connected users, devices and applications. As more of the world moves online, IPv6 is the solution, providing over four billion times more IP addresses than IPv4.

Although the IPv6 Ready CPE Logo Program is not set to officially launch until the fourth quarter of 2012, 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 is now required for any CPE vendors seeking to test the IPv6 interoperability of their devices.