CableLabs® Releases Eleven PacketCable™ 1.0 Specifications
Louisville, Colorado, December 7, 1999—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) has completed the PacketCable™ 1.0 specification work and has publicly released eleven PacketCable interim specifications and five technical reports.
The sixteen documents provide, in detail, the core functional components and interfaces necessary to implement the PacketCable 1.0 architecture. Together, these specifications represent a comprehensive end-to-end solution for the delivery of PacketCable-based services over a cable system. The specifications are the result of nearly two years of cooperative effort involving literally hundreds of engineers from dozens of companies. Each of the specifications has undergone a thorough review by the vendor community as well as CableLabs� member companies. The specifications are available at www.cablelabs.com or www.packetcable.com.
PacketCable is a CableLabs-led initiative aimed at developing interoperable interface specifications for delivering advanced, real-time multimedia services over two-way cable plant. Built on top of the industry�s highly successful cable modem infrastructure, PacketCable networks will use Internet protocol (IP) technology to enable a wide range of multimedia services, such as IP telephony, multimedia conferencing, telecommuter services, and other integrated multimedia applications.
"This accomplishment represents a key milestone in the PacketCable project," said CableLabs President and CEO, Dr. Richard R. Green. "With these specifications publicly released, any vendor now has the information necessary to build products compatible with the PacketCable architecture," he added.
"These specifications move the industry decidedly forward towards its goal of delivering high-quality, full-featured internet protocol-based voice services to our customers," said Mark Coblitz, Comcast�s Vice President of Strategic Planning and a key executive in the PacketCable project. "In addition, they lay the groundwork for an entirely new class of interactive multimedia services," he said.
PacketCable 1.0 defines the fundamental requirements for call signaling, quality-of-service, media stream, client provisioning, billing event message collection, PSTN interconnection, and security interfaces necessary to implement a single-zone PacketCable solution for residential voice services. A zone is the set of customer premises equipment that can be controlled by a single call management server or cluster of servers within the PacketCable network. A typical zone could encompass somewhere between tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Future additions to the PacketCable specifications will define the protocols necessary for the zones to interoperate across service provider boundaries, as well as define additional feature capabilities, such as PBX extension and multimedia conferencing.
"The PacketCable specifications will provide the basis for open, multi-vendor solutions which will enable the industry to utilize the best of what the vendors have to offer in a flexible way," said Jim Ehlinger, Chair of the PacketCable Technical Committee and AT&T Consumer Network Services Vice President. "We are very pleased with the progress that CableLabs, the MSOs, and the vendors have made in developing the PacketCable specifications and look forward to the commercial availability of PacketCable-based products. We believe that these specifications provide the foundation to deploy cost-effective technologies that will enable the industry to migrate from circuit to packet solutions in an evolutionary way," he added.
Several of the vendors participating in the PacketCable project already are developing products based on the specifications. Some of these products will be demonstrated in the CableNET® �99 Outside the Box booth at the cable industry�s Western Show, December 15–17, in the Los Angeles Convention Center.
One of the highlights of the interoperability demonstration will be a group of phone booths from which visitors can place phone calls, free of charge, to anywhere in the continental United States using PacketCable technology. Each of the booths will use a different combination of vendors� products interoperating with each other to route calls across the on-site cable network and out to the public switched telephone network for completion.
About CableLabs: Cable Television Laboratories (www.cablelabs.com) was founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry. A non-profit research and development consortium, CableLabs delivers innovations that enable cable operators to be the providers of choice in their markets. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains web sites at www.cablelabs.com; www.packetcable.com; www.cablemodem.com; www.cablenet.org, and www.opencable.com.
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