DSL’s turning tide

Short and simple, the good news is that an architecture has been put forth that can finally allow DSL service providers to move up the value chain and offer the next tier of service enhancements to drive additional DSL deployment.

The DSL Forum recently released technical report TR-059, which is intended to provide an architecture for evolving mass market DSL deployment and interconnection. It offers a common methodology for delivering quality-of-service -enabled applications to DSL customers via one or more service providers using current and enhanced asymmetric DSL equipment. The focus of the document is on near term requirements to accomplish these goals - not those that may be required down the road.

Short and simple, the good news is that an architecture has been put forth that can finally allow DSL service providers to move up the value chain and offer the next tier of service enhancements to drive additional DSL deployment.  Additionally, those who already have DSL service might purchase additional value-added services to compliment their existing transport service.  This will drive new revenue streams within the service provider community.

Requirements that are discussed in the technical report include architectures to support service provider interconnection models for subscriber traffic to be aggregated for delivery to network service providers:

• Via PPPoE into L2TP  tunnels.Via PPPoE or IP over Ethernet into VPNs.Via PPPoE or IP over Ethernet into a common public QoS-enabled IP network.

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These architecture requirements would be used to support proposed new service models that include IP-based services , QoS, a single network control plane, and the evolution of DSL regional transport to leverage alternative technologies.

New products and service enhancements identified in the report that could be delivered via these architectures include:

• Multicast audio and video applications.Video on Demand applications.Voice services.Interactive gaming.Variable bandwidth -  on Demand via a “Turbo” button and by application.QoS on Demand.Many-to-Many Access.

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The immediate impact of TR-059 is that we move from one class of service (best effort) to multiple classes of service.  The service providers can sell these new classes of service as value-added services in addition to the basic "surf the Internet" account.  This will lead to the successful implementation of services that have already been designed but are waiting on QoS to be successful – e.g., VoIP, Video on Demand, VPNs and videoconferencing. 

TR-059 will provide service providers with additional enhanced revenue at a time when the number of wireline voice subscribers is shrinking. The service provider revenue for these new QoS-based applications will also help forward the business case for fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP).

Why? Because while the TR-059 QoS definitions and resulting Broadband Remote Access Server implementations are initially designed for DSL, they are not dependent upon DSL. This new infrastructure will also support FTTP applications with the same architectural requirements - QoS-enabled IP.  FTTP will just allow for greater bandwidth for these QoS-dependent applications. The hard work of building a QoS-enabled network will have been done.

We are only able to cover the highlights of the text in this short column.  We urge you to seek out more detailed discussions on this topic at www.telechoice.com or www.dsllife.com

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