• United States

EFM standard ratified

Jun 29, 20042 mins

* Ethernet in the First Mile is made IEEE standard

The IEEE officially ratified the Ethernet in the First Mile, or 802.3ah, standard last week, just as the first demonstration of the technology was conducted at the Supercomm trade show in Chicago.

Ethernet in the First Mile, or EFM, is a standard approach to extending Ethernet technology into metropolitan-area networks and as a means of access to MANs and WANs. It would make connections between users (businesses and homes) and carriers truly broadband.

Having a standard, in theory, means that service providers can focus on providing services without worrying about interoperability problems among the products they use, points out the EFM Alliance, a vendor group formed to promote the technology.

Looking at a timeline on the alliance’s Web site, it seems the standard has arrived about nine months later than originally anticipated.

The alliance’s press release heralding the standardization says the project “had perhaps the largest scope of any IEEE 802 standard ever undertaken,” with new interface types for Ethernet over fiber and copper added to new management mechanisms.

Task force Chairman Howard Frazier thanked the people in the group, representing more than 100 companies, for working so hard on the project.

At Supercomm, EFM Alliance member companies demonstrated interoperability. They included: Actelis Networks, Agilent Technologies, Cisco, Ericsson, Extreme Networks, Hatteras Networks and Infineon. The demo showcased technologies from the four EFM sub-task areas: point-to-point copper, point-to-point fiber, point-to-multipoint fiber, and operation, Administration and Maintenance.