Metro Ethernet Forum establishes ITU relationship and proposes Ethernet services specifications timeline

November 19, 2002--The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) today announced the establishment of a formal, cooperative relationship with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to facilitate the implementation of metro Ethernet standards.

Nov 19th, 2002

November 19, 2002--The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) today announced the establishment of a formal, cooperative relationship with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to facilitate the implementation of metro Ethernet standards. This announcement was made at the MEF's quarterly, all-member meeting in Seattle. Formed to promote the adoption of optical Ethernet, the MEF consists of 63 member companies representing a range of Ethernet service providers, incumbent local-exchange carriers, network equipment vendors and other networking companies.

"Cooperation with the ITU is another significant step in the MEF's efforts to accelerate the adoption of optical Ethernet as the technology of choice in metro area networks worldwide," said Ron Young, chairman of the MEF.

"Since our inception, it has been the MEF's intent to work with technical standards bodies to establish early implementation agreements and interoperability among vendors, service providers and end-customers," said Nan Chen, president of the MEF. "This relationship with the largest telecommunications standards body on earth is an important milestone on our quest."

At the meeting, the MEF technical committee introduced a timeline for the completion of Ethernet services specifications. According to Paul Bottorff, co-chair of the MEF technical committee, the timeline places a stake in the ground on plans for the MEF to deliver metro Ethernet services specifications by mid-year 2003.

Participants at the MEF technical committee meeting reached consensus and moved 16 technical documents to MEF ballot or straw ballot phase of
consideration in the following four areas: services, protocol and transport, management, and architecture. In order to ensure that all MEF documents reflect industry consensus, the Forum has developed a stringent process in which all document approvals require a 75% membership approval. A technical specification or implementation agreement is at the point of final review when it reaches straw ballot status. The letter ballot phase notes final approval.

Under the services scope the Ethernet Services Model, the Traffic Performance Parameters for Ethernet Service Level Specifications, and the Ethernet Layer 2 Services Definitions Technical Specifications reached straw ballot status. These documents will promote the availability of common services by metro Ethernet service providers and they will facilitate implementation and configuration of end-customer equipment that can access these services. The net effect will be to make metro Ethernet services even more attractive to end-customers.

Within the protocol and transport area, the Metro Ethernet Protection Framework Technical Specification reached letter ballot status, and the Requirements for Metro Ethernet Protection Technical Specification reached straw ballot status.

The Metro Ethernet Management System Requirements Technical Specification reached straw ballot status, while the Metro Ethernet Services OAM (Operations, Administrations and Maintenance) Technical Specification reached draft status.

Inside the architecture scope, the MEF UNI 1.0 implementation agreement reached draft status and the MEF UNI Requirements Technical Specification reached straw ballot status.

The MEF Technical committee also advanced to draft status the Ethernet Interworking NNI(EI-NNI) Technical Specification. This specification will allow metro Ethernet service providers to interconnect and thus extend service coverage for their end-customers. For more information, visit the MEF Web site at www.MetroEthernetForum.org.


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