CenturyLink, Frontier, TelePacific Join MEF Ethernet Interconnect Points Project

CenturyLink, Frontier and TelePacific are now participating in the MEF Ethernet Interconnect Points (EIP) project, which aims to standardize guidelines for current and future Ethernet operators around the world.

The three join AT&T, Verizon and Windstream, who founded in the initiative in 2014.MEF's Nan Chen

The goal of the project is to agree on a common approach to interconnecting by using MEF specifications. EIPs comprise all aspects of Ethernet interconnect, including the requirements needed to provide a customer with an end-to-end Ethernet service spanning multiple operators. Specific aspects include location selection, External Network-to-Network Interface (ENNI) parameters and alignment of business processes.

“In today’s market, service providers are frustrated when asked to provide end-to-end Carrier Ethernet services over network segments they don’t control because they must purchase wholesale Ethernet services from other suppliers, and there’s no standard process for that, said Nan Chen, president of the MEF board of directors and executive vice chairman of CENX. “While the MEF-defined ENNI has become the standard technical interface between carriers, not everything is defined by the ENNI, including effective business processes between two or more operators. What’s more, carriers tell us they need a better way to define and enable end-to-end service management and troubleshooting. That’s where the EIP project comes in — to recommend how to use MEF specifications for those additional business and technical processes.”

To facilitate the creation of the EIP Implementation Guidelines, the project created a Rapid Prototyping Environment that is being hosted by an MEF member, the University of New Hampshire’s Interoperability Lab. Participants remotely access the controlled lab to test and evaluate proposed guidelines using CE 2.0-certified equipment with their respective configurations.

A number of MEF members — Alcatel-Lucent, Canoga Perkins, Ciena, Juniper Networks, and RAD – have provided the CE 2.0-certified equipment.

When completed, the Implementation Guidelines will provide guidance for how operators can efficiently evolve their networks to meet full MEF 26.1 External Network to Network Interface (ENNI) and MEF 33 Ethernet Access Services Definitions specifications, either all at once or in a series of steps.

Use Case 1 in the initial Implementation Guideline involves an Ethernet Private Line service created between two operators. The document’s target release date is the Q1 2016 MEF Quarterly Members Meeting to be held Jan. 25-28, 2016, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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