IPTV and the Home Gateway (Part 2)

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This is the second part of my two-part IPTV series. In the first part I outlined some of the technical problems associated with bringing video services to the consumer. Now I share our approach to Broadband World Forum’s Auto Configuration Service.

Most cable operators are experienced with the concepts and the benefits of centralized provisioning and management of modems and MTAs based on DOCSIS and PacketCable standards. Broadband Forum offers similar ability to centrally provision and manage devices terminating the operator network and presenting service to the customer. Home gateways based on these standards further enable operators to move past the modem, into the home, supporting IP Set Top boxes, IP Phones, IP network attached storage (whole home DVR), and WLAN services (WiFi management). The Broadband Forum defines a management application known as an Auto Configuration Service (ACS), which modems, gateways and devices of many access networks may register with for provisioning and ongoing management operations.

Incognito is introducing an ACS product, another provisioning and management service as part of the Broadband Command Center suite of applications used by cable and carrier operators today. The ACS product may be added to an existing BCC installation, or simply installed in the Headend to compliment any provisioning back office environment adding support of these new devices and services to the operator network.

As the network itself directs the device by its type using DHCP, an Incognito ACS service may be added to any operator network, regardless of access technology or existing provisioning systems in place. A converged cable gateway for example may have its DOCSIS service completed by the existing provisioning systems in the Headend. The gateway residing within the terminal, with IP network access in place, now requests its own IP address, and declares itself as a ‘dslforum.org’ gateway device. This enables DHCP systems to direct the gateway to the correct ACS to register. Once registered with the ACS system, the gateway may be managed as well as advertise the ACS to devices in the customer premise, which in turn register to the ACS including their gateway association. This technology brings a complete picture of devices and services for the operator.

With momentum now underway among the gateway and modem vendors, 2011 is shaping up to be a most interesting year for new and converged service provisioning solutions.

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