MEF Ethernet Interconnect Points Project Sees Participation from TelePacfic, Frontier and CenturyLink

October 28, 2015 | By M8 Trix Communicationsth

CenturyLink, Frontier and TelePacific have now joined the MEF Ethernet Interconnect Points (EIP). The goal of the EIP is the standardization of guidelines for existing and future Ethernet operators worldwide.

In 2014, AT&T, Verizon and Windstream were founders in the initiative. The project’s goal is to decide on a shared approach to interconnecting by using MEF specifications. EIPs encompasses all characteristics of Ethernet interconnect, incorporating the necessary requirements to issue a customer with an end-to-end Ethernet service straddling multiple operators. Particular aspects include External Network-to-Network Interface (ENNI) parameters, location selection and alignment of business procedures.

The involvement of an increasing number of Operators in prototyping highlights the need in the market to create a shared Ethernet connectivity fabric that is able to transport customers’ traffic flawlessly across several carrier networks.

In order to build the EIP Implementation Guidelines, the project formed a Rapid Prototyping Environment, which is hosted by the University of New Hampshire’s Interoperability Lab, an MEF member. Participants remotely access the controlled lab to assess and appraise suggested guidelines using CE 2.0-certified equipment with their corresponding configurations. Several MEF members — Alcatel-Lucent, Canoga Perkins, Ciena, Juniper Networks, and RAD – have delivered the CE 2.0-certified equipment.

Once completed, the Implementation Guidelines will issue guidance for how operators can economically progress their networks to encounter full MEF 33 Ethernet Access Services Definitions and MEF 26.1 External Network to Network Interface (ENNI) specifications, either in one step or in a series of steps.

Nan Chen, president of the MEF board of directors and executive vice chairman of CENX said, “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.” Chen added, “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.”

Use Case 1 in the initial Implementation Guideline includes an Ethernet Private Line service fashioned between two operators. The document’s intended release date is the MEF Quarterly Members Meeting that will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona from 25-28 January 2016.


Verizon Follows in AT&T’s Footsteps, Asks FCC to Enable WiFi Calling

October 28, 2015 | By M8 Trix Communications


You can make Wi-Fi calls on Verizon right now, but it’s not a straightforward process. To start with, you need to download the carrier’s Verizon Messages iOS app (there is no Android equivalent). Secondly, you need to ensure that you’ve enabled Wi-Fi calling within the application. Finally, you need to use Verizon Messages to make a call. If you use your iPhone’s native dialer, it will only route the call through Verizon’s cellular network, not your Wi-Fi connection.


Verizon is at last taking steps to enable Wi-Fi calling directly on its network. The carrier has submitted a petition to the FCC asking that the regulatory body grant it the same waiver that it gave to AT&T earlier this month.


The underlying technology to enable Wi-Fi calling doesn’t dependably support TTY (teletypewriter), a decades-old service used by the hearing impaired. Last month, AT&T submitted a complaint to the FCC arguing that rival companies Sprint and T-Mobile simply disregarded the rules related to TTY support when they launched Wi-Fi calling. AT&T also complained that the FCC was taking too long to approve its outstanding petition.


AT&T was granted a waiver under specific conditions to enable Wi-Fi calling until the end of 2017 while they experiment with a replacement TTY system. However, the FCC did not similarly punish T-Mobile or Sprint; in its place, it invited “requests from similarly situated providers seeking a similar waiver of the TTY requirements.”


Now, Verizon is taking advantage of that decision. In its petition, it requests the same conditions as AT&T to enable Wi-Fi calling despite their replacement TTY technology, called RTT, not yet being complete. AT&T earned what its legal SVP, James Cicconi calls “unanimous” support for its RTT (real-time text) solution from the disability community and the industry.


Verizon’s petition reads, “Verizon plans to meet the same conditions enumerated in the AT&T Waiver Order. Specifically, Verizon agrees to inform its customers through multiple channels that TTY is not supported on these services for calls to 911 and inform customers of alternative means to reach 911 services. Verizon will also inform the Commission and customers of its progress toward the deployment of RTT as described in the AT&T Waiver Order. And Verizon is seeking a waiver for the same duration as that granted to AT&T.”


Verizon also seized the opportunity to take a shot at AT&T (while emphasizing its point of view on government regulation). The company added in a footnote that “it is Verizon’s position that neither the existing rules nor the AT&T Waiver Order require such a waiver,” but it is doing so “out of an abundance of caution.”


Once granted, the waiver will allow the carrier to support the fully integrated Wi-Fi calling in iOS 9 and on Android devices. You phone will automatically switch over to Wi-Fi when your network connection is weak so that you can place and receive calls.

th-2Level 3 says Charter’s Settlement-Free Peering Policy Raises a Number of Concerns

October 28, 2015 | By M8 Trix Communications


Last week, Level 3 said that Charter Communications’ peering proposal lacks several key details that could affect future relationships.  Peering is the arrangement of traffic exchange between Internet providers (ISPs). Neither party pays the other in relation to the exchange of traffic; rather, each derives and retains revenue from its own customers.


Level 3 noted in an FCC filing that although it doesn’t have an established peering interconnection agreement with Charter, the service provider is apprehensive about the fact that the cable MSO’s agreement must address several questions and implement various modifications.


In an FCC filing, Level 3 said, “The Level 3 representatives noted that today, Level 3 and Charter do not peer to exchange Internet traffic.” However, the company added, “But, the Level 3 representatives observed, Charter’s announced policy is one that leaves important questions unanswered and contains provisions that should be modified if the policy is to form the basis for peering relationships.”


Level 3 laid out six issues it said needed to be resolved or adapted by Charter: new interconnection locations, interconnection suspension, non-discrimination, duration, traffic exchange scope and trial period.


Level 3 told the FCC that the company would prefer an Internet traffic exchange policy that is more comprehensive and lasts for longer than the one Charter Communications Inc. recently announced. Charter promises to maintain its policy until the end of 2018, however, Level 3 would prefer a longer period “to ensure stability, performance and scalability for the Internet ecosystem”. Level 3 said a 5-7 year commitment would be preferable and consistent with other traffic exchange agreements Level 3 has signed.


Additionally, Level 3 argued that the scope of Charter’s traffic exchange should cover all Internet traffic, including CDN (Content Delivery Network) traffic. The company also argued that Charter’s policy should more explicitly prohibit either peer from discriminating against peering traffic for any reason based on origin, destination or type of traffic.


Level 3 has been in talks with Charter regarding setting up a peering arrangement. As part of those talks, Charter said it would consider Level 3’s concerns. Level 3 and Charter have not yet signed or announced an equally satisfactory peering agreement.


Level 3 has been aggressively pursuing new interconnection agreements. Over the past year, it has secured pacts with a number of large telcos and cable operators, including Comcast, Verizon and AT&T.




Rapidscale Partners with Convergia

October 28, 2015 | By M8 Trix Communications


Last month, RapidScale, a worldwide leader in managed cloud solutions announced that they have settled on a partnership agreement with Convergia, one of the main privately held, end-to-end global providers of voice, Internet and data services. Convergia and RapidScale are partnering in order to extend the capabilities of both companies in offering Cloud Services to international customers. The platforms Convergia will be employing for its worldwide launch of Cloud Services involve RapidScale’s Partner Certification Program.


Convergia will integrate RapidScale’s Cloud Services Platform into its portfolio. This includes Desktop as a Service “CloudDesktop”, Microsoft Exchange “Enterprise CloudMail and SMB CloudMail”, Disaster Recovery as a Service “CloudStorage and CloudFailover”, and Infrastructure as a Service “CloudServer”.


RapidScale’s cloud solutions are supported by enterprise-level infrastructure and safeguarded with government-grade security. Their intention is to provide fully managed offerings that allow organizations to transition to an anxiety-free setting with all day and night monitoring and 24x7x365 U.S.-based support. RapidScale’s virtual desktop environment has high-speed performance with total customizability for any size organization. A virtual environment can diminish an organization’s CapEx by nearly 56% per year with complete synchronization to a BYOD business model.


CEO of RapidScale, Randy Jeter, says, “This is exciting for the future of Cloud as the one thing missing from great solutions platforms is often great services, which is what we are both committed to providing each and every customer.” Jeter explained that he regards this partnership as a win for both companies. RapidScale is aiming to expand its services, data centers, and market-leading Cloud Platforms throughout the world while Convergia is aiming to supplement their existing services portfolio. The partnership also presents both companies with the chance to build on the quickly approaching demand for the Internet of Things “IoT” service provider model.


Convergia’s cutting-edge fiber optic network encompasses more than 50 countries across four continents, joining over150 points of presence, including a total portfolio of telecommunication services accessible in Argentina, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela. Based in Montreal, they comprise a part of a seven billion dollar group of companies with more than 6,000 employees in over 50 countries. Including RapidScale’s cloud solutions will provide a competitive advantage in the marketplace as enterprises worldwide start to adopt the cloud.


RapidScale focuses on engineering the future of computing, but also pursues a “We Care” attitude that goes into all aspects of the business including the design, testing, and implementation processes.


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