Broadband Forum produces open source agent for the interoperable home

Ian Scales
By Ian Scales

May 21, 2019

via Flickr © LGEPR (CC BY 2.0)

via Flickr © LGEPR (CC BY 2.0)

  • Claims the move will arm operators with the tools to unlock new revenue from IoT
  • Builds on the original TR-069 standard and uses the same data models
  • Means operators can build a network of controllers and agents to allow applications to manipulate service elements

The Broadband Forum has published an open source Open Broadband – USP Agent (OB-USP-Agent) implementation. It hopes this will ease the way for broadband services that can accelerate ‘Interoperable connected home deployments’. In other words, operators will be able to plant a key device at the end of the broadband pipe and more easily allow it to interact with other devices that users want to incorporate into their already smart, and getting smarter, homes and in some cases deliver services to them..  

The forum says the move will give device vendors a code base to either integrate into their devices or use as a reference implementation as they utilize User Services Platform (USP), OB-USP-Agent facilitates.

It all adds up to a faster time-to-market for USP-based innovation and solutions and means operators can manage a standards-based solution paving the way  for “large-scale operator deployments and lucrative new revenue streams while greatly limiting the risks associated with stunted ecosystems,” the forum maintains.

“By combining the best of standards-based deployments with the latest software developments, OB-USP-Agent opens up the possibilities of the Connected Home to the entire broadband industry. With the release of the open source implementation, I am confident that the important role USP has to play in Internet of Things (IoT) deployments will become even clearer, providing operators and vendors with the tools to deliver a future-proof Connected Home experience that enhances consumers’ day-to-day lives,” says Kevin Foster, Broadband Forum Chairman and Head of Broadband Standards and Ecosystems at BT.

The forum claims OB-USP Agent is the latest development to USP which evolves the original  TR-069 standard, by using the same data models to build a network of controllers and agents to allow applications to manipulate service elements. That means service providers, consumer electronics manufacturers and end-users can all securely manage connected devices, carry out security upgrades and onboard new devices.

Service providers are also enabled to offer remote monitoring and troubleshooting of connected devices, services and home network links in an enhanced customer support role.

First implementations

USP has already been deployed by Greenwave Systems which has already successfully used USP in its IoT applications.

ARRIS (now part of CommScope via acquisition) has developed and contributed an open source USP Agent that has already participated in previous USP Plugfest events and been tested against the existing USP compliance test plan. With this open source baseline, developers and solution providers alike can leverage this compliant platform to add additional services and applications and utilize updates to the code as this implementation of the USP specification matures.

“The key to accelerating the Connected Home is to develop standards-based, open source solutions that the entire industry can utilize and benefit from. This is exactly what we designed OB-USP-Agent to do – provide vendors with new tools that can help bring innovative services to market faster. The OB-USP-Agent fosters interoperability and avoids proprietary management solutions that are less flexible and become too costly for operators to scale,” says John Blackford, Co-Director of the Broadband User Services (BUS) Work Area at Broadband Forum, OB-USP-Agent project leaders, and Product Management Director at CommScope

The OB-USP-Agent implementation release comes as Broadband Forum releases its latest Market Update, entitled: ‘MU-461: Realizing the Promise of the Connected Home with Broadband Forum User Services Platform (TR-369)’. As broadband-ready IoT devices continue to proliferate, this Market Update outlines the winning strategies which will enable operators to overcome challenges they are facing when it comes to providing and monetizing Connected Home services.

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