Cable-Tec Expo 2009: TM Forum Opens Internet-Monitoring Spec To Cable

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Telecommunications-industry group TM Forum, as part of its outreach to the cable industry, will make the Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR) interface specification -- incorporated into several CableLabs technologies, including DOCSIS 3.0 -- publically available to anyone who wants it.IPDR provides information about Internet Protocol service usage and performance. IP network and service providers use the spec to gather data from a variety of network devices.

The TM Forum is opening up the IPDR spec, previously available only the group's members, to foster adoption by cable technology suppliers. "Because of IPDR's huge potential, it made sense to make the standard available to non-members," TM Forum cable marketing manager Donna Bastien said.

CableLabs, a member of the TM Forum, has made IPDR is a mandatory part of the DOCSIS 3.0 and OpenCable specs.

"We are very pleased that TM Forum is making IPDR specifications available to an audience beyond our respective membership," CableLabs chief technology officer Ralph Brown said in a statement. "CableLabs has always made a practice of making its specifications publicly available to expand adoption. This action on the part of the TM Forum should enable the growth of the IPDR user community and drive technical contributions for exciting new IPDR features."

"As a member of the cable MSO community, Time Warner Cable applauds TM Forum's decision to make the IPDR specification publically available," Jon Anderson, vice president of Time Warner Cable's Advanced Technology Group, added. "We believe that this change is a significant step forward that will facilitate IPDR's development and rapid adoption as a robust management interface by a variety of hardware and software suppliers and systems integrators."

Cox Communications director of network architecture Jeffrey Finkelstein commented, "Public availability of the IPDR specification is an important move towards wider acceptance of the protocol. We are a supporter of open specifications and are pleased to see the TM Forum, of which we are a member, take this significant step forward."

The Morristown, N.J.-based TM Forum, which has about 750 members worldwide, acquired the assets in 2007. As part of the agreement, became a working group within the TM Forum Interface Program.

Bastien noted that while non-members will have access to the IPDR specification, they won't be able to participate in ongoing development of the standard. TM Forum annual membership fees are tiered based on a company's annual revenue, starting at $1,500 (for firms with less than $1 million revenue) to $53,000 (for companies $10 billion or more).

The IPDR documents will be available at:

n addition to participating in SCTE Cable-Tec Expo this week, TM Forum will also supporting other cable events in the next few months, including a panel discussion at the Management World Americas conference in Orlando Dec. 8-10.