Progress on ATM/ADSL Integration Work Intensifies at ATM Forum ADSL Workshop

ATM/ADSL: Progress on ATM/ADSL Integration Work Intensifies at ATM Forum ADSL Workshop

The ATM Forum, an association whose charter is to speed the development

and deployment of Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) products and services,

announced Tuesday that it has accelerated its work with The ADSL Forum,

through an ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) workshop that

included representatives of the T1E1 standards body and the Universal ADSL

Working Group, at the ATM Forum’s recent meeting in Portland Oregon (July


With each organization bringing its own ATM/ADSL integration work to the

table, the participants began laying the groundwork to coordinate their

efforts and define a common set of objectives.

Additionally, The ATM Forum also announced, it is moving forward with two

specifications focusing on ATM addressing, and it has sent three new

specifications that address Residential Broadband (RBB), Private

Network-to-Network Interface (PNNI) and device management in the carrier

space to final ballot.

ATM is well established as the transport technology best suited for

integrating voice, video and data across local and wide area networks.

ADSL is positioned to deliver multi-megabit services over existing

telephone lines into the home.

Recognizing the mutual benefits of integrating ATM and ADSL,

representatives of the different groups met in Portland to discuss the

issues that need to be addressed to make the benefits of ATM and ADSL

integration a reality.

Separately, The ATM Forum, recognizing the need to formalize the ATM

addressing process so that end-users and technical staff can more easily

implement ATM services, has completed the baseline work on User and

Reference Guides that explain why and when ATM addresses are needed and

how to acquire, implement and administer them.

Greg Ratta, chairman for The ATM Forum’s Technical Committee said,

“Building on the success of ATM as a stable and mature technology, The ATM

Forum also has the responsibility of easing the introduction of ATM into

environments where users need to integrate real time applications such as

voice and video with their existing data networks.

“The groundwork on ATM and ADSL integration discussed at the Portland

meeting — in addition to the addressing work in progress and the

completed work — are making it possible to integrate ATM across a wide

variety of platforms, including the expansion of its use into the home.”

Laying the ATM/ADSL Integration Groundwork

The purpose of the ADSL workshop held at The ATM Forum meeting in Portland

was to identify common ground among the four groups represented and to

identify the issues that need to be addressed in order to integrate ATM as

a transport technology for ADSL.

Enhancements to signaling, traffic management, and network management

specifications may be necessary to accommodate the special characteristics

of an ADSL physical layer. While some open issues were closed in Portland,

the remaining issues will be addressed at future meetings.

Marlis Humphrey, chairman of the board of The ATM Forum observed,

“Existing mechanisms enable deployment of ATM over ADSL access networks

for high speed Internet access today. The groundwork laid at the Portland

meeting will enable deployment of more efficient large scale multimedia

and multiservice ATM over ADSL networks as well as deployment of ATM over

‘lite’ or ‘splitterless’ ADSL networks.

“We are accelerating the timeline that will enable users in the home or

office to benefit from ATM services.”

About the Specifications

The User Guide and Technical Guide documents for the ATM addressing work

in progress are now out for straw vote. This means the baseline work is

complete and the documents are ready for review by the membership.

Objections and requests for clarifications received during the straw vote

ballot process will be resolved at the next meeting of the Technical


At the conclusion of the straw vote process, the documents will then be

approved as specifications through a final ballot. The three documents

currently out for final ballot address the physical interface for ATM into

the home, signaling applied between nodes of ATM networks that employ

static hop-by-hop routing, and management information for network elements

in the carrier space.

For a complete listing of all ratified ATM Forum specifications please

visit The ATM Forum on the Internet at

The ATM Forum

Formed in 1991, The ATM Forum’s membership currently includes more than

660 companies representing all sectors of the computer and communications

industries, as well as government agencies, research organizations and end

users. The Forum’s charter is to speed the development and deployment of

ATM products and services.

Activities include development and recommendation of interoperability

specifications and the promotion of industry cooperation and awareness.

COPYRIGHT 1998 EDGE Publishing

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group