Allied Telesyn International has unveiled DSL access multiplexers that are based on IP and Ethernet, and specifically designed for "triple-play" applications: video, voice and data over one broadband connection.
The company's 7700 and 7400 DSLAMs are designed as a less expensive and more versatile alternative to ATM-based DSLAMs. They also are targeted predominantly at independent operating companies (IOC) that are more bullish than incumbent local exchange carriers (ILEC) when it comes to providing triple-play services over DSL broadband connections.
By offering triple-play services over existing copper, IOCs have a carrot with which to retain customers attracted to the data offerings of satellite and cable companies. These services are also looked upon as a way to reverse declining voice revenue.
To aid in this effort, the 7000-series DSLAMs are optimised for delivery of video over asymmetric DSL (ADSL). They can support IP multicasting of up to 512 video channels via an Internet Group Multicast Protocol (IGMP) snooping, parsing and correlation technique Allied Telesyn developed.
This technique, which identifies and delivers video streams on a per-port basis, was designed to scale IGMP and avoid flooding the network with multicast requests, Allied Telesyn said.
"This was one of the main considerations" for selecting the 7000 series, director of engineering, construction and operations of Matanuska Telephone Association, Richard Kenshalo, said. "It's essential for what we're trying to deliver."
Matanuska evaluated IP DSLAMs from AFC, Cisco, Net2Net and Next Level Communications before deciding on Allied Telesyn. Kenshalo expects a 60 per cent to 70 per cent penetration rate of its digital television service into its subscriber base of 35,000.
In addition to Matanuska Telephone, the 7000-series DSLAMs were deployed by Midwest TelNet, a consortium of IOCs in Wisconsin that services 22,000 subscribers, and Vernon Telephone Co-operative.
"The IGMP switching request has got to be handled at the port-access edge due to latency concerns," Kenshalo said. "It's one of our critical design criteria. Otherwise, you kill your network. People are used to seeing something happen when they change the channel."
Until now, DSLAMs either had lacked the capabilities to support broadband video or they had been so expensive to deploy that carriers couldn't profit with them, Allied Telesyn said.
By leveraging IP and Ethernet, the 7000-series DSLAMs offer a lower cost - one Gigabit Ethernet port is one-twelfth the cost of an OC-12 ATM port, the company said - and a video-friendly alternative.
"The consensus is, particularly with greenfield builds, you would want to go with Ethernet," principal and co-founder of Network Strategy Partners, Michael Kennedy, said.
IOCs might be embarking upon copper-based builds, but Allied Telesyn will have a harder time tapping into the ILECs and regional Bell operating companies.
Alcatel dominates the DSLAM market in that realm with its ATM-based systems.
Incumbent carriers were also immersed in the idiosyncrasies - and investment - of ATM, so they'd be reluctant to flush that, Kennedy said.
Lastly, with the recently announced Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) initiative, RBOCs apparently are going to begin fiber buildouts soon. So they'll ostensibly be funnelling money away from copper and DSL.
"They're attempting to do with FTTP what they did with DSL procurement (in 1996), which Alcatel won," Kennedy said of the RBOCs. "So Allied Telesyn is already behind the eight ball. The biggest procurement of the decade is about to begin, and Allied Telesyn is not on the short list."
The 7700 and 7400 DSLAMs are Network Equipment Building Standards 3 compliant, and feature a redundant switch fabric and power supplies plus hot-pluggable service modules that support any service in any slot in either chassis. Available service modules include an eight-port ADSL module with integral splitters and a 16-port module without splitters.
The 7700 DSLAM is a 17-slot, 9U chassis designed for central offices. It supports eight to 272 subscribers. The 7400 DSLAM is a seven-slot, 3U chassis designed for small serving offices or remote terminals. It supports eight to 112 subscribers.
Both units feature in-band or out-of-band management via SNMP, Telnet or command-line interface.