Broadband Forum unveils self-certification program to boost connected homes

Robin Mersh of Broadband Forum

Broadband Forum has launched its User Services Platform (USP) Agent Certification Program. It aims to provide assurance and confidence for service providers and consumer electronics companies looking to generate new revenues from Internet of Things (IoT) services, cloud-based business models, and Wi-Fi and security management.

The Forum describes it as a significant step forward for the Connected Home market that signals industry readiness, the USP Agent Certification Program is Broadband Forum’s first to use a self-certification model – allowing companies to cost-effectively test any broadband or consumer connected device against the Conformance Test Plan for User Services Platform Agents (TP-469) standard.

This will greatly accelerate interoperability by streamlining companies’ ability to perform repeatable, automated testing on their own while preserving the integrity of the results and overall value of certified products by testing against rigorous standards.

Companies can self-test their products using an accredited test tool, which provides secure results for validation by a Broadband Forum approved laboratory or can submit products directly to the approved laboratory for testing. Products that have been validated will be recognised with a logo and certification ID and posted on Broadband Forum’s product registry website along with a list of the product’s supported features.

The CDRouter automated test solution from QA Cafe begins the program as the first approved tool, and the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) as the first approved test agency, with additional labs expected to join the program in the coming weeks. As part of the activities of the first approved test agency, UNH-IOL has validated the test specification and tool against Broadband Forum’s open-source reference implementation (OB-USP-Agent) and other commercial implementations from multiple companies. CommScope’s ECO Envoy 2.0 is the first commercial product to be certified.

“Consumer demand for connected home services is growing, as is the number of products and services coming to the market but in order for mass deployment to be realised, a unified, standardised, and interoperable platform to develop value-add solutions for the connected home is needed,” says Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum. “USP Agent certification will give developers and product managers confidence in their products, ensure interoperability, and prove to their customers that their products will work seamlessly with USP-enabled applications in this new and powerful ecosystem.”

The User Services Platform, specified in Broadband Forum TR-369, provides remote management for the new ecosystem of connected home applications. As an evolution of the popular TR-069 protocol, USP has already seen significant uptake in the industry and currently has hundreds of active developers.

Broadband Forum thanks CommScope, the Open Broadband USP Agent project team, and Axiros for their support in helping to validate the first release of the TP-469 test plan and the approved self-testing tool.

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