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Question 1/15 – Coordination of access network transport standards
(Continuation of Question 1/15)


Within ITU-T, transport in the access network is under study in a number of different study groups, e.g. SGs 9, 13, 15, with several Recommendations published, others in development, and other supportive activities conducted, such as workshops. Moreover, ITU-R, IEEE and other standards bodies, forums and consortia are also active in this area.

Recognizing that without a strong coordination effort there is the danger of duplication of work as well as the development of incompatible and non-interoperable standards, the WTSC-96 designated Study Group 15 as Lead Study Group on Access Network Transport within ITU-T.

An Access Network Transport (ANT) Standards Overview and an ANT Work Plan have been published. The ANT Standards Overview describes various Access Network Transport "scenarios" currently being developed and implemented and a list of associated Recommendations and Standards relating to/defining those scenarios.

The ANT Work Plan lists a number of standardization bodies active in the ANT area with names and addresses for contact, communication and collaboration. It also lists possible "gaps", “overlaps" and conflicts of ongoing standardization activities. Both are published on the ITU-T Study Group 15 website.

Worldwide, technology is advancing rapidly in Access Networks. As many as 300,000,000 subscribers worldwide use broadband connections to the Internet. More than two hundred million connect using Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technology on telephone networks installed primarily by ITU-T member organizations. Thirty-five million use broadband services delivered over direct optical fibre connections. Many broadband subscribers receive service from new or non-traditional providers, via traditional telephone networks or by other networks such as coaxial cable in Community Access Television (CATV) networks, wireless providers or even via electric power distribution grids. Finally, there is enormous interest in developing nations for rapid broadband deployment in order to accelerate economic growth as well as to close the digital divide.

A broadband connection provides unprecedented communications resources to the network-user interface. This has created a new opportunity for advanced computational and communications capability among customer premise equipment and the desire to connect this equipment within a home network as well as to the outside world via the customer’s broadband service. The ability to serve these equipment and home networks provides a new challenge to network operators. Standardization will be imperative as much of this equipment is consumer products from suppliers without history in the telecommunications industry.

Finally, worldwide concern about climate change is affecting the telecommunications industry as well. The environmental impact of power consumption necessary to provide services, as well as that used at the terminal and by the subscriber, will be under greater scrutiny by customers and governments. As interest in the roles of ITU-T members’ products and services in climate change increases, technical standards will be influenced by these parties as well industry experts.

In summary, the Access Network is experiencing rapid technical change, historic high subscriber growth rates, a proliferation of new products and solutions, wide entry from new service providers and equipment suppliers who can be unfamiliar with general standards and governments eager for deployment of advanced technologies in the Access Network. Access Network standardization will see increased numbers of stakeholders who are not industry experts or even members. The need for coordinated standardization in this market has not been greater than it is today.


How can ITU-T Study Group 15 best fulfil its mission as Lead Study Group on Access Network Transport within ITU-T?

What enhancements to existing Recommendations are required to provide energy savings directly or indirectly in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) or in other industries?

What enhancements to developing or new Recommendations are required to provide such energy savings?

Study items to be considered include but are not limited to:

  • Maintain and update the ANT Standards Overview together with other study groups and in conjunction with ITU-R and other relevant organizations
  • Maintain and update the ANT Work Plan, report ANT related standards activities underway by recognized Standards Developing Organizations (SDO’s), identify "gaps, overlaps and conflicts" by observing ongoing standardization activities
  • Maintain and update the ANT web presentation
  • Maintain coordination across the relevant ITU-T study groups to ensure all available expertise is utilized to best advantage and in the establishment of priorities
  • Serve as focal point to and provide coordination with other standards organizations, forums and consortia to ensure that the consolidation of work plans and priorities is based on a wide range of business, market and technological inputs
  • Contribute to ITU efforts to support developing countries by making pertinent information available such as ANT standards, documents and relevant information including indications of best practices on implementation of broadband
  • Contribute to ITU ANT standardization efforts that communicate, collaborate or otherwise work across industry and technical boundaries for technical standards of mutual benefit.
  • Extension of the ANT Work Plan to activities related to Home Networking and energy savings in the Access Network.


  • Tasks include, but are not limited to:
  • Update the ANT Standardization Overview (ongoing).
  • Update the ANT Standardization Work Plan (ongoing).
  • Update the ANT web presentation corresponding to the revisions of the ANT Standardization Overview and Work Plans in order to maintain easy access to the actual information.
  • Respond to specific requests for information on ANT standards from other standards organizations and other interested entities.
  • Contribute to the success of pertinent ITU-T activities.
  • Communicate with other groups, inside and outside ITU-T as needed for coordination purposes.

NOTE: An up-to-date status of work under this Question is contained in the SG15 Work Programme at




  • G.9970: "Generic home network transport architecture"
  • G.9971: "Requirements of transport functions in IP home networks"


  • Q2/15, Q4/15, Q5/15

Study Groups:

  • ITU-T SG9 on Cable TV
  • ITU-T SG13 on NGN
  • ITU-T SG16 on Modems and Multimedia
  • ITU-R WP [5A on Mobile and Fix Wireless Access]
  • ITU-R WP [5D on IMT]

Standardization bodies, forums and consortia:

  • Broadband Forum (ex DSL Forum) on DSL Technology
  • Broadband Forum (ex DSL Forum) on Home Networking
  • IP/MPLS Forum on BPON and B-ISDN
  • ATIS Committee NIPP and its subcommittee on Network Access Interfaces (NAI)
  • ATIS Committee NIPP and its subcommittee on Optical Access Networks (OAN)
  • ATIS Committee NIPP and its subcommittee on Telecom Energy Efficiency (TEE)
  • CENELEC TC205 on Home and Building Electronic Systems
  • CENELEC TC209 on Cable Networks
  • SCTE
  • IEEE 802.3ah, 802.11x, and 802.16 on broadband access
  • CENELEC TC215 on Electro-Technical aspects of telecommunications equipment
  • ETSI TM6 on xDSL
  • ISO/IEC on JTC1/SC25 on interconnection of Information Technology equipment
  • TIA FO4, TR-41, TR-42
  • CEPCA on power line communication
  • ETSI PLT on power line communication
  • HGI on residential gateway
  • HomePlug on power line communication
  • HomePNA on phone-line networking
  • IEEE on Ethernet and power line communication
  • UPA on power line communication


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Updated : 2012-05-04