News Release

Leading DSL Suppliers Launch OpenDSL Initiative to Simplify CPE Installation and Create Solution for Retail Availability

OpenDSL will Make DSL Equipment Interoperable,
Aug 07, 2000

OpenDSL will Make DSL Equipment Interoperable, Self-Installable and Available in Retail Stores, While Enabling Service Providers to Start Service More Quickly and Cost Effectively by Eliminating Truck Rolls for DSL CPE Configuration

SAN JOSE, Calif., August 7, 2000 - Leading digital subscriber line (DSL) equipment and chip manufacturers, systems integrators and service providers today announced the OpenDSL initiative to simplify and expedite DSL installation and make the equipment fully interoperable-helping to establish a retail market for DSL equipment and service. OpenDSL will enable service providers to avoid expensive on-site visits (truck rolls) by automating customer premise equipment (CPE) configuration (or set-up), making it easy for customers to install modems and routers themselves.

The OpenDSL initiative has two main objectives: to gain industry-wide acceptance and standardization of an open software specification that will automate the configuration of CPE and network elements; and to ensure true "plug-and-play" interoperability between multi-vendor DSL modems and routers. By fulfilling these objectives, the OpenDSL initiative will further the DSL mass market.

"We at DSL Forum believe the OpenDSL initiative addresses key scalability issues and will be important in achieving the great potential of the DSL market. OpenDSL will allow providers to install more consumers quickly and will help to reduce some of the long intervals that customers are currently experiencing," said Martin Jackson, board member, DSL Forum. "This initiative will complement DSL Forum's work, as the OpenDSL group focuses specifically on DSL CPE auto-configuration issues. DSL Forum embraces this work as a key component of the entire DSL industry, in an effort to further the 'plug-and-play' solutions available to consumers."

Leading DSL suppliers supporting the OpenDSL initiative include 3Com Corp., Cayman Systems, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., Efficient Networks, Inc., GlobeSpan, Inc., Intel Corp., Netopia Corp., Texas Instruments, Inc., Virata Corp., Westell Technologies, Inc. and Xircom, Inc. Systems integrators KPMG Consulting, LLC, Pomeroy Select Integration Solutions, Inc. and PricewaterhouseCoopers also support the initiative, as do the following service providers: Alltel Corp., CAIS Internet, Inc., Digital Broadband Communications Inc., Hanaro Telecom, Network Plus, Qwest Communications International Inc., Pathnet, Request DSL, SBC Communications Inc. and Vectris Communications. Other industry vendors are welcome and encouraged to support the OpenDSL initiative.

"The OpenDSL initiative addresses two major challenges in the DSL industry that are limiting service providers' ability to deploy DSL on a mass-market scale-customer self-installation of CPE equipment and vendor interoperability," said Kathie Hackler, principal analyst-remote access, at Dataquest, Inc., a leading industry-analyst firm. "The support of so many DSL vendors and service providers makes a powerful statement about the importance of this initiative. It should continue to garner support from other key industry players and help move the entire DSL industry forward."

To promote DSL equipment openness throughout the industry, the OpenDSL consortium will form standards alignment with DSL Forum and create a third-party certification program through which vendors can test and certify their equipment for interoperability. OpenDSL testing will cover both physical- and system-level interoperability to ensure true "plug-and-play" connectivity. This level of testing will eliminate the need for the time-consuming and costly in-house interoperability testing programs currently used by DSL equipment manufacturers and service providers.

"The DSL industry needs to stand outside single-vendor interoperability programs and come together as an industry, said Matthew Davis a senior analyst at the Yankee Group, a leading industry-analyst firm. "By enabling DSL CPE vendors to submit their products to one certification lab for industry-wide interoperability, the OpenDSL initiative has the potential to be a major breakthrough in helping to establish the interoperability needed to further the DSL mass market."

OpenDSL Certification Lab

OpenDSL participants are establishing a certification program with an external test house and certification lab. The lab will provide vendor-neutral testing, debugging, and certification services to enable network equipment manufacturers and developers to receive OpenDSL certification. The OpenDSL-compliant products are expected to be available by early next year.

OpenDSL Communication Tools

An OpenDSL program overview, technical slide sets and white paper are available to communicate the program within companies or development communities interested in the initiative. The communication tools can be downloaded from the OpenDSL web site located at Other OpenDSL program information, such as news, activities and white papers, will also be made available on this site.

About OpenDSL

The OpenDSL initiative is driven by leading network equipment and chip manufacturers, systems integrators and service providers. These companies have come together to bring about a standard that promotes openness through the interoperability of multi-vendor DSL customer premise equipment. Key components of the initiative include a software specification that automates the configuration of CPE and network elements, and a third-party certification program that allows vendors to test and certify their DSL products. OpenDSL will enable service providers to meet mass-market demand for DSL by cutting the time and costs of testing products and turning on service, and making DSL available through retail channels. For more information about the OpenDSL initiative, visit

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Leading Service Providers and DSL Suppliers Show Support for OpenDSL

Digital Broadband Communications Inc.
Mark Dunn
"The OpenDSL initiative will greatly accelerate our ability to deploy services. By providing a solution for interoperable, 'plug-and-play' equipment, OpenDSL will ultimately allow us to focus less on managing and testing the CPE and more on the business of getting DSL service out to our customers."

Qwest Communications International Inc.
Teresa Taylor
Vice President, Product Marketing
"Qwest has offered customers the option of installing their own DSL service since the fall of 1998. Today about 90 percent of Qwest DSL subscribers choose self-installation, and the vast majority are successful. We have been a pioneer of self-installation processes for DSL because we understood early on that self-installation was pivotal to rapid mass-market deployment. We support Open DSL and other initiatives that drive full interoperability and that simplify processes for customers that install their own DSL service."

SBC Communications Inc.
Eva Low
Vice President - New Technology Introduction
"SBC continually strives to further improve our customers' DSL experience. The OpenDSL initiative will help to further simplify DSL customer self-installation. We believe easier-to-install DSL equipment and assured interoperability will spur even greater acceptance of DSL and continue to drive demand for our broadband services."

Vectris Communications
Steve Guastella
Chief Architect and Vice President, Data Engineering
"The OpenDSL initiative is a powerful step toward the true 'plug-and-play' interoperability needed in the industry. When products that meet OpenDSL certification become available, Vectris will be able to remotely auto-configure customer CPE for optimal performance across our network, including support for multiple classes of service (CoS). Auto-configuration will allow our customers to perform self-installations if they choose, which accelerates their service turn-up by eliminating the need for a truck roll. In addition, OpenDSL will enable customers to choose best-in-class products from a wide range of CPE vendors with the assurance that whether they get the product from a service provider or a retail outlet, it will work immediately when plugged into the DSL line they have ordered."

3COM Corp.
Don Linder
Director, DSL Product Management, Residential Connectivity Group
"3Com supports industry-wide initiatives, such as OpenDSL, which are intended to speed up and simplify deployment of ADSL services. End users, service providers and equipment vendors will all benefit from faster-and broader-deployment of ADSL services around the world."

Cayman Systems, Inc.
Peter N. Vicars
President and CEO
"Cayman, as one of the leaders in providing broadband gateways, is committed to simplifying the installation and configuration of its solutions so that service providers can not only offer a 'plug-and-play' solution to its customers, but a solution that customers can troubleshoot and maintain through easy steps. This eliminates the high costs associated with each truck roll that the service provider otherwise typically incurs. The OpenDSL initiative, which promotes easy automated installation and configuration, will only serve to strengthen Cayman's long-standing goal to develop and deliver intelligent, straight-forward and standards-based solutions, enabling many more broadband service providers to deliver profitable services."

Cisco Systems, Inc.
Kambiz Hooshmand
Vice President and General Manager, DSL and Integrated Access Business Unit
"By working together to drive standards, the DSL industry can overcome barriers to rapid deployment. The OpenDSL initiative will simplify and expedite DSL installation, and promote the DSL mass market through self-installable equipment, interoperability and retail availability. This important industry initiative supports Cisco's GlobalDSL strategy to enable service providers to more quickly and broadly deploy high-speed services over DSL."

Efficient Networks, Inc.
Greg Langdon
Executive Vice President, Product Strategy
"One of the hallmarks of our SpeedStream. products is the ability to operate with multiple carriers and their latest technological advances. The OpenDSL initiative provides the broad framework for simplifying and accelerating the deployment of DSL for service providers."

Globespan, Inc.
Daniel Amrany
Chief Technology Officer
"The OpenDSL initiative marks a milestone in the DSL industry. By standardizing software and providing true 'plug-n-play' solutions, participants are embarking on a new era of simplified, consumer-installable DSL. Supporting OpenDSL further asserts GlobeSpan's focus to accelerate DSL deployment."

Intel Corp.
Chad Taggard
Director, Intel Broadband Access Organization
"Intel views the OpenDSL effort as a continuation of our deep commitment to enabling mass-market broadband, specifically DSL. By focusing on two of the most important areas of concern for service providers-interoperability and provisioning-Intel believes that the OpenDSL initiative will help to simplify and lower costs of rolling out DSL services, expanding the availability dramatically."

KPMG Consulting
Brad Schwartz
Executive Vice President
"The OpenDSL initiative is a step toward defining the true 'plug-and-play' interoperability that is needed in the industry. This program represents a shared commitment to the development of products and solutions that will integrate seamlessly at all levels. Service providers may see cost savings by streamlining their operations, and the end-user customer is given an opportunity of 'plug-and-play' capabilities for products from a wide range of CPE vendors."

Netopia, Inc.
Michael Trupiano
Senior Vice President and General Manager, Internet Equipment Division
"Rapid service provisioning and equipment interoperability are among the most critical issues facing the xDSL market today. The widespread adoption of an OpenDSL standard will simplify interoperability testing, speed service installation, and assure DSL customers that no matter which service provider they select, the underlying technology will be compatible."

Pomeroy Select Integration Solutions, Inc.
Steve Pomeroy
"The OpenDSL initiative will revolutionize this market sector. As one of the leaders in DSL CPE implementation, Pomeroy supports the availability of products that will streamline the installation process. We feel that this announcement represents major strides toward end-user satisfaction in their choice of a DSL-based solution."

Mike Reuschel
Partner/Chief Operating Officer, New World Network
"The initiatives set forth in OpenDSL create a 'win-win' situation for both service providers and customers. Its fundamental principles of accessibility and interoperability can further the time to revenue priorities set by most service providers today at the same time it would allow customers to speed their 'time to DSL.'"

Texas Instruments Inc.
Bill Eversole
General Manager, DSL CPE Products
"The fastest and only way for DSL to reach hundreds of millions of subscribers is to make consumer-side installations a non-event through auto-configuration, while ensuring that competitive dynamics and interoperability continue driving the costs of DSL to true consumer levels. This is the charter of OpenDSL, and we will strongly contribute to the initiative. Programmability facilitates auto-configuration and TI has one of the most programmable DSL chipsets on the market. We intend to bring this technology, along with our leadership in DSP and analog for broadband communications, to the initiative."

Virata Corp.
Mike Gulett
President and Chief Operating Officer
"We are extremely pleased to be partnering with industry leaders in the OpenDSL initiative, which we believe will help establish long-term DSL industry standards and ensure ease-of-installation and affordability for the mass market. As a leading supplier of communications processors and software, we intend to fully support the initiatives of the OpenDSL consortium by contributing our expertise to that of other members of the initiative to solve many of today's configuration and ease-of-use problems."

Westell Technologies Inc.
Mike Santiago
Vice President and General Manager, CPE Business Unit
"The OpenDSL initiative is a strong step toward fulfilling the potential of DSL technology. As one of the leaders in desktop DSL modems, Westell is ready to support an industry standard that will make DSL installation as simple as installing a conventional modem. Westell's innovative Flex Architecture allows us to rapidly adapt to a new standard, ensuring that customers will always be supported with the latest technology."

Xircom, Inc.
Dirk Gates
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
"The OpenDSL initiative will facilitate the quick and easy installation of Xircom's DSL modems, enabling our customers to immediately connect with their service provider and establish communications. We fully support this initiative to simplify DSL equipment installation on the basis that Xircom's customers will benefit from increased DSL service availability and reduced set-up costs."