Containers – those packages of software that contain all of the necessary elements to run in any environment – are often associated with the rise of the cloud. In the above interview, filmed at Fiber Connect 2022, Craig Thomas discusses the Broadband Forum’s initiative to standardize software containerization on the residential gateway within the home.
Thomas, the Broadband Forum’s VP of Strategic Marketing and Business Development, explains how its Service Provider Action Council sparked this relatively new initiative to create an “App-Enabled Services Gateway.” Thomas points out that standardization is important to developers as they only have to develop once, and their respective apps will work across multiple residential gateways.
Developers also benefit by not necessarily having to bring in their own hardware gateway. The consumer wins in that this approach eliminates, in some cases, service-specific hardware. It also means fewer boxes cluttering a consumer’s house, consuming electricity, and, eventually clogging up landfills.
For the service provider, the app-enabled services gateway promises new revenue streams through the creation of an app-store environment. Because the containers provide an isolated environment for running a given application, they are inherently secure.
The new effort, WT492, is part of the Broadband Forum’s Broadband Users Services (BUS) Work Area. It builds off the Broadband Forum’s earlier in-home network standardization efforts around TR-69 and TR-369 (User Services Platform – USP). Thomas indicates there is great enthusiasm for this initiative with active participation from vendors as well as other groups, such as the prpl Foundation, RDK, and the Wi-Fi Alliance.
Thomas encourages service providers of all sizes to join in the effort to help shape the standard that is sure to enable service to tens of billions of devices and help bring the cloud into the home.