A Virtual Broadband Network Gateway (vBNG) Approach for Cable Operators in a Distributed Access Environment (2020)

By Jason Combs, Comcast

For as long as the Multiple System Operator (MSO) community has built and operated networks, we have been looking for better ways to segment it, and to optimize the work needed to update and maintain it. In addition, serious efforts emerged over the last several years to add other access media to the mix, such as passive optical networks (PONs) and wireless technologies. Among these efforts is network function virtualization (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN), which have captured the attention of the MSOs and of the networking world at large. How does the MSO community take advantage of these concepts to fulfill both today’s needs as well as the desire for an easier, quicker deployment of access network technology going forward into the future? In this paper, we will explore:

  • Challenges faced by MSOs in deploying new types of access technologies alongside the current (virtual/”v”) CMTS
  • A method for abstracting service activation to allow for common control of dissimilar access technologies
  • A flexible virtual broadband network gateway (vBNG) structure that matches MSO service formats to operate non-DOCSIS access technologies (e.g. PON)
  • Advantages of this NFV and SDN approach compared to a traditional hardware BNG
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