A member-funded, open standards-based forum is in the works, which will encompass the existing work of the former IIC, and will coordinate efforts to develop the architecture for a federated service infrastructure able to support advanced service provider and network user business and service models. The members intend that the forum will be independently hosted by the secretariat of a major standards body and be subject to that standards body's rules. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), ATIS, ETSI, and AMS are currently under consideration. An announcement regarding hosting secretariat selection, and the new name, is expected following the election of the board and adoption of the terms that will apply to the effort.
Members of the forum will include the members of the Infranet Initiative Council (IIC), which voted on June 2 to transition its activities to a member-funded forum. Additional companies, including Alcatel and Cisco Systems, have also announced their support.
The forum will focus on the "business of IP" and coordinate efforts to develop the architecture for an IP infrastructure able to support the broadest possible set service provider and network user business/service models. The forum will have three primary goals:
- Architecting today's Internet to be a service of the overall IP infrastructure, rather than the Internet itself being the infrastructure. In this sense, the permissive, best effort Internet service is presented as a 'tunnel,' alongside other tunnels presenting the services of more predictable, trusted network environments;
- Providing for any of the services of a network operators' IP infrastructure to be federated (or interconnected) with other operators according to clearly defined business relationships, and incorporating mechanisms for revenue settlement and SLA accountability;
- Ensuring that users of the IP infrastructure can access only the presented services, and not the underlying infrastructure itself, to heighten reliability and integrity of the overall federated system of networks.
IIC members participating include BT, China Unicom, Ericsson, France Telecom, Juniper Networks, Hewlett Packard, Korea Telecom, Level 3, Lucent, Qwest, Siemens, Telenor, Tellabs and Telstra. In addition, Alcatel and Cisco Systems have independently agreed to join the forum.