Internet Providers

Conventional DSL Services

CenturyLink Inc is considering further development of its traditional copper-based Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) services through the application of the Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) design. The telecom company has stated that this new effort will be instrumental in reducing the overall operational costs and improving the broadband service activation times.

CORD is a combination of both NFV and SDN-based software that will enable the company’s Central Office in enhancing its flexibility, data center economics and cloud agility. Adam Dunstan, vice president of SDN/NFV engineering for CenturyLink stated that the CORD concept has huge value in applying the design to DSL networks and will aid in a larger effort of migrating to software-based network architecture.

“A lot of the previous talk around CORD in fixed line access has been around GPON, but we have done this for DSL,” Dunstan said. “We see CORD as a key part of our modernization program and part of getting a unified access infrastructure.” Dunstan further stated that CORD would provide CenturyLink with a common architecture for using on any last-mile network types like copper-based DSL or fiber-based Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks (GPON).

“When go and roll out DSL services, we have a certain bill of materials, which is quite different than the bill of material for equipment when we roll out GPON services,” Dunstan said. “As we move towards this style of architecture where we’re using white box switches and services, we end up with a uniform bill of materials irrespective of what access means we use.”

Note that CenturyLink and AT&T are the only internet providers implementing CORD at present. The latest findings point to a 70 percent probability in respondents plan for deploying CORD in their Smart COs. CORD will enable CenturyLink to acquire a platform for accommodating all of its cheap internet services, thereby using the architecture for rewarding other network partners alongside broadband.

Cheap Internet

Improving DSL Services

The telecom company’s new proposal with CORD comes ahead as a major effort to completely virtualize its IP core network by 2019. Meanwhile, this CORD adoption into its DSL service base architecture will enable the company to accurately identify and reduce subscriber downtime in case of any network event.

“There’s always problems and things will always fail, but we’re going to be able to contain those failures,” Dustan further added. “In the near-term the benefit for our customers we hope to see an improvement in reliability across our footprint and then we’ll look at how to add other services.”