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[EFM] EFM x 802.3ah - broad picture x narrow scope


I'm posting this to everyone in the group, as it sums up my opinion in the
recent discussion about EFM scope.

There are several seemingly incompatible requirements to meet. We have to
maintain compatibility with other Ethernet related standards such as
802.1d, 802.1q, and so on; at the same time, working with public access
networks is not the same as working with corporate customers. Some
potential customers require long reach, others can work with short reach.
Some of the discussions are still at a somewhat 'intuitive' stage, where we
have few actual data to make a informed decision.

For me, the fundamental point is that 802.3ah is not the same as "Ethernet
First Mile". Given the name, EFM is more of a concept: it covers all that
is needed to bring Ethernet to the access network. 802.3ah is just this
standard group, which has to keep a narrow scope. It's fair to say that
there are good reasons for the narrow focus. The question now is, how to
map all the requirements of the broad picture of "Ethernet First Mile" into
the narrow scope of 802.3ah.

Give this scenario, the trick is to find the key points that need to
included into the 802.3ah standard in order to support the complete EFM
proposition, without going way out of the scope. That's a huge quest for
the group to solve.

Carlos Ribeiro
CTBC Telecom