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CSPs are pushing for SD access network solutions, given the potential advantages, but they need solutions that accommodate legacy broadband equipment and services.


  • The Broadband Forum’s (BBF's) CloudCO and OB-BAA initiatives have a large base of supporters and will likely be adopted by operators. The BBF has a proven track record with standardization efforts, such as NETCONF/YANG management for access networks.
  • The ONF’s R-CORD and SEBA initiatives represent a big leap for the ecosystem, and while standardization efforts continue, it is struggling to attract wide-scale support across major access equipment vendors.
  • Abstraction is the first step on the long road to open access networking and is fundamental for service automation and network function virtualization (NFV).

Features and Benefits

  • This report assesses two major software-defined access network initiatives, their goals, and participants.
  • This report discusses the implementation challenges of software-defined access network efforts along with the status of these efforts.

Key questions answered

  • Why is it difficult to implement software-defined solutions into broadband access networks?
  • What is the goal of the ONF's R-CORD and SEBA? What are the implementation challenges? Is there a viable ecosystem?
  • What is the goal of the BBF's CloudCO and OB-BAA? What is the status of the efforts? Is there a viable ecosystem?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations for CSPs
  • Recommendations for vendors

Broadband access networks are complex

  • Equipment diversity in broadband access networks
  • OSS/BSS is complex too

Two major industry SD-access initiatives

  • The ONF and related operator initiatives
  • The Broadband Forum
  • ONF's SEBA versus BBF's CloudCO and OB-BAA

What's next for software-defined access?

  • Setting realistic expectations


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author