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Cable industry sponsors 85th IETF meeting

Cable industry sponsors 85th IETF meeting

While much of the United States focuses on the Presidential election this week, the global Internet engineering community will be in Atlanta tackling a host of issues that will echo throughout the world.  The November meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force, or IETF, won’t capture major headlines but when you consider the importance of issues that will be discussed, perhaps it should.  This year the North American cable industry – Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Cablevision, Charter, Bright House Networks, Rogers, CableLabs and NCTA – is proud to sponsor the 85th IETF meeting (IETF 85), which starts today and lasts all week. If you’re not familiar with IETF, it’s one of the largest and most important Internet multi-stakeholder organizations that develops voluntary, consensus-based Internet standards and best practices.  This large, open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers is primarily concerned with the architecture and operation of the Internet.  The standards developed by IETF affect the function and the evolution of the Internet.  And most importantly, these standards are what help make the Internet work smoothly for users around the world. There are approximately 1,300 Internet engineers in Atlanta for IETF 85, and these engineers from around the world attend IETF meetings three times per year. Much of the activity at the IETF takes place within about 125 different working groups.  Within these individual working groups, specific topics are discussed and RFCs (known as Request for Comments) are created.  The RFCs are what equipment manufacturers, network providers and others voluntarily follow so that the Internet is truly a global network that interoperates and scales well. Engineers have been using this method since 1969 to share and publish standards. Working groups are focused on a wide range of technical issues ranging from operations to security, routing, real-time communications, congestion control, and much more. Many less formal special interest meetings are also being held, on issues ranging from performance metrics to buffer bloat, video codecs, security certificates, and much, much more. Representatives from the cable industry actively participate in IETF meetings and have written RFCs and new IETF documents. In addition, several working groups have cable representatives as chairman, such as in the following groups: IPv6 Site Renumbering, Dynamic Host Configuration, Content Delivery Networks Interconnection, Verification Involving PSTN Reachability, and Data for Reachability of Inter/tra-Network SIP groups.  Cable is proud that our knowledgeable engineers participate in, contribute to, and support the IETF. This is the first time that all of the major cable operators together have hosted an IETF meeting, and demonstrates the industry’s support for IETF and their open, voluntary, consensus-based, multi-stakeholder process.  This type of open process with participation of a variety of industries and technical experts is good for the Internet’s future.