The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) recently formed its services operations committee, which was designed to define, streamline and standardize processes for buying, selling, delivering and operating MEF-defined services.

Allan Langfield, senior director of product development at Comcast Business, and Shahar Steiff, AVP business operations at PCCW Global, were tabbed as the co-chairs of the service operations committee, which is the MEF’s first new committee in eight years.  

For service providers, the new committee will mean more consistent contracts and clarification of different providers’ capabilities, a standardized ordering process that takes into account national regulatory factors as well as the greater diversity of Ethernet services over those of TDM services. In addition, service providers will benefit from accelerated negotiation and deployment of services.

“Our internal survey concluded that two thirds of our members favor the new committee and its associated benefits,” said Ihab Tarazi, MEF chairman of the board and Verizon’s vice president of product technology. “Carrier Ethernet 2.0, and notably E-Access, have done a great deal to streamline the technical issues aligning wholesale carrier Ethernet services, and now it is time to bring the business processes into alignment. This is a significant development for the MEF and will require greater participation by higher level executives with operational roles in addition to the technical contributions from MEF members.”

MEF said the first order of business for the new committee would be to increase the consistency of services available from providers and to reduce the number of service descriptions in contracts to simplify the purchasing process. The ordering process also will be simplified by greater global consistency among order field names and values.

Wiki-based collaboration tools, online meetings and physical meetings will be used to encourage global participation in the working group.

“We have created this new team to explore how the MEF can facilitate the industry’s implementation of Ethernet,” said Nan Chen, president, MEF. “This is the MEF’s second major initiative this year in addition to the newly launched Cloud Ethernet Forum that addresses the specific challenges of pure Ethernet cloud delivery across large and geographically dispersed datacenters.”

The MEF is a global industry alliance that is comprised of more than 210 organizations including telecommunications service providers, cable MSOs, network equipment/software manufacturers, semiconductors vendors and testing organizations. The MEF’s mission is to accelerate the worldwide adoption of Carrier-class Ethernet networks and services.

Ethernet co-founder Bob Metcalfe and others celebrated Ethernet’s 40th anniversary earlier this week at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.