IEEE Conformity Assessment Program (ICAP) Establishes Testing and Certification Program for EPON Equipment

A Collaborative effort by ICAP, Member Companies and Laboratories from the IEEE P1904.1TM SIEPON Working Group 


PISCATAWAY, NJ, February 1 2012 – The IEEE Conformity Assessment Program (ICAP), in collaboration with the IEEE P1904.1TM Working Group, today announced an initiative to establish a Conformity Assessment Program for the IEEE P1904.1 Service Interoperability in Ethernet Passive Optical Networks (SIEPON) standard, which is under development. The goals of the Program are to drive adoption, encourage industry collaboration, and provide a process for the equipment vendors to test and certify their products in ICAP Authorized Laboratories. ICAP, serving in the role of Certification Authority, will administer the Program. ICAP will coordinate the activities of the participating laboratories, issue certificates to vendors whose products have satisfied a rigorous battery of compliance tests, and maintain a registry of certified products.

“SIEPON follows the collaborative focus of Ethernet Passive Optical Networks (EPON), supporting participation from vendors throughout the Passive Optical network (PON) ecosystem in parallel with telecom service providers,” commented Julie Kunstler, Principal Analyst, Communications Components, Ovum.  “ICAP’s approach of partnering with multiple labs throughout the world extends the collaboration to testing and certification, the next stage in service interoperability.”     

IEEE EPON is the market-leading fiber-access technology, with worldwide deployments supporting more than 60 million subscribers today and an anticipated subscriber base of more than 100 million by the end of 2013. EPON deployments support a diverse suite of business and residential services, including IPTV, VoIP, commercial-grade data services, and cellular backhaul. Given the large and accelerating global deployment, there is a strong demand from network operators for fully interoperable, “plug-and-play” solutions, available from a diverse community of suppliers. 

Sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society, the foremost international forum for the exchange of ideas on communications and information networking, the IEEE P1904.1 SIEPON working group is developing a complete and testable standard that offers clear-cut guidance to component manufacturers, system manufacturers, network operators, and testing laboratories.  The IEEE P1904.1 draft standard describes the system-level requirements needed to ensure service-level, multi-vendor interoperability of Ethernet Passive Optical Network (EPON) equipment. These specifications complement the existing IEEE 802.3 and IEEE 802.1 standards that together ensure interoperability at the Physical and Data-Link layers.

“The SIEPON community will reap significant benefits from this important new initiative. An IEEE Conformity Assessment Program will provide a reliable testing and conformance methodology, thus validating devices in the EPON ecosystem and accelerating its adoption. We are proud to be working with the IEEE P1904.1 community on this global program,” commented Peter Lefkin, Managing Director of ICAP. “This collaboration will combine proven methods for testing equipment designed to meet the SIEPON specification with the brand recognition of IEEE certification for products that meet the criteria of an IEEE Conformity Assessment Program.” 

Network operators who deploy Fiber-to-the-x (FTTx) technology will have the validation and assurance that products bearing the IEEE SIEPON certification mark have undergone thorough testing and evaluation prior to procurement. As part of this effort, ICAP has established relationships with experienced testing laboratories with a global presence. 

“Our collaboration with ICAP allows us to combine the IEEE’s global position as a standards leader with the University of New Hampshire (UNH) InterOperability Laboratory’s proven expertise in conformance and interoperability testing, thus creating leading-edge test environments for the broadband access market,” said Jeff Lapak, Senior Manager of Ethernet Technologies at UNH InterOperability Lab. 

ICAP is focused on bridging the gap between the IEEE standard-development process and the conformity-assessment activities that are vital to accelerating market acceptance of new products and technologies. 

“As a leading independent test lab, Research Institute of Telecommunications Transmission (RITT) has deep experience in the testing of a broad range of telecommunication equipment, including IEEE EPON. Our cooperation with ICAP will promote the SIEPON standard for world-wide use,” said Liu Qian, Deputy Director in the Transport and Access Research Department of RITT.

“The IEEE P1904.1 standard and ICAP's SIEPON certification program will help unify the global EPON industry and promote EPON product deployment. The EPON industry, including China Telecom, will benefit from these activities. As an important EPON interoperability promotion organization and China Telecom's EPON test lab, the Shanghai Institute of China Telecom has rich experience in EPON conformance and interoperability testing,” said Shen Chengbin, R&D Director of the Broadband Network Department, Shanghai Institute of China Telecom.

“A focus group composed of SIEPON representatives from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), other Japanese telecom carriers, and Japanese system suppliers has been formed to study SIEPON conformance testing in Japan. The group expects to align this effort with the global SIEPON and ICAP activities,” said Toshihiko Kusano, Chair of the IEEE P1904.1 Conformance Task Force and co-founder and President of Oliver Solutions.

Pending completion and formal approval of the draft, deployment of IEEE P1904.1 SIEPON-compliant equipment is expected to begin in 2012.

About the IEEE Standards Association

The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), a globally recognized standards-setting body within the IEEE, develops consensus standards through an open process that engages industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE standards set specifications and best practices based on current scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of over 900 active standards and more than 500 standards under development. For more information visit

About the IEEE Communications Society

The IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc) is a community comprised of a diverse group of industry professionals with a common interest in advancing all communications technologies. The Society sponsors publications, conferences, educational programs, local activities, and technical committees that foster original work in all aspects of communications science, engineering, and technology. They strongly advance developments toward meeting new market demands in systems, products, and technologies such as personal communications services, multimedia communications systems, enterprise networks, and optical communications systems. ComSoc sponsors the work of the IEEE P1904.1 Working Group. For more information visit

About the IEEE P1904.1 (SIEPON) Working Group 

The international coalition of companies and laboratories that form the SIEPON Working Group ( represent a broad array of tier-one organizations spanning the telecommunications industry. 

About the IEEE Conformity Assessment Program

The IEEE Conformity Assessment Program (ICAP) - a joint initiative of the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) and IEEE Industry Standards and Technologies Organization (IEEE-ISTO) - provides programs and industry support that help bridge those standards development activities with the conformity assessment activities that accelerate market acceptance and enablement of new products and technologies. The foundation of ICAP activities is based on industry best practices, internationally accepted quality systems and use of proven test tools. Fostering the market acceptance, adoption and implementation of standardized technologies; ICAP spans the spectrum of today’s smart grid, information and communications technologies.  To find out more about ICAP, visit