Perspectives about customer M/A/C in triple play environments

John Adams jna at
Tue May 17 00:18:11 UTC 2016

I have never seen this level of segmentation in any customer premises I
have worked on. Even in "triple-play" environments the handoff is nearly
always untagged ethernet and the downstream devices just work.


On Mon, May 16, 2016 at 5:09 PM, Jason Lixfeld <jason+nanog at>

> Hello,
> I think it’s fair to say that most broadband/FTTx customers don’t have to
> think very much or need to have a very high degree of understanding if they
> want to move their wired Internet device from one room or another in their
> house.
> Maybe to keep things simple, let’s assume that we’re talking about a
> relatively modern MDU unit where a customer has some sort of provider CPE
> in their in-suite telecom demark closet/box/what have you with some number
> of switched 'LAN’ ports on it, and each of those LAN ports would be wired
> to a wall jack somewhere.  Mr. or Ms. User can move their Internet device
> anywhere there is a wall jack and Bob’s your uncle.
> My question is around how this landscape changes in triple play
> environments.  As I understand it, most triple play deployments separate
> (in some cases VoIP,) TV and Internet traffic onto VLANs (Internet would be
> presented to the customer untagged).  The CPE would then allow the ISP to
> switch the video traffic onto a coax port, or maybe onto the CPE’s embedded
> switch, or maybe both.  For the sake of argument, let’s assume the provider
> is supplying an Ethernet based set-top-box, so customer should be able to
> connect the STB to any wall jack and it should just work.  And they should
> be able to connect their provider supplied ATA to any wall jack, and it
> should just work.  And they should be able to connect their Internet device
> to any wall jack and it should just work.
> Or should it?
> Are most CPEs that are provided by ISPs sophisticated enough to be able to
> put all service tags on all ports, and have those same ports act as
> untagged LAN ports as well?  If not, how do providers deal with this?  Do
> they dedicate one port for an IPTV STB?  One port for an ATA (assuming no
> built-in POTS on the CPE)?  And the rest of the ports for untagged
> Internet?  What if the customer has 2+ TVs?  Do they need to call in and
> have the provider remote in and provision another port for TV at the
> expense of some other service that might be running on that port already?
> Do they need to install a switch that does IGMP snooping?
> I feel like this all has the potential to become very complicated for the
> customer, and maybe the provider and their installers.  To me, the customer
> should continue to be dumb and unassuming.  They should be able to put
> whatever they want wherever they want and have it just work.  Is that how
> things actually are in the real world or are customers and providers making
> silent sacrifices for the sake of all this new fangled technology?

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