If you subscribe to the oft-quoted theory that the pickaxe providers were the big winners in the California and Alaska gold rushes, then Calix certainly is one of the major pickaxe providers of the broadband stimulus program. The company today chalked up another win in a long series of stimulus project wins – this one coming from Horizon Telcom, which won a $66.4 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration for a community infrastructure project in southern and eastern Ohio. According to a vendor selection announcement, Horizon will provide additional funding amounting to 30% of total project costs, yielding a total project cost of $94.9 million.

Calix already had a strong presence in the rural broadband market before the stimulus program got started—and as many of the company’s existing customers won stimulus funds, they tended to select equipment providers with whom they were already familiar. The Horizon Telcom announcement is another example of that dynamic at work, as the carrier initially deployed the Calix E7 Ethernet service access platform back in 2009 before any stimulus awards were made.

According to a project summary filed with the NTIA, the Horizon Telcom stimulus project, dubbed Connecting Appalachia, aims to construct 1,960 new miles of fiber, more than doubling the fiber in the service area and supporting speeds of up to 10 Gb/s in 34 counties. The project plans to bring broadband to approximately 600 community anchor institutions, including community colleges, universities, K-12 schools, 9-1-1 answering points, healthcare facilities and industrial parks.

Calix was selected as part of a consortium that also includes Fujitsu and Juniper Networks, with Fujitsu acting as the consortium leader. Fujitsu will supply its Flashwave 9500 packet optical networking platform, along with its network integration expertise and network operations center capabilities. Juniper will supply its MX series edge routers.

The choice of the three vendors “was very clear based on their industry leading collaboration and the joint delivery of best-of-breed network products which will enable a network architecture servicing Horizon customers with premier levels of broadband service well into the future,” said Horizon Vice President of Operations Joe Corbin in the announcement.

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