San Jose, California — October 15, 2020 — Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) today announced that Roanoke Connect has selected the complete, end-to-end Calix portfolio to build North Carolina’s first 10G network and deliver the ultimate subscriber experience. First, the AXOS® platform and the Intelligent Access EDGE will enable the Roanoke Electric Cooperative subsidiary to build a simplified XGS-PON fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network, turning services up quickly and reducing operating costs by as much as 50 percent compared to industry standard network operations solutions. Then, the rural cooperative will deploy the Revenue EDGE to deliver the ultimate subscriber experience with cutting edge GigaSpire® BLAST systems that serve as digital storefronts, giving subscribers access to a tailored set of suites and applications. This winning combination will establish Roanoke Connect as the premier communications service provider (CSP) in North Carolina and position it for rapid growth.
“Internet is now a utility, and just as the cooperative did when it first brought electricity to rural North Carolina years ago, we are delivering a critical service to ensure the vitality of our member communities,” said Curtis Wynn, president and CEO of Roanoke Electric Cooperative and president of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). “Electric cooperatives play a crucial role in making sure all rural Americans—professionals, students, and residents—have access to broadband services. Vantage Point Solutions helped immensely in planning this project, understanding its magnitude from the beginning and introducing us to Calix, which has an incredible reputation as the largest vendor committed to the electric cooperative market and a fully engaged, forward-thinking partner. Calix offers a simplified network that speeds deployment, and its solutions feature cutting-edge technology—like analytics and automation—that will guarantee us dramatic decreases in support costs. Using Calix solutions, I’m confident we’ll keep members happy and ensure they stay with us over the long haul.”
Roanoke Connect’s project began in 2016 when it set out to provide critical broadband services for members. At first, the cooperative had set out to deploy fixed wireless but pivoted after re-evaluating the availability of grant funds to support a FTTH deployment, considering the substantial costs related to ongoing maintenance of a 100 percent fixed wireless deployment, and recognizing the performance improvement and longevity of FTTH. It deployed the Intelligent Access EDGE and Services Management Connector (SMx) to simplify network operations and maximize the efficiency of services turn-up. The AXOS platform provides flexible bandwidth options, enabling the cooperative to select the PON technology that meets its needs. However, the effort accelerated when it recognized the need for advanced network management.
Roanoke Electric has always prided itself on using technology to reduce its operating costs and was one of the first utilities to deploy smart thermostats and water heaters. However, when members were often confused by connecting these devices, it required costly truck rolls for technicians to troubleshoot onsite. By owning and operating its broadband network, Roanoke Connect could manage these devices with second-generation GigaSpire BLAST systems. These systems establish fully managed, virtual storefronts in every home while enabling them to decrease support related truck rolls by up to 66 percent, based on current Calix Support Cloud customers.
“In our experience partnering with more than 60 electric cooperatives in the U.S., we know they are aggressive with network deployment projects, but by deploying 10G services and the ultimate Wi-Fi experience all at once, Roanoke is taking their members to the next level,” said Mark Dressler, senior VP of global sales for Calix. “To fully operationalize the network, you need a future-proof architecture with ongoing management, backed by the best data and analytics. With Calix solutions end-to-end, Roanoke is not only deploying a next-generation access network built on best-of-breed solutions but also managing it proactively and addressing issues before they impact service. This is at the core of delivering the ultimate member experience. We look forward to collaborating with the team as it continues to develop unmatched service offerings to connect rural communities and take on new competitors of all sizes.”