The Beacon

July 2020

The Beacon

July 2020

Beacon Contents

Looking for more content? Check out the Revenue EDGE Beacon here

From the Bullpen

Supporting Your RDOF Journey


Matt Collins

Chief Marketing Officer, Calix

One thing I love about Calix customers is their continued commitment to keeping rural subscribers connected. Without these efforts, it would be an enormous challenge amid a pandemic for rural residents to virtually keep up with work, school, medical appointments, social engagements, and more.

Your RDOF journey is just beginning. How can Calix help?

Of course, that’s exactly why many of you are taking steps to apply for the $20 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). But preparing for the RDOF isn’t a trivial undertaking for any service provider, let alone electric coops or municipalities. You may lack the staff, capability, and resources to build a physical broadband network on your own.

That's why we are working day and night with our strategic partners like Conexon, CCI and NISC to help you get ready. Here's what we recommend:

  • Collaborate with consulting engineer firms. An engineer consultant is your best option to get the right resources, expertise, and integrated solutions to guide you through the RDOF application process. They’re used to dealing with multiple applicants and will make sure information isn’t shared among competing service providers (which, per the FCC, could potentially disqualify your application). They’ll also help you pick the best architectures and ensure your project is feasible.
  • Mark your calendar for key application milestones. The FCC will host an online bidding tutorial as well as a mock auction. Dates for these events have yet to be officially announced, but you can bookmark the FCC’s fact sheet page and visit it regularly to get updates. You can expect to hear from the FCC about your application sometime in September.
  • Connect with Calix. If you and your team have questions about the RDOF process, please contact a Calix field representative or request an RDOF consult here on the Calix funding page. In addition, we recommend staying up to date on all of the regulatory news on our Calix Blog and our latest webinar, "FCC Performance Testing is around the corner. Make sure you’re ready."

If you’re marshaling resources to apply for the RDOF, kudos. This represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get your communities the high-quality broadband services they urgently need.

I hope you enjoy this edition of the Beacon, which features insights about FCC performance pre-testing, new ways to proactively solve subscriber service issues, opportunities to dramatically reduce your time-to-market capabilities, and more. You’ll also learn about a Calix customer that provided an amazing in-home subscriber experience and boosted revenue by 65 percent. Happy reading.


Revenue EDGE Beacon

Supporting the needs of Marketing and Business Leaders

The Revenue EDGE Beacon dives deeper into best practices and share insights from our customer who are effectively engaging their communities and understanding the data to build great experiences so that we can retain, grow, and attract new subscribers.

If you don’t currently subscribe to the Revenue EDGE edition, you can opt-in below.


Network Operation and Field Technician Actions

Embracing Digital Storefronts to Drive Rapid Results

Sachin Vasudeva

Vice President PLL Cloud and Premises Platforms, Revenue Edge Products, Calix

Why do our CSPs keep using the phrase “like magic” to describe the performance of our new Calix GigaSpire® BLAST® u6 systems? Because these latest “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6™” EDGE Systems offer unmatched Wi-Fi coverage and performance while significantly reducing the time required for evaluation, testing, integration, and deployment.

How significant are these reductions? Here are a few examples.

  • Pineland Telephone Cooperative (in Georgia) reports that upgrading customers from an existing EXOS-powered EDGE System to a new system is quick and easy, “cutting 15-20 minutes from each installation while enabling [our] technicians to turn up more subscribers every day to meet growing demand.”
  • Jade Communications (in Colorado) has experienced a huge reduction in the amount of time required to deploy new products; from four weeks to just one day. “Since deploying the original GigaSpire systems, we have seen our churn and service calls decrease considerably, and now with the new BLAST u6, we are getting to market in a matter of hours.”
  • Ringgold Telephone Company (in Georgia) is also transitioning to the BLAST u6 to ensure its fiber subscribers have the ultimate Wi-Fi experience, leveraging the power of the EXOS platform to launch a new system in weeks versus the traditional 12-24 months.

We know time-to-market is a critical consideration for CSPs, and that’s why we put such a big focus on creating a product that delivers these dramatic reductions as we created EXOS and the Revenue EDGE.

The power of the platform allows you to deploy a digital storefront into every home. We battle-test these features rigorously and design them with the following in mind:

  1. Flexibility and extensibility: These digital storefronts are designed to host an ever expanding range of capabilities to delight subscribers. 
  2. Carrier-class use cases and requirements: The behavior across deployment scenarios is uniform as we bring new products to market.
  3. Speed and product evolution: WFA certification across the portfolio and built on the EXOS platform allows new systems to be provisioned and deployed in days rather than weeks or months.
  4. Improved tech adoption: Leading edge wireless technology offers the latest SoC performance.

As you know, other products on the market require considerable time for evaluation, testing, integration, and deployment. Essentially, they force you to start from scratch with each new deployment. With Calix EDGE Systems, you can join the growing list of CSPs embracing an end-to-end solution that allows you to be nimble, proactive, and innovative.

Your Recommended Action Plan


Customer Support Actions

Three Best Practices for Your Customer Support Teams

Martha Galley

VP, Customer Engagement, Calix

Want to accelerate growth and revenue as you roll out new services and applications? Start by training your customer support reps (CSRs) to follow these three best practices.

Promote mobile app adoption among subscribers.
CommandIQ™ is a powerful Calix app that lives within Calix Support Cloud (CSC). The app not only enables your subscribers to manage their home network experience, but also drives down call volume substantially when used for common tasks like SSID and password changes, which have historically resulted in support calls. So, the higher the app adoption, the more optimized your support organization.

Within Calix Support Cloud, CSRs immediately see if subscribers have downloaded the CommandIQ app. If subscribers aren’t using the app, CSRs can encourage them to do so by emphasizing the benefits and even guiding them through the setup process (here’s a good customer support script.)

Drive new service subscriptions.
Lots of service providers are now enabling their frontline teams to offer and activate EDGE Suites. CSRs should be able to address subscribers’ security and performance concerns in real-time by enabling ProtectIQ™ and ExperienceIQ™. With Calix Support Cloud, CSRs can provision new services with a single click and activate them remotely (eliminating the need for additional subscriber intervention).

Increase app and services stickiness.
EDGE Suites are designed to keep subscribers protected and in control of their home Wi-Fi experience. That said, subscribers may need to adjust their app settings. With visibility into detailed logs and settings in Calix Support Cloud, CSRs can not only address concerns but also recommend ways to personalize app settings to help subscribers get the optimal experience.

Your Recommended Action Plan


Your time is valuable.

This resource page is to help you serve your subscribers and your communities.


Your time is valuable.

This resource page is to help you serve your subscribers and your communities.


Network Operations Actions

Are You Ready for FCC Performance Pre-testing?

Teresa McGaughey

Senior Director, Solutions Marketing, Calix

There are many funding programs offered by the FCC, like ACAM I, Rural Broadband Experiment, and Alaska Fund. The FCC has offer all funding  recipients the chance to work with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) on a trial basis. These trials are being referred to as “pre-testing.” In other words, USAC will collect your data—but you won’t be judged on that data as you would during an actual test.

All participants must start pre-testing during the first quarter of 2021. (Reminder, official testing will start on January 1, 2022 for these groups.)

To participate in pre-testing, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Make note of the testing locations USAC selected for you (it will have chosen these locations based on subscriber data you already submitted).
  • Work with subscribers at those USAC-selected test locations and communicate how testing might impact their experience (if at all).
  • Test speed and latency once a month for a full quarter, and report those results to USAC the first week of the following quarter.

Calix is ready to help you with comprehensive performance testing tools and services. For more important details about trials and testing, watch the recording of our recent webinar, “FCC Performance Testing is around the corner. Make sure you’re ready,” during which a number of Calix experts (and valued partners) shared great recommendations for implementing a simple yet comprehensive testing solution—one that minimizes impact on your day-to-day operations while meeting all FCC obligations.

Your Recommended Action Plan


Network Operation Actions

Personalize Your Subscriber Relationships With SMx and Policy Mapping

Kevin Kuo

Director, AXOS Product Marketing, Calix

How would you like the ability to manage, control, and execute promotional campaigns at the push of a button? Introducing the power of policy maps.

Everything a policy map can do.

Within the AXOS SMx solution, a policy map handles:

  • Tag manipulation
  • Quality of Service (QoS) behaviors
  • Bandwidth settings

SMx also adds another layer, the service template, which both defines the policy map profile and reduces the complexity when creating a service at the subscriber level.

Let’s say you wanted to change the allowed bandwidth of a given subscriber. You would simply change the policy map profile from within the provisioned service and push the map back out to the corresponding access system via SMx. (That would, for example, allow you to run a promotional campaign that rewards loyal subscribers with a free temporary upgrade.) 

Reap the full benefits of AXOS and SMx.

Finally, AXOS and SMx can shrink your time-to-revenue while reducing operational costs. With this solution, CSPs benefit from:

  • Simplified, streamlined lifecycle operations and back-office integrations that decrease time-to-market for new service introductions
  • Dramatically reduced service-delivery intervals
  • Significant improvements in automated service provisioning and quality of subscriber experience

Your Recommended Action Plan


Customer Support Actions

Get Proactive About Resolving Subscriber Service Problems

Tom Schroer

Senior Director, Services Marketing, Calix

What do subscribers want most from their broadband service? The obvious element is speed. But they also highly value great service and reliability. And, as Calix chief marketing officer Matt Collins mentioned (“We’re Here to Support Your RDOF Journey”) all three service qualities are even more critical with so many U.S. residents operating largely from home during social distancing.

To vastly improve subscriber support, use analytics.

With all that in mind, wouldn’t it be great if you could find more effective ways to minimize subscriber outages and maintain high levels of subscriber availability?

Today, many CSPs are using network analytics-driven preventative and predictive maintenance to resolve issues—before subscribers even ask for support.

Reduce outages and customer trouble reports.

In an upcoming webinar, two experts from Silver Star Communications will share how they’ve used alarm analytics and insights on defective backup batteries to proactively prevent voice service outages to subscribers and the associated trouble reports that occur when those devices fail.

Specifically, they’re using the Calix Remote Monitoring Service Analytics and Reporting Portal to generate highly detailed reports about failed or failing backup batteries. These reports include the location and frequency of any failures, and the type of device deployed. These indicators have helped Silver Star Communications proactively reduce the number of outages and customer trouble reports (especially during inclement weather).

When you add data and analytics to the mix, preventative and predictive maintenance can also improve technician utilization, efficiency, and service quality. For example, analytics can help CSPs triage and quickly localize fiber damage and identify outages due to commercial power disruption.

Your Recommended Action Plan


Business Transformation Profile

Nemont: Delighting Customers and Boosting Revenue

Recently, Calix customer Nemont started delighting subscribers with a custom in-home experience—and generated a 65 percent profit increase.

Since its founding in 1950, Nemont has operated with the sole focus of improving the lives of members. Today, one of the main drivers for the rural cooperative’s success is a premium, managed Wi-Fi service powered by Calix.

Creating great customer experiences.

By managing in-home connectivity via Calix Marketing Cloud, Nemont can use advanced analytics to get insight into networks and subscriber behavior. With these insights, Nemont can proactively create customized experiences. Here's how.

  • When rate-limit hits started to negatively impact certain subscribers, Nemont leveraged the Calix platform to monitor the issue.
  • Nemont reps took initiative to contact those subscribers.
  • Nemont reps worked with subscribers to ensure they were on the correct service tier.

Happy customers yield big rewards.

The results? This single, targeted campaign drove a seven percent year-over-year profit increase—on top of the 65 percent increase Nemont generated with its managed Wi-Fi service.

Each year Nemont continues to become more proficient with advanced analytics from Calix, fulfilling its mission to provide subscriber experiences its competitors can’t match.

Your Recommended Action Plan

Calix Academy

Training Available: Any Time, Anywhere

Did you know Calix Academy offers more than 40 eLearning courses—all accessible from your laptop, tablet, or phone? We also hold virtual, instructor-led trainings two or three times a week.

In addition to on-demand eLearning and instructor-led courses, Calix Academy has dozens of user guides you can download for reference on the go. 

Anyone with access to the My Calix portal can log on to Calix Academy to view upcoming classes, download user guides, or purchase training. We also offer several courses for C7 and B6 platforms.


Your Recommended Action Plan


Calix Summer Interns

How We Stay Connected With Calix Interns

Cheryl Rodness

Senior Director of Sales Enablement, Calix

With summer coming toward a close and college-bound students getting ready to head back to school, either remotely or in-person, it’s a good time to evaluate how “work from home/work from anywhere” internships were doing. Given their familiarization and comfort with digital technology, adapting to working from home was pretty easy. Setting up their computers, using Zoom and Chat to communicate came second nature. However, given their lack of working experience, most expressed the need to have regular communication with their direct boss on a daily basis.

What do interns want?

A majority of interns who are working remotely (67 percent) favor daily 5- to 10-minute video check-ins, while 30 percent favored a weekly one-on-one as the method for communication with their managers*. 

At Calix, we created a robust onboard and communication program for our 17 interns. While they all have regular check-ins with their managers, based on the cadence that works best for them, we built a program that includes regular weekly check-ins with the Program Leader, an Executive Speaking Series and weekly Lunch & Learn sessions. All sessions are held via video so that they interns build a connection among their cohort as well as build a personal connection to everyone they interact with. While they cannot share an office with a colleague, the use of video has built familiarity and made the connection as close as possible. They meet for “virtual” coffee chats with one another to replace the “water cooler” experience.

Looking to grow the commraderie among your interns or to build a similar program?

We can help. We created a webinar on how we built an effective Intern Program.

Interns are our future. They fuel our talent pipeline, it enables students to get real-world experience, and helps them earn money to put toward their education and personal needs. We will continue to build our program and look forward to sharing insights.  

If you need additional assistance or wish to collaborate, feel free to reach out to me and I would be glad to assist your efforts as you invest in your community and the students who will make it great. I can be reached at




Welcome our summer interns

Hunter Dunlop

Role: Account Management Intern 

Location: Toronto, Ontario

School: Rochester Institute Of Technology 

Educational Focus: Marketing with a minor in Management Information Systems 

Favorite Movie: "The Blind Side"

Favorite Vacation Spot: Cabo San Lucas 

Fun Fact: I play lacrosse at RIT.

Jackie Yip

Role: Demand Generation Intern

Location: San Francisco, CA

School: University of Washington

Educational Focus: Economics

Favorite Movie: "Parasite"

Favorite Vacation Spot: Big Sur! Or any State/National Park in California!

Fun Fact: I caddied at the Olympic Club (but I don’t actually know how to golf)!

Nadia Koolina

Role: Digital Marketing Intern

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii (but from Singapore!)

School: Dartmouth College

Educational Focus: Sociology Major, Human Centered Design Minor

Favorite Movie: "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

Favorite Vacation Spot: Wanaka, New Zealand 

Fun Fact: My parents and I all have different surnames—they chose mine at birth, essentially making mine up by naming me after a beach.


Nikhil Ikkurthi

Role: Salesforce Software Engineering Intern

Location: Dallas,Texas

School: University of Texas at Arlington

Educational Focus: MS in Computer Science, specialization in Software Engineering and Databases

Favorite Movie: "The Hangover"

Favorite Vacation Spot: Anywhere alongside a beach

Fun Fact: My dream job when I was a kid was being a pilot so that my work place had the best view (in the sky).

Daniel Johnson

Role: Account Management Intern

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

School: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Educational Focus: Business and Marketing Education, Management Minor

Favorite Movie: “Inglorious Bastards”

Favorite Vacation Spot: Madeline Island, Wisconsin

Fun Fact: I am a big fan of curling and was a member of the University of Minnesota Curling Club.

Philip MacLean

Role: Account Management Intern

Location: San Francisco Bay Area

School: Chapman University

Educational Focus: Bachelors of Science in Finance, and Minor in Data Analytics

Favorite Movie: "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Favorite Vacation Spot: North Carolina

Fun Fact: I play water polo for my university.


Calix Community News

Featured Blogs and Resources

Top 5 Recent Blog Posts


Each month, we highlight the top five recent Calix Blog posts to make sure you don't miss out on the latest news and insights from Calix experts and industry guests.

  1. How Do I Show My Subscribers I Value Them? 
  2. Is 72 Percent First Call Resolution Good, Great or Just OK?
  3. Where Are We After 30 Years Passive Optical Networking?
  4. Taking the Express Lane to Simplifying and Streamlining Your Service Provisioning and Back Office Operations 
  5. Rural Communities in Need of Broadband? Calix Has you Covered   

And don't forget to follow us and check out other insightful articles here.

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Customer Resources to Help Keep You on Track

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Customer Success Office Hours: Use Call Outcome for Actionable Data Insights
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Release Webinars 

Join us for these webinars to learn about the latest updates to Calix Cloud and Revenue Edge solutions coming in the 20.3 release. 

NEW! CommandIQ Success Enablement Webinars

Visit the Calix Virtual Engagements page for a full schedule of sessions (login required).


Recent Software Releases

Mature Release**
  • AXOS (E9-2 CLX/OLT) 
  • AXOS (E7-2)
  • AXOS (E5-30x, E5-520
  • SMx 
  • AXOS (E7-2)
  • AXOS (E3-2)
Mature Release**
  • EXOS (GigaSpire BLAST u12)
  • EXOS (GigaMesh)
  • EXOS (XGS-PON ONUs only)
Mature Release**
  • 800G v2 GigaHubs

**Note:  Mature Release means the software is the latest production version recommended for use.

*Note: This software is at Early Adoption status with select customers conducting field tests and providing feedback. This program requires Calix pre-approval. If you are interesting in joining an Early Adopter group for a specific software release, please go to the Software Center (below), select the software in question and click the "Request Software" link.

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