The Beacon

May 2020

The Beacon

May 2020

Our Plan of Action

You’ve All Picked Up the Pace, and So Have We


Carl Russo

President and Chief Executive Officer, Calix

Over the past two months, I have seen numerous stories detailing your efforts to keep your communities connected as they adjust to working and living with the COVID-19 outbreak. I have seen free Wi-Fi hotspots popping up across the country to connect students to their schools, service tiers being waved and upgraded to support those working from home, and even new fiber lines being laid through a snowy weekend to connect a health center. Your stories—many of them featured on our COVID-19 Resource page—highlight your dedication and willingness to do whatever it takes to connect your subscribers during this “new abnormal.” While we don’t know how long this will last, we do know you are providing critical services, and we have your back through all of it.

At Calix, we continue to take the same approach as we innovate and update our portfolio to support you in your efforts. Highlighted by one of the largest product launches in our company’s history, the Second Quarter 2020 Release Cycle has rolled out over the past two weeks. The highlight was the launch of the GigaSpire BLAST u6 and the announcement of the GigaSpire BLAST u4, enabling you to leverage second-generation Wi-Fi 6 systems on a single platform to deliver an unparalleled experience to your subscribers. These were just two of a series of portfolio launches and announcements—this quarterly release has something for everyone.

  • Technical Teams: Two major additions to our Revenue EDGE Systems family. The first is the launch of the Wi-Fi 6 GigaSpire BLAST u6 systems. These second-generation systems offer ultimate coverage, speed, service life, RDOF compliance, and data integrity on one platform—EXOS. The second is the announcement of the exciting GigaSpire BLAST u4, which offers consumer cool design, practical mesh solutions, 2 LAN ports, and greater deployment options for your subscribers. The BLAST u4 will be available in August. You can learn more here.
  • Customer Support: Upgrades to Revenue EDGE Insights (Calix Support Cloud) and EDGE Services (CommandIQ™) that give you and your subscribers greater end-to-end visibility and management of the experience. You can learn more here.
  • Network Operations: Enhancements to our Access EDGE Tools and Access EDGE Enablement services that give you everything you need to turn up new services and deliver unparalleled experiences. You can learn more here. We have also improved our Network Capacity Assessment Service, which delivers actionable insight into access network utilization through regular reporting and expert guidance. The offering is available as part of a new bundle with the Remote Monitoring Service (RMS). You can learn more here.
  • Marketing: Finally, we launched enhancements to EDGE Insights (Calix Marketing Cloud), EDGE Suites, and EDGE Enablement. These will all be featured in the Revenue EDGE Beacon next week. If you have not yet subscribed, you can here.

In this edition of the Beacon, you will also find the latest updates from Supply Chain and Procurement. Our Product Operations team remains committed, actively engaging with our manufacturing and supply partners to mitigate risks and remove constraints to meet your demand.

We will continue to enhance our solutions to optimize your ability to provide the subscriber services that set you apart. This edition of the Beacon summarizes all the ways that we can help you meet your goals while protecting the members of your community.


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.


Business Transformation Profile

South Central Connect Deploys Critical Rural Broadband, Looks to Triple its Footprint with the Intelligent Access EDGE

South Central Connect is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the South Central Arkansas Electric Cooperative (SCAEC), which serves rural communities southwest of Little Rock. The rural ISP originally set out to deliver next-generation network services to SCAEC members on an EXA network but quickly pivoted when it saw the benefits of the Calix AXOS platform and the Intelligent Access EDGE. Not only did AXOS future-proof South Central Connect’s deployment, but it also scaled to meet the incessant demand the company had been experiencing since it began to roll out its services—much of which came from communities adjacent to its Arkadelphia headquarters.

Now, South Central Connect is eyeing an all-AXOS GPON network that:

  • Enables it to triple its initial projected footprint
  • Gives it a clear upgrade path to 10G services
  • Streamlines back office integration for efficient network deployment and service turn-up

Your Recommended Action Plan


Customer Support Actions

What Does Ultimate Customer Care in the New Normal Really Entail? Insights.

Martha Galley

VP, Customer Engagement, Calix

If you are feeling overwhelmed with COVID-19 messages on social media, in your email inbox, and on the news, you are not alone. We are all experiencing what many are calling “COVID fatigue.” Fortunately, conversations are slowly shifting to how we adjust to this new abnormal.

As we explored in a recent blog, tech support teams have uncovered many trends and best practices that are here to stay. The work-from-home routines, modifications to customer care staffing, and the growing importance of self-help apps all appear to be cemented in our go-forward plans.

Our recent press release discussed the latest quarterly release of Calix Support Cloud (CSC) and CommandIQ. In light of the trends we’re seeing, the timing of the new product enhancements couldn’t have been more perfect. For more detail, you can find the latest release note here (login required).

Subscriber needs and service expectations continue to evolve faster than ever. The right formula for keeping your brand promise and delivering the ultimate managed Wi-Fi experience is simple but powerful: putting the right system inside the home, using insights to manage the experience remotely, and arming subscribers with the right information at their fingertips.

This latest release of Calix Support Cloud features several enhancements to help your customer care teams diagnose and resolve issues faster. In addition, we introduced the ability for your frontline support team to turn up and activate EDGE Suites—ExperienceIQ and ProtectIQ—in real-time. ExperienceIQ provides advanced parental controls, and ProtectIQ ensures worry-free home network security. By enabling your CSRs to offer, add, and turn up these services, you can ensure a safe and controlled home Wi-Fi experience for your subscribers. And, with key updates to CommandIQ including easier user onboarding, zero-touch activation of EDGE Suites, and an enhanced ProtectIQ dashboard, your subscribers gain an unprecedented level of control over their experience via the app.

More and more CSPs are realizing that giving their subscribers an easy-to-use app is an essential element of customer care.  When your subscribers stay in control of their experience, the number of inquiries and trouble calls drops, lowering overall support costs as well. That makes it is easier and more cost effective for you to deliver the ultimate subscriber experience.

Your Recommended Action Plan

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

Customer Success Office Hours: Support Cloud EME Questions



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.


Technical Support Actions

Welcome to the Second-Generation of Wi-Fi 6—and the Unparalleled Subscriber Experience

Greg Owens

Senior Director, Premises Marketing, Calix


As Carl reflected in his article, we are committed to supporting your efforts as you serve your communities as we all adapt to this new abnormal. To do that, we will continue to provide cutting-edge solutions that you can quickly and easily deploy on a single platform to deliver the best possible experience for your subscribers.

Calix first launched Wi-Fi 6 systems back in 2018, enabling service providers to be the first to market with the new carrier-class technology. Since then, demand for Wi-Fi 6 has skyrocketed in the US and worldwide, and hundreds of CSPs are capitalizing on this demand by deploying GigaSpire systems—many of which are going to subscribers who will settle for nothing less than the “latest and greatest” technology and demand it immediately. Concurrently, we heard your feedback for more options to deliver EXOS to more customer deployment models, giving you access to a rapidly evolving ecosystem of applications and meeting the need to easily integrate and deploy these systems into revenue-generating opportunities. In response, we recently announced the availability of three new GigaSpire BLAST systems—all based on the latest Wi-Fi 6 chipsets:

  • The GigaSpire BLAST u6.1 (GS4220E): features a 6x6 Wi-Fi 6 antenna array (with 4x4 on the 5 GHz radio and 2x2 on the 2.4 GHz radio), four (4) GigE LAN ports, two (2) POTS ports, and a 1 GigE WAN port;

  • The GigaSpire BLAST u6.2 (GS4227E): uses the same form factor as the BLAST u6.1, but features a 2.5 GigE WAN port, allowing for a 2.5 Gbps connection, which is ideal if you’re looking to future proof your premises deployments by deploying XGS-PON; and

  • The GigaSpire BLAST u4 (GS2028E): which has a smaller, “consumer cool” form factor, available later this year, that will allow you to remain front and center with subscribers that are looking to blend modern industrial design, the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology, and carrier-class reliability.

With the expanded portfolio of BLAST systems, you can address your subscribers’ unique requirements and deliver them the Ultimate Wi-Fi experience, no matter where they live.  

Your Recommended Action Plan 

Network Operation Actions

Ensure Business Continuity and Remote Support When It Matters the Most

Kevin Kuo

Director, AXOS Product Marketing, Calix


Communications service providers like you are facing one of the greatest challenges in your history, as the way we interact with and support customers has undergone a massive operational transformation no one could have predicted. This new abnormal holds most true for those of us in telecommunications. Your subscribers are at home streaming content, playing games, and telecommuting—all of which utilize broadband service at unprecedented levels. The ongoing shift to remote work has driven networking infrastructure and connectivity demand, and your ability to maintain subscriber services, while troubleshooting quickly and remotely, is more critical than ever.

So how can you navigate through these challenging times and position your business to not only survive but thrive? 

If you act quickly and innovate in your delivery model, you gain a significant advantage over competition. In times of crisis, a subscriber’s interaction with you can trigger a sense of trust and loyalty that could last for years to come. Your ability to modify your front- and back-office operations to achieve more flexible and resilient solutions is what matters most during these challenging times. 

With the 20.2 product release, we have introduced more SMx capabilities (see release notes here—login required) that support and enhance network resiliency, network reliability, and subscriber experience. AXOS SMx enables you to automate operational processes, resulting in:

  • Decreased time to market for new service introductions due to simplified, streamlined lifecycle operations and back-office integrations
  • Dramatic reductions in service delivery intervals
  • Markedly improved automated service provisioning and subscriber service quality experience

Field service teams are also facing this new abnormal but doing so from the physical front lines. Consequently, we must take special precautions to protect their health and well-being as well. Traditional support approaches will always have a role, but the remote network troubleshooting capabilities of AXOS Diagnostics Toolbox add new levels of serviceability and flexibility, shortening resolution times. These tools will enable you to proactively address service troubleshooting issues faster than ever before, leading to fewer service calls, lower costs, and greater subscriber satisfaction.

Your Recommended Action Plan


Network Operation Actions

With Broadband Capacity Management, Every Day Can Feel Like Sunday

Tom Schroer

Senior Director, Services Marketing, Calix

As you look for answers to questions about your network’s ability to support the disruptive changes in broadband traffic brought on by subscribers working, learning, and staying at home, intelligence is critical. West Carolina Tel, for example, is seeing a 30 percent increase in overall traffic—47 percent in work-from-home, 49 percent in streaming, and a 41 percent in gaming.

You must also answer key questions about network capacity, such as:

  • Is there enough overhead in my Passive Optical Network (PON) ports and transport networks?
  • Has there been a significant enough change to traffic utilization to warrant expansions in network capacity?
  • What kind of higher bandwidth services can we offer subscribers without impacting the user experience?

As your teams adjust to the new abnormal, Calix Professional Services equips you with the reports, resources, and guidance you need to make better decisions and address these issues through the Network Capacity Assessment Service. Engineering capacity in a broadband access network requires a comprehensive understanding of traffic delivery to and from subscribers to various sources--many of which are typically in the form of cloud-based applications. This traffic traverses the core, transport, and finally through the last mile to get to the subscriber. It is important to ensure that sufficient capacity exists at each step to effectively support traffic demand.

Andrew Peterson, consulting solutions engineer for Calix, recommends looking at graphical views of port utilization that provide insights on peak usage and peak events. “You want to engineer your network to support the concept of the daily peak usage metric,” he says. “This will change depending on the day of the week. Traditionally, peak usage occurred on Sunday, but we are finding that when it comes to overall traffic levels, every day is now Sunday.”

“You also want to look at the outlier spikes in traffic,” Andrew notes. “This gives you insight into potential issues such as DDOS attacks, which can impact all the subscribers on a PON even if the attack is only directed at one particular endpoint. Adding contextual information to the data, like the number of subscribers on a given PON port and the provisioned bandwidth across those subscribers, gives you additional valuable information on whether there is a problem requiring fast action.”

It’s not enough to know where the capacity issues are or what alarms are in your network. You must know what to do to address those issues quickly and—even better—prevent them in the first place. The Calix Network Assessment Service also delivers access to the resources of a service engineer who will lead periodic review sessions with your team to discuss report findings, traffic trends, and provide guidance and recommendations on alleviating and preventing capacity bottlenecks.


Supply and Ordering Actions

Helping You to Plan and Manage Your Calix Orders

Mehdi Bradaran

SVP, Product Operations, Calix

Since my last update in April, there have been no significant changes to our supply strategy. We encourage you to utilize the tools available for placing your orders in advance as we adapt to this new abnormal and continue to experience longer than normal lead times with our supply base.

To help you with your order planning, we have created a new page on MyCalix that lists all our current product lead times. The first version of the page is a simple table that you can use to reference specific products and obtain the current lead times that you can expect for shipment. We will update this data on a weekly basis as we continue to work on reducing our lead times. 

Over time we will be adding functionality to this page to give you the option to set status alerts, as well as providing more robust search capabilities and the ability to filter by commonly purchased items. 

Our Product Operations team remains actively engaged with our manufacturing and supply partners to mitigate risks and remove constraints to meet your demand. We are committed to working with you to help you meet your urgent requirements.

Your Recommended Action Plan


Business Development Actions

We All Need the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

Greg Bathrick

Director, Solutions Marketing, Calix

Just imagine today’s pandemic without Internet access providing us with the ability to work from anywhere, reach our doctor, or finish the school year remotely. Like never before, the current crisis has shown us that broadband is a necessary service in our new abnormal. And yet nearly 30 million Americans are without broadband today.

Don’t miss this opportunity

On January 30, the FCC approved the once-in-a-generation Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) that will direct $20.4 billion over ten years to finance up to gigabit-speed broadband networks in unserved rural areas, connecting millions. Through rules adopted from the CAF Phase II auction, RDOF is designed to favor service providers willing to build reliable future-proof networks using fiber.

With the auction scheduled for October 29 and applications due July 15, now is the time to sharpen your pencils. CEOs, GMs, and CFOs must determine whether participating in the RDOF Phase I aligns with their long-term broadband infrastructure buildout plans. The best place to start is to review the financial information found in the FCC RDOF maps.

Your Recommended Action Plan


Calix Academy

New Customer and Technical Support eLearning for the Revenue EDGE

We’ve said it before: “You don’t know what you don’t know—until you need to know.” Keeping true to this axiom, our mission at Calix Education Services is to help your teams “be in the know.” We want to make it easier for your entire organization to gain access to training, so we are offering an enterprise-wide subscription to select eLearning courses to help your team get up to speed on the Revenue EDGE solutions and related technologies.

The Revenue EDGE eLearning Enterprise Subscription allows registered users on MyCalix to access a curated list of Revenue EDGE-related Calix Academy eLearning courses for one year. These courses are role based and focused on the training needs of Customer Service Representatives, Technical Support Teams, as well as Marketers.

The courses cover topics and information that will help them develop skills in areas such as Wi-Fi Networks, premises systems, the CommandIQ app, site scans, and troubleshooting the home network. With an Enterprise Subscription, learning opportunities will continue to evolve for your team since the courses will be updated quarterly to reflect new capabilities and features of the underlying Calix systems and best practices.

As well, new courses will be regularly added to help your entire team stay current on Revenue EDGE Systems, Insights, Services, and Suites.

Your Recommended Action Plan


Customer Team Member of the Month


Meet Dean DeLitta

Role:  Customer Success Manager, Remote Monitoring Service

Location: Mamaroneck, New York (Westchester County)

Years of Service: 1 year at Calix, 31 years in the telecom Industry

Calix Expertise: Telecom Network Operations Processes & Product Development

School: Binghamton University, New York

Favorite Movie: The Godfather

Favorite Vacation Spot: Catskill Mountains in upstate New York

Fun Fact: This will be my 34th year as a Volunteer Firefighter, and I previously held the position as Chief for four years.

What keeps you busy outside of work? Coaching youth ice hockey, occasionally playing myself, as well as being a lacrosse dad traveling all summer and fall


Calix Community News

Featured Blogs and Resources

Top 5 Recent Blog Posts


Each month, we highlight the top 5 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 to go Beyond Zoom to Connect with Family and Friends 
  2. Get Better Visibility into the Broadband Performance of Your Essential Subscribers 
  3. Service Providers are Stepping Up to Face the Challenges Posed by COVID-19 
  4. Are Bandwidth Bottlenecks Throttling Your Ability to Meet the Increased Demand for Internet Access? 
  5. An Opportunity to Finish Closing the Digital Divide     

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

TAC TV Featured Video

How to upgrade ONTs on AXOS Systems

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Featured Resources

Customer Resources to Help Keep You on Track

Office Hours

Customer Success Office Hours: Use Call Outcome for Actionable Data Insights
Tuesday, 10:00 AM ET
Thursday, 12:00 PM ET 

Customer Success Office Hours: Support Cloud EME Questions

Wednesday, 10:00 AM ET

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RDOF Office Hours

Tuesday, 2:00 PM ET

Register Here


Recent Software Releases

Mature Release**
  • AXOS Sandbox: vE9-2 20.2.0 (CLX3001 + NG1601)
  • AXOS Sandbox: vE9-2 20.2.0 (ASM3001)
  • AXOS Sandbox: vE7-2 & vE3-2 20.2.0  

Early Adoption*

  • AXOS 20.2.0 (E9-2 CLX/OLT)
  • AXOS 20.2.0 (E9-2 ASM3001)
  • AXOS 20.2.0 (E7-2)
  • AXOS 20.2.0 (E3-2)
  • SMx 20.2.0
  • DPx 20.2.0
Mature Release**
  • EXOS 20.2.0 (GigaSpire BLAST u6)

Early Adoption*

  • EXOS 20.2.0 (GigaSpire BLAST u12) 
  • EXOS 20.2.0 (GigaMesh) 
  • EXOS 20.2.0 (10G PON ONUs: XGS-PON, NG-PON2)

**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.