April 4, 2019 by Bridget Watkins

Top 5 Learnings and FAQs from Early CAF Performance Testing


The Calix CAF Performance Testing solution was released in February, based on the currently known information from the FCC. As the solution is software-based, it can easily adapt as new guidelines are released for you to quickly comply with requirements.

We’ve received feedback from service providers on how their pre-testing was progressing. Some highlights include:

  • Set-up was straight forward.
  • Tests are running as scheduled.
  • Reports include the indicated information.
  • Initial release of the software does what it says it would do.
  • With some enhancements to the dashboard I’ll be using this outside of the CAF Performance Testing requirements.

The Calix solution, utilizing Calix Support Cloud and the GigaSpire, powered by EXOS, was designed to be the “easy” button of CAF Performance Testing solutions, with a quick set-up wizard utilizing solutions already in your network – no “testing” box required. We are also receiving great feedback from companies who are looking for future enhancements to be able to utilize this software feature more effectively in their routine network testing.

You’ve also asked some great questions – here are the top 5:

1.      Does my company need to test? 

a.       Yes, if you receive high-cost universal service support to serve fixed locations. This includes price cap carriers, rate-of-return carriers, rural broadband experiment (RBE) support recipients, Alaska Plan carriers, and CAF Phase II auction winners. But please verify with your regulatory consultant.

2.      Where are the test servers?

a.       We have a contract in place with Ookla to process testing, their capacity of managing over 10 million tests per day, on over 8,000 servers, provides peace of mind that testing will run efficiently.

3.      Can the solution test 1 gigabit service?

a.       Yes, successful 1 gigabit tests have been conducted both from the lab and from subscriber’s homes.  

4.      Can I request enhancements to the software?

a.       Absolutely, we welcome your feedback on any of our solutions, however the primary goal is to ensure the solution meets the FCC requirements.

5.      How do I randomly select customers for the testing?

a.       We are still awaiting guidance from the FCC on this process.

What happens next?

It’s quite possible there will be a delay in the required start date for testing as we all look to the FCC for additional guidance on open questions. However, our guidance is to assume we are all working toward July 1st. You have the opportunity now to begin pre-testing to ensure there are no problem spots within your network that need attention prior to the testing data being recorded for future submission. You can watch for any updates on the Calix CAF Performance Testing page. If you’d like to ensure your testing solution is ready to go and start pre-testing now, we are here to help. Check out our most recent CAF Performance Testing webinar for details