Looking to build or expand your high-speed broadband network? This is a significant investment and a complex undertaking. If you take the right steps at the start of your journey, you’ll save time and money. You’ll also set up your community with a scalable, secure, and highly efficient network you can easily upgrade and manage using cloud-based services.
We should know—we’ve helped hundreds of electric co-ops, municipalities, and broadband service provider (BSP) customers design, roll out, and manage their high-speed broadband networks. Before you break ground, Calix Services recommends keeping three essential steps in mind.
1. Thoroughly assess the demographics of the area you plan to cover. First, you need a demographic deep dive of the community you plan to serve. This will let you know how to use your network, including the types of services subscribers may want and your capacity needs. This will also help you identify stakeholders. You may need to educate and get buy-in from local leaders and the public about the economic benefits of high-quality bandwidth.
Lit Communities, a service provider based in Birmingham, Alabama, conducts community assessments alongside local governments. This helps them understand the town’s requirements and determine the best way to bring fiber to the area. Based on the results, Lit Communities works with municipalities to plan and build a town-run network. Alternatively, Lit establishes a local service provider to develop and operate the network for the municipality.
2. Validate the feasibility of your network, including funding opportunities. To streamline the building process and overcome potential challenges, look to partners to help in the planning, design, and buildout process. Just as important, consider how to fund your build. With $100 billion in federal and state funding earmarked to build new broadband networks, there’s a good chance that funding is available in your planned service area. Calix offers Funding Workshops that can help you navigate the steps to take advantage of funding opportunities available to BSPs.
For example, STE Communications in Steelville, Missouri, secured funding through the ReConnect Loan and Grant Program that has helped it expand its fiber footprint to more rural residents and businesses. STE Communications has partnered with Calix Professional Services on expansion projects where they were able to accelerate completion by 75 percent.
3. Design a scalable, future-proof network incorporating network design best practices. Whether you’re expanding your network or building a new one, you need to select and design the correct architecture. In a recent Calix survey of BSPs, 61 percent of respondents cited network reliability and availability as their most significant challenge, followed by scalability to support new subscribers and services, and then security.
Calix Network Consulting Services recently helped Ciello, a subsidiary of the San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative (SLVREC), address issues resulting from a surge in demand for services during the pandemic. As a result of the engagement, Ciello was able to reduce outages and eliminate security vulnerabilities—boosting subscribers’ quality of service.
Calix Services can successfully guide you through the complex and expensive process of building a network. From determining demand and securing funding to designing a network that will serve your community for decades to come, we can help you roll out a world-class network to deliver services that subscribers will love.
To discover how you can maximize the value of your network, download the eBook, “Three Essential Steps to Plan, Fund, and Design a Solid Broadband Network.”