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Jul 06, 2023
3 min

Countdown To Launch: How To Set Up a Winning Broadband Operation With Broadband Academy

Congratulations! You’re almost ready to open for business. But before you do, you’ll need an operational playbook for staffing, customer service, ongoing network management, and common challenges and solutions. Thankfully, you don’t have to start from scratch. Calix has worked with most electric cooperatives, tribes, and municipalities that have launched broadband businesses, and our collective experience can help guide the way.

One of the resources available to set you on the path to success is the Calix Broadband Academy. The course Operate for Broadband Services covers how to run a thriving broadband business. Below, we touch on five lesson highlights that can help you deliver services and support to delight subscribers for years to come. 

  1. Put the right people with the right training in the right roles. First impressions count. Before you launch your services, you’ll need to have the right staff and processes in place for functions ranging from network operations and customer support to sales, marketing, and finance. This will help ensure your business runs smoothly—and that subscribers experience high-quality service and support from the start. This lesson will cover the different roles and responsibilities you’ll need covered, and how to determine staffing levels based on various factors. These include the size of your service area, projected take rates, and if you’re rolling out broadband services as part of your existing operations. 

  2. Understand FCAPS, a framework for network management. The broadband industry loves acronyms and another one to add to your list is FCAPS. It's a common network management framework and it stands for fault, configuration, accounting, performance, and security management. These five tasks are key to keeping your network running smoothly and delivering reliable, always-on experiences. We’ll also discuss the role that a software-defined network plays in helping you manage the entire network, better perform FCAPS tasks, and simplifying your overall operations. 

  3. Automate, empower, and equip for success. Even the best people, processes, and technologies won’t stop the inevitable from happening. At some point, network outages or equipment faults will affect your service. But you can sidestep some of the more common issues that negatively impact the subscriber experience. This lesson explores how you can automate network monitoring processes, empower support teams and subscribers with end-to-end network visibility, and equip field techs with real-time data insights. Together, these will make your broadband operations more efficient, productive, and cost-effective. 

  4. Prepare to provide first-rate customer service. What good does building the fastest network with the most advanced technology do if you don’t have the customer service to match? Developing a subscriber-focused culture takes time and requires commitment from every level within your organization. But it’s well worth the effort to foster brand loyalty, reduce churn risks, and differentiate from the competition. We’ll run through tactics such as asking for feedback and discuss ways to drive ongoing innovation and service improvement.

  5. Learn from the experiences of your peers. Thankfully, you’re not alone. Other electric cooperatives, tribes, and municipalities have gone through the process of building and operating broadband businesses for their communities—and many are happy to share their experiences. Electric cooperatives like Gibson Connect, United Fiber and the municipalities of Sterling, Massachusetts and Medina County, Ohio have all partnered with Calix to build stronger, better-connected communities.

Understanding how to position your broadband business for operational success will provide essential connectivity and services for your communities—today and well into the future. 

Enroll in the complimentary Broadband Academy course, Operate for Broadband Services, or visit the Broadband Academy page to learn more about what it takes to deploy and manage broadband services.

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