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Jan 11, 2024
3 min

Hunter Communications Puts Needs of Families First as Part of New Product Strategy

Hunter Communications has a slightly different backstory than many of Calix’s broadband service provider (BSP) customers. In 30 years, we’ve evolved from a construction company to an internet service provider. In that time, we’ve rolled out our own state-of-the-art fiber network to serve businesses, schools, hospitals, and anchor tenants in communities across Oregon and Northern California. 


Finding Our Purpose for a New Era 

Fast-forward to 2020—a pivotal year for Hunter. During the first months of the pandemic, we decided to clearly define our why—to help our subscribers create lasting and meaningful connections to each other, their communities, and the world. 

This new purpose inspired us to make the move into the residential market. For years we had been running fiber where people worked, but not where they lived. We kicked off a multi-year, multi-million-dollar, self-funded fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) project and built a customer service, marketing, and door-to-door sales organization from scratch. We turned up our first residential subscribers in 2021 and, in just three years, we’ve built a residential market that creates those meaningful connections across Oregon and Northern California. 


Evolving Our Marketing With People at the Heart

As our business has changed, so has our marketing. We rallied behind a new tagline: “Better connections start here.” People are at the heart of this shift, along with their online experience. That’s why we offer lifetime pricing, no contracts, free routers, and no data caps. We are also embarking on persona-based product offerings to better serve our communities—offering managed services that reflect the needs of our residential and business subscribers. We launched Bark so parents could know if their children were being cyberbullied and staying safe online. We’re now rolling out SmartBiz, a managed business wifi solution purpose-built to keep small businesses safe, secure, and productive.


Addressing the Most Vulnerable in Our Community First

We launched our “Family Safety Bundle” in October 2023 as our first persona-based package in a differentiated offering strategy. Operating in a service area of mostly low-income families with children living at home, we wanted to be at the forefront of keeping kids safe online. Around the same time, all students in the local Josephine County community were offered free school lunches. This automatically qualified them for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which subsidizes $30 of their monthly internet subscription. Developed with this in mind, the “Family Safety Bundle” requires ACP registration and is available in a three-tiered model with packages at $35, $45, and $65 per month. Every package includes the HunterIQ app (CommandIQ®), Hunter Protect (ProtectIQ®), Hunter Control (ExperienceIQ®), and Bark for comprehensive social media monitoring. The only difference in the packages is the bandwidth. 

We’re committed to helping families protect their children from cyberbullying and other online dangers. This fits squarely with our mission to deliver lasting and meaningful connections. We’re working hard to drive adoption across our service area—raising awareness through partnerships with school districts, youth groups, and sports clubs.


Continuing Along the Path of Personalization 

With 40,000 households passed, we have a huge opportunity to expand our residential business. We’re currently taking a deeper dive into the demographics of our subscriber base to understand how to best serve our markets with persona-driven product offerings. 

In Calix, we’ve found a trusted supplier and partner, and we truly value their people and their support. Leveraging the power of the Calix broadband platform—including SmartHome™ home internet managed services—we’ve been able to transform our business. They’ve given us everything we need to succeed, including stellar marketing resources like the awesome Jerry Dee video we’re using to explain the benefits of our “Family Safety Bundle.” Working with Calix, we’re excited to take the next step in evolving our marketing to better serve the needs of every individual within our communities.


Watch the replay of Hunter Communications CEO Michael Wynschenk speaking at ConneXions 2023 and discover how you can grow your business in new ways with Calix.

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