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Mar 27, 2024
4 min

Bringing SmartLife to Life: SCTelcom Transforms Rural Communities With New Broadband Experiences

A man using Smartlife software on a tablet

As a hometown service provider, SCTelcom’s core value is “invest in our neighbors”. All our subscriber engagement focuses on the difference we make to the daily lives of residents across Kansas and Oklahoma. Recently, we’ve gone even further with the launch value-added managed services—bringing new connected experiences previously out of reach while reinforcing our position as so much more than bill collectors.


Extending Our Broadband Offerings Beyond Residential

Building on our strengths in residential, where we offer SmartHome™ managed services like network-level security and advanced home network controls as standard in our Connected Home packages, we identified opportunities to extend this amazing broadband experience outside of the home. Many of the towns we serve have little or no cellular coverage, leaving people isolated. We knew our community was suffering as a result. There was no connectivity outside school grounds, raising security concerns for administrators and parents. Emergency first responders were also at risk every time they took a call. An intervention was needed, so SCTelcom stepped up.


Launching Life-Changing Connectivity Across Our Communities

After consultation with police, educators, and other local community leaders, we chose Attica, Kansas—desperately underserved by cellular—as the first town to trial SmartTown™ community-wide Wi-Fi. Using our existing broadband infrastructure reduced the need for a separate community network and accelerated time to market. With the support of the local school district, we tested the service with high school students using a fun, online scavenger hunt to demonstrate the new roaming capabilities. The town was buzzing with excitement. Everyone felt its positive impact—for the first time in our history, vendors took credit card payments at local events, and we had a connection at ball games. 

Having first connected public spaces, we then moved to local neighborhoods—taking Attica from 0 to 75 percent Wi-Fi coverage. Free of charge, our community-wide Wi-Fi is for everyone’s benefit—making a difference to all aspects of local life. 


Supporting Local Small Business To Power Up Their IT and Thrive  

When evaluating new services, we start with how we can solve members’ problems—subscriber by subscriber, community by community, business by business. We’re currently in the initial launch phase for SmartBiz™, supporting local businesses, many of whom can’t afford dedicated IT support. Security is the most common pain point, and we can now help businesses with compliance, ensuring they have separate networks for PoS and guest Wi-Fi services. Thanks to Smart Start for Managed Services, we’re helping educate business owners on the benefits of SmartBiz, driving steady adoption through targeted marketing activities.


Elevating Our Marketing As We Embrace New Services 

As a marketer—especially given our small teams—expanding managed services across homes, towns, and businesses can feel overwhelming. Having worked with Calix for over a decade, we’re enjoying economies of scale, leveraging our investments to use not just the same broadband platform, but also enablement services to ensure we launch solutions as smoothly as possible. Here are a few tips on how to make growing your service portfolio less daunting:

  1. Align your organization at the outset. Before embarking on any managed service delivery strategy, ensure your employees all understand why this is important. Set yourself up for success by aligning different functions to deliver the best possible subscriber experience. 

  2. Take advantage of readily available tools and resources. The Calix Market Activation program gives us access to a marketing machine to help us promote the value of our services. These assets—including award-winning Gerry Dee videos—allow us to quickly create high-quality content for multi-channel campaigns, backed by data and insights from Calix Engagement Cloud.  

  3. Leverage best practices. Look to your peers and lean on the decades of experience Calix has working with rural broadband service providers. Sharing the highs and lows helps others succeed.

We’ve always prioritized doing what’s right over profit, setting us apart from other fiber providers in our competitive service area. Our steadfast focus on making a difference is growing our brand equity, fueling business growth, and helping us achieve customer satisfaction score (CSAT) of 96 percent. Our SmartLife™ strategy is not only transforming lives, it’s shaping the future of our business too, making this a rewarding journey for all of us. 


Join us for the 2024 Marketer Summit to learn, share and discuss best practices that support your SmartLife journey. Click here to register.  

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