Responding to Urgent Community Need, Siyeh Communications Is First Tribally Owned Broadband Provider To Deploy Bark To Help Protect Children From Social Media Harm
Families of Montana’s Blackfeet Nation, whose children face disproportionately high rates of depression and suicide, sign up for Bark social media monitoring after Siyeh Communications deployed it as the inaugural managed service for their community
SAN JOSE, CA—September 7, 2023—Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) today announced Siyeh Communications (SiyCom) is the first tribally owned broadband service provider (BSP) to deploy Bark social media monitoring on the Calix broadband platform. Ensuring the well-being of young people across the Blackfeet Reservation was such an urgent priority that Bark was the first service SiyCom launched after Managed Wi-Fi. Because Bark is integrated with the Calix broadband platform, they were able to deploy it in just three weeks. Bark has already made its mark on the community, preventing one potential youth suicide on the Blackfeet Reservation.
Over 35 percent of tweens and 64 percent of teens were involved in a self-harm or suicidal situation in the United States last year, according to Bark’s analysis of more than 4.5 billion online messages. Tribal youth face an even higher risk of depression and suicide. The need for protective services like Bark is so pronounced in the community that SiyCom met 50 percent of their initial signup goal in the first 30 days of offering the social media monitoring service.
SiyCom kicked off a $33.2 million network upgrade earlier this year that will bring fiber to every home and business in the Blackfeet Nation community. They quickly followed this kickoff with the launch of Bark. To ensure that all families in their community can access Bark, SiyCom offers it both as an add-on to their Wi-Fi service and as a standalone service to non-subscribers. They also provide assistance to eligible subscribers through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and Lifeline program.
As a fully integrated managed service on the Calix broadband platform, Bark monitors over 30 apps and social media platforms via AI-enabled algorithms to alert adults to red flags such as bullying, depression, violence, self-harm, and predators. Whether kids are at home or on the go, Bark empowers families to take swift action without infringing on their children’s privacy.
“We aim to ensure that all families across the Blackfeet Nation can access this critical tool,” said Brian DeMarco, general manager at Siyeh Communications. “We know that raising kids in this digital age is challenging. Cyberbullying and self-harm are crises that touch every community. We wanted to do more to protect our children and give parents greater peace of mind. That’s why we prioritized Bark ahead of other managed services. The impact cannot be overstated. We had a back-to-school night recently, and a woman in our community shared that her brother received a Bark alert that his son was having suicidal thoughts. They got him the help he needed and, fortunately, they had a good outcome.”
Brian is an original member of the Calix Tribal Advisory Board. This initiative ensures tribal communities’ requirements are reflected in the Calix innovation roadmap. Calix partners with over 60 percent of tribal BSPs in the United States, helping tribal communities with their broadband journey—from funding to defining and launching differentiated managed services like Bark.
“Putting children’s online safety first, as Brian and his team have done, shows how much SiyCom truly cares about the well-being of their community,” said Matt Collins, chief commercial operations officer at Calix. “Researching and mastering new technology is a challenge for any busy parent. As a technically astute community partner, SiyCom is demystifying new technology and making it easier for parents to adopt. By making Bark widely available to everyone, SiyCom is creating a safer, healthier Blackfeet Nation community. We are honored to see them embrace the Calix broadband platform and intentionally choose to deliver Bark as their first managed service. SiyCom is leading the way to improve lives and make a positive impact.”
Siycom leveraged the Smart Start for Managed Services program—available to all Calix-partnered BSPs—to accelerate their Bark launch. A dedicated Calix customer success specialist collaborated with SiyCom to create a winning launch playbook designed to align every business function behind the new offering. The SiyCom team also used pre-made, customizable creative assets from the Calix Market Activation program to develop a dedicated Bark web page and launch materials in mere days.
Attend Calix ConneXions 2023 to hear more about how Siyeh Communications went to market with Bark in just three weeks. Download the full agenda and register today.
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