April 2021


April 2021

From the Bullpen

How To Ride the Wave of Excitement for Cutting Edge Broadband Services


Mark Dressler

Senior Vice President of Sales, Calix

This is an exciting time to be running a broadband business. Everyone now recognizes the incredible value of having a reliable, high-speed internet connection that enables us to work, learn, and play from anywhere. Your broadband subscribers have a strong desire to adopt the best systems and services that can help them manage and optimize their connected homes.

In short, there’s no shortage of opportunities for you to excite your subscribers. At Calix, our goal is to help you tap into those opportunities so you can grow your value and build a successful business.

In this month’s Beacon, we bring you stories to show some key actions you can take to grow.

  • Naylor Gray explains why smart broadband businesses are choosing to grow by creating and offering premium Wi-Fi experiences for subscribers.
  • Alan DiCicco outlines how adding routing and Layer 3 capacities to your Layer 2 access architecture allows you to radically simplify and increase your network capacity so you can scale your growth (and connect revenue-generating services without major capital investment).
  • Tom Shroer shares how Ciello partnered with Calix Network Consulting to get guidance on an array of topics so they could quickly simplify their network and effectively scale their growth.
  • Bob Kittner illustrates how you can grow the value of your brand by investing in a branded service portal that allows you to present your fiber services in their best light.

Each day I wake up eager to see the many ways our customers are embracing our offerings and best practices to excite their subscribers and grow value for themselves and their communities. When you win, we win. 

Please feel free to email me directly at to discuss your needs and how we can partner with you to succeed together.

Mark Dressler


Revenue EDGE Insights

Why These Three Customers Made the Smart Choice To Lead With a Premium Wi-Fi Offer

Naylor Gray

AVP Product Marketing, Revenue EDGE, Calix

Increasingly, Calix customers are choosing to offer their subscribers premium experiences. And they’re seeing the benefits—including a simplified network with managed Wi-Fi, high adoption rates for new services, revenue growth, increased subscriber satisfaction, and reduced customer service costs.

How did customers like Bascom Communications, (Bascom) Norvado, and Silver Star Communications—all in different regions of the country—reach the common conclusion to invest in creating a premium experience? They discovered something that not everyone understands. Premium is not about charging a higher price for the same thing everyone else is selling. What makes something premium? It’s very simple—design, quality, and performance.

How Bascom Designed an Exceptional Subscriber Experience

For example, Bascom established a premium tier by ditching the business model that encouraged subscribers to purchase their own in-home routers and equipment. (Over time, this led to a crazy quilt of short-lived big box retail routers and point-solution equipment deployed by subscribers turned into a customer service nightmare with support reps unable to diagnose and resolve a growing list of router related problems.) Bascom solved this by designing an exceptional subscriber experience that included:

  • Deploying managed Wi-Fi powered by GigaSpire® BLAST systems and the Experience Innovation Platform
  • Giving subscribers control of their home network experience with CommandIQ® a powerful and easy to use subscriber app.
  • Utilizing Calix Support Cloud which offered powerful analytics that integrated with the subscriber systems and app to detect and diagnose problems—with the simplified approach, service calls went down, customer satisfaction went up
  • Offering value-added services to their subscribers like home network security protections (ProtectIQ™) and experience modifiers like parental controls and quality of service for prioritizing device and applications on the network (ExperienceIQ™).
  • Placing their brand first and communicating with their subscribers using Calix Marketing Cloud to refine and deliver the right message at the right time to the right subscriber
  • Accepting help from Calix Success teams to guide the transformation with best practices and marketing support services

Throughout this entire journey, Bascom maintained their own identity and brand as they built a unique blend of premium services that excited and delighted their subscribers while growing revenue and margin.

Nate Brickner, CEO of Bascom shared in a recent webinar with Calix, “We were started in 1906 by rural residents who were being neglected by national providers and didn’t want to be left behind. We’ve persevered for 115 years by looking out for each other and our local community. We had a strategic imperative to move away from selling routers on a one-off basis to offering our members a high-quality, subscription-based home network experience that delivers everything in one package, at one price.”

Five Key Elements To Build Your Premium Subscriber Experience

  1. Put the subscriber first and give them the control with an app to tailor and manage their own service preferences.
  2. True managed Wi-Fi needs to be delivered with equipment in the home that is capable of scaling to ever-evolving subscriber needs without frequent replacement.
  3. Put your brand first and get it into the subscriber’s home—don’t cede control to consumer giants like Amazon and Google. 
  4. Be data-driven to enhance the subscriber experience—from customer support to marketing offers—tailor everything to each subscriber.
  5. Add value with unique services delivered to the subscriber that no one else offers.


Your Recommended Action Plan


Marketing Beacon

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Intelligent Access EDGE Insights

Do This One Thing To Increase Your Network Capacity by 100 Percent

Alan DiCicco

Senior Director, Market Insights and Solutions Marketing, Calix

Moving subscriber management closer to the subscriber and consolidating multiple functions related to provisioning, managing, and maintaining subscriber services simplifies operations and saves time and money. Teresa McGaughey wrote an excellent article, “The Easy Way To Simplify Your Network and Reduce Recurring Fees by 95 Percent” on this topic in last month’s Beacon, highlighting Highland Telephone Cooperative’s (HTC) journey to a simplified network.

But consolidating subscriber management functions is not the end of the journey. Integrating routing into your Layer 2 access network architecture is the next step—and it has at least four major benefits for the subscriber service network, including:

  1. Interconnecting access networks to provide resiliency and avoid costly service outages when fibers are cut
  2. Leveraging routing protocols to better utilize network capacity and improve network efficiency
  3. Logically connecting outsourced upstream VoIP services into the local service domain without major capital investment
  4. Implementing a wealth of Layer 3 policy tools to enhance network and subscriber security

All these network architecture choices have direct business benefits that are sometimes as easy to quantify as 100 percent higher network capacity utilization or network redundancy where there was none in the past. Ethen Webinger, CTO of Acentek, spoke during ConneXions 2020 on how Acentek is leveraging the advanced routing capabilities of the AXOS platform and E9-2 ASM3001 to get their community connected to the most advanced broadband service.

What is a Subscriber Service?

Let’s start by defining a subscriber service by its two end points. One is the home gateway router, where the subscriber’s private home network connects to the service provider’s Layer 2 access network. At the other end of the subscriber service is the broadband network gateway (BNG) router, where the Ethernet connection transitions back to a connectionless IP flow bound for the wide, wild world of the internet

Between these two end points, the service—an IP flow—crosses over the Layer 2 access network, is aggregated by Layer 2 and Layer 3 switches, and finally terminates on the gateway router.  Yes, the service offers a high-speed internet connection (that your subscribers want and need). But the service also makes your network reliable, operationally efficient, and secure for both you and your subscribers.

To achieve these objectives, we need to leverage the best of Layer 2 and Layer 3

The Right Way To Add Beneficial Routing To Your Access Network

Identifying the optimal architecture for the subscriber service network can be a complex task. Put the two gateway routers too far apart and subscribers will experience increased latency as they surf the web. Make the Layer 2 access network too big and it becomes susceptible to broadcast storms; too small and you become vulnerable to service outages when fiber cuts occur. Think of the subscriber service as nothing more than a simple connection and you open yourself up to cybersecurity threats and denial-of-service attacks.

When considered together, Layer 3 networking capabilities make Layer 2 access networks more reliable, efficient, and secure. The networking advantages and benefits of moving routing closer to the subscriber edge are clear and compelling. Calix solutions engineers and network consultants are ready to help you build a subscriber service delivery network that will simplify your business, excite your subscribers, and grow your value.


Your Recommended Action Plan



Services Insights

How Rural Broadband Providers Can Quickly Improve Networks To Meet Subscriber Demands

Tom Schroer

Senior Director, Services Marketing, Calix

The pandemic has taught everyone how much we need fast, reliable, broadband service in our homes. This need has been a boon for broadband businesses—but it also comes with challenges, especially for smaller service providers.

In the last few years, Ciello went “from an idea to 5,800 subscribers,” says its chief technology officer, Monroe Johnson. And, in the last year alone, Ciello experienced record 25 percent increase in subscriber growth, precipitated not only by the rise of people working and learning from home due to COVID-19, but also by an influx of new residents drawn to the unique beauty of the Valley and its access to affordable, reliable broadband.

To augment their technical team and get guidance on an array of topics to quickly help them simplify their network and scale for growth, Ciello turned to Calix Network Consulting.

All the Ways Calix Network Consulting Helped Ciello Offer Amazing Broadband Service

Calix Network Consulting Services worked with Ciello’s engineering team to:

  • Practically eliminate service outages by overcoming technical challenges related to broadcast storms 
  • Implement configuration changes that hardened their network to protect it from potential security threats
  • Improved reliability, resiliency, and scalability by integrating the Calix AXOS E9-2 Intelligent EDGE System into their network (moving IP Layer 3 capabilities further out into the access and implementing MPLS)

E9-2 Provides the Ideal Platform to Let Rural Broadband Providers Build World Class Networks

“We learned about the E9-2 system at a Calix ConneXions and thought it would be ideal for our deployment because we are a rural broadband provider,” said Ernesto Villaba, network specialist for Ciello. The Calix network consultant worked closely with the Ciello team and started them on their journey of substantially transforming their network into a service-delivery powerhouse.

Together, they developed a plan to integrate Ciello’s existing E7-2 Intelligent Modular System deployment into the E9-2. This will allow them to scale with improved operational efficiency and position them to offer new services to their businesses and educational institutions. For example, Ciello is now able to respond definitively to requests for 10Gig services from schools in the Valley. “For once we are ahead of the demand from our subscribers! We are proactive and not playing catch up,” said Johnson.

Build a Better Network With Calix Network Consulting

Calix can help the smallest broadband service providers design and deploy a future proof, world class broadband network. “I would highly recommend electric cooperatives thinking of getting into this business—or, like us, those that have been in it for several years and need upgrades, fixes, or efficiencies—turn to Calix professional services,” said Johnson. “It's well worth the time and the money, and the outcomes are positive.”


Your Recommended Action Plan


Sponsor Spotlight

How To Present Your Fiber Services in Their Best Light

More than 140 carriers are benefiting from OcularIP’s unique optimization of service analytics and reporting. Using OcularIP as a cornerstone of their FTTT cell tower backhaul and wholesale business, these carriers have realized a sizeable increase in company value. Now, with commercial services attaining similar valuations, OcularIP is once again a keystone of carrier success. Why?

This Customer Portal Drives Commercial Success

As OcularIP users have told us, their customer portals have proven to protect accounts, grow revenues, and enable the acquisition of new accounts—or, as we call it, the PGA program. These reasons are also why interexchange carriers, multiple-system operators, and SD-WAN carriers flaunt their portals.

Here are three ways your portal, powered by OcularIP, beats competitors’ offerings hands down, and fuels your revenue growth.

  1. Your Privately Branded Customer Portal: In minutes you can privately brand your portal with your brand, graphics, and views. Build screen views you want to show your client, add graphs, and deliver user access.
  2. Service Optimization Presentation: You want to ensure your clients see the accurate availability and utilization of services you provide. But what about the myriad issues that impact these calculations, including storms, power, and DDOS? No problem: OcularIP handles these issues. First, OcularIP consumes data from more than 450 technologies and systems, including Calix. Then, OcularIP’s analytics engine optimizes availability calculations—presenting information through a dynamic portal that enriches your service offering and company brand.  
  3. Reduce Support Costs and Improve Loyalty: The platform’s customer self-service, moderator, single sign-on capabilities, and intuitive user interface nearly eliminate support required from your organization. OcularIP has reduced calls to customer care centers by 17 percent. Customers come to value the portal as much as the service you provide.

Get Extensive Analytics Reports and Service Analysis

Just because you limit what your clients see does not mean OcularIP limits what you see. Your organization can use OcularIP’s extensive analytics reports and service analysis. Due to its cloud-native architecture, you only buy what you need when you need it.

Schedule a live demo of OcularIP.

Calix Academy

New Course Available: “Introduction to DPx”

Calix Education Services is here to help you simplify your service provisioning experience and network capabilities with our new “Introduction to DPx” eLearning course in Calix Academy.

This course provides a basic overview of Calix DPx. Learn how DPx can bring your existing DOCSIS OSS together with a Calix E3-2 or E7-2 everyPON fiber network. Learn the high-level steps for turning up a DPx instance. Explore the command line interface environment and how to use show commands to view basic CPE data and view real-time logs and events.

Course Objectives

  • Understand what DPx is and how it works.
  • Understand the steps to set up a DPx instance.
  • Log into the DPx command line interface.
  • Use the DPx CLI to view basic vCMTS and vCM data.

Who Should Attend

This course is intended for anyone interested in managing Calix E3-2 and E7-2 AXOS everyPON networks using an existing DOCSIS environment, and others who may want to know more about the capabilities and functions of Calix DPx.

To learn more about the course, log in to Calix Academy. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help train your teams on AXOS at


Calix Community News

Featured Blogs and Resources

TAC TV Featured Video

How to Configure Basic Parental Controls in CommandIQ®

Login required.


Featured Resources

Customer Resources To Help Keep You on Track


  • How to Offer the Premium Services That Subscribers Want
    Thursday, April 29
    11 AM EST | 8 AM PST
  • Bring New Features to Subscribers in Record Time: Learn From Mountain Telephone's Success
    Thursday, May 6
    2:00 PM EST | 11:00 AM PST

Visit the Calix Virtual Engagements page for a full schedule of sessions (login required).

Release Webinars

  • Marketing Cloud 21.2 Release Update
    May 10, 2021 | 1:00PM EST
  • Support Cloud 21.2 Release Update
    May 11, 2021 | 1:00PM EST

Visit the Calix Virtual Engagements page for registration links (login required).


Recent Software Releases

New product software released in the last month:



  • AXOS 21.1.2 (E7-2)

Early Adoption**

  • DPx 21.1.1

* Mature status means the software release is the latest production version recommended for use.

** Early Adoption status means the software release is with select customers for field evaluation to provide feedback. This program requires Calix pre-approval. If interested in joining an Early Adopter group, please go to the Software Center (link below), browse to the desired software, and click the "Request Software" link to submit a request.

Recent Bulletins

New or updated product bulletins published in the last month:


New Technical Documentation

New product technical documentation published in the last month:

^ R21.1 preview / new UI versions