The Beacon

October 2019

The Beacon

October 2019

From the Bullpen

Know Before You Go


Nancy Blum

Senior Director, Demand Generation, Calix


For all of you who will be joining us this weekend at ConneXions, we are thrilled that you are investing your time to learn from other innovators who are taking the lead in their markets, to immerse yourself in training and breakout sessions, and to network with your peers. As you prepare to join us, I would like to share my personal Top 5 List to “know before you go.”

1. Load the Calix Mobile Event App – This allows you to customize your schedule, connect with other attendees, and more.

· Step 1: Download the App!

· Step 2: Verify Your Account - You will receive an email. Come back to the email invite using the same device from Step 1 and click "Verify Account."

· Password for the app: ConneXions19

· Important note: If you already have the app, please UPDATE it to newest version. If you are seeing 2018 content, click on "My Profile" on the bottom right of your screen, then tap "Switch Event" to ConneXions 2019.

2. Sign up for our hosted events that provide deep insights into today's hottest markets and important trends: 

· Saturday, October 26: Broadband Forum BASe North America 2019— Stellar speakers will share a 360-degree view of the broadband ecosystem driving next-generation networks and the innovations needed to meet consumer connectivity demands of tomorrow.  

· Sunday, October 27: Marketers' Summit @ConneXions, hosted by Pivot — Learn best practices from marketing professionals and your peers in a casual, relaxing environment.  

· Sunday, October 27: Mountain Connect Smart City Symposium— Municipalities and utilities will discuss best practices from real-world implementations of fiber broadband and smart city technologies covering topics like intelligent transportation, cybersecurity, and smart grid technologies. 

· Sunday, October 27: Electric Cooperatives Summit  This educational summit for electric cooperatives will feature industry and association experts discussing topics specific for those who are researching, building, or managing broadband networks. 

· Sunday, October 27: Consulting Engineering Summit - This intimate summit for engineers will cover key updates on Calix solutions and provide the opportunity to meet with Calix technology leaders in a smaller, more relaxed venue.  

3. Enroll in training and certification on Sunday, October 27 - Be sure to check out the ConneXions session finder on our website or in the mobile app for a full list of Sunday training and certifications.

Sign up to save your spot! 

4. Plan your breakout session itinerary for Monday and Tuesday, October 28-29 - There are over 40 sessions to choose from covering wide ranging topics. More than half feature your peers sharing their success stories spanning all business models, from across multiple regions and countries.

5. Share ConneXions with your colleagues who can't attend - The excitement of ConneXions will be available to all online through live streaming of the keynote sessions. Encourage them to sign-up for the live stream here.

Now is your time to step up and go beyond. To take a stand against the status quo. To eliminate your preconceived notions of what’s possible. We look forward to seeing you at ConneXions!


ConneXions Spotlight

Automation Across the Enterprise is Critical to Success

Clearfield is a Platinum Sponsor at 2019 ConneXions. Visit them at the Innovation Showcase in Las Vegas

Kevin Morgan

Chief Marketing Officer


Clearfield creates Radically Simplified business opportunities for our customers and distribution partners that are profitable by making fiber deployments easier and more powerful. We identify essential, craft-friendly technologies and apply creative engineering to reduce complexity and enhance the performance and reliability of our clients’ fiber networks.

  • Simplicity is smart
  • Simplicity is reliable
  • Simplicity is profitable
  • Simplicity is difficult

Complexity is the enemy in a fiber network. Clearfield’s engineering passion is fueled by reducing this complexity, and providing fiber management and fiber delivery with higher performance, ease-of-use, and reliability.

At Clearfield, we’d rather over-think than over-engineer. Our approach is simple and straight-forward – but while it is simple, it is not simplistic. Clearfield is committed to designing products that suit the application – without undue expense or unnecessary features.

Key products like FieldShield® highlight ease of installation, which equates to more optical fiber deployments completed faster, with less technical labor skills and equipment needed.

By taking the complexity out of fiber connections, Clearfield’s Radically Simplified approach helps strategically position networks for the future while improving performance, reliability, and profitability today. Over 700 fiber provider companies rely on Clearfield’s expertise in strategic simplicity.

You can learn more about Clearfield by visiting our website at, which includes links to case studies, press releases and videos


Cloud Spotlight

Where Would you Invest if you Could Save 66 Percent on your Support Costs?


Pam Ferguson

AVP, Product Marketing Subscriber Experience,


During a recent Subscriber Experience Spotlight webinar, Charles Austin, manager of network engineering and operations at Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative (FTC), shared some amazing customer care metrics they have been tracking over the last six months. FTC was able to achieve a 35 percent decrease in total inbound calls, 55 percent reduction in total talk time, and a 66 percent cut in third-party tech support costs.

FTC, the largest member-owned telecommunications cooperative in the state of Alabama with over 15,000 access lines across more than 1,000 square miles, aligned different aspects of their business to successfully deliver on their commitment to bring the best possible in-home Wi-Fi experience to its members.

Improving subscriber experience, while cutting costs

Like most other service providers using Calix Support Cloud, FTC quickly realized that putting it in the hands of their CSRs, who were previously limited to handling billing and miscellaneous inquiries, meant they could be smart about how and when they engaged third-party support services. In this case, it not only resulted in a huge drop in support costs, but also other benefits like addressing subscriber issues more quickly, reducing unnecessary escalations, and improving the subscriber experience.

Reinvesting the savings back into better subscriber experience

As any smart business would, FTC invested the savings back into delivering the best in-home Wi-Fi experience by funding an initiative to replace all legacy CPEs with the GigaSpire, powered by EXOS, which further reduced trouble reports.

This is the best kind of closed loop that continuous to be a win-win for both the cooperative, as well as its members.

Charles breaks down the details of how exactly they aligned their people, processes, and technology to meet their commitment to delivering the ultimate in-home Wi-Fi in the webinar. Be sure to check out the replay, or if you are at ConneXions 2019, catch him on the mainstage or in a breakout session. 


EXOS and Calix Smart Home and Business Spotlight

Three Hot Trends in the Home Network


Greg Owens

Senior Director, Premises Marketing, Calix

High-bandwidth applications like over the top (OTT) video and eSports are driving consumer demands for more bandwidth. Here is a summary of three trends that are emerging in the home network:

1. New applications driving the need for more bandwidth

In 2018, 23.3 million American households were ‘broadband-only homes,’ meaning that they didn’t subscribe to a traditional broadcast TV service. According to Kagan, this number is expected to hit 40.8 million by 2023, thanks to video streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. (In 2018, Netflix alone accounted for 15 percent of the world’s bandwidth.)

Industry research shows consumers also watched 6.6 billion hours of eSports videos worldwide in 2019, largely on platforms like YouTube and Twitch.

Many service providers are embracing these applications, offering branded OTT video streaming applications and sponsoring various eSports events. One of the biggest opportunities presented by these applications is that they drive interest in higher-tiered Internet packages.

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, please join the breakout session ‘High Bandwidth Apps Need High-Powered Wi-Fi’ at ConneXions 2019 on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. During this session, you’ll hear three service providers discuss their respective strategies, what lessons they’ve learned along the way, and how these applications are driving additional revenue.

2. Next Generation Wi-Fi will deliver improvements in capacity, efficiency, and coverage

Another area that continues to experience innovation at break-neck speed is Wi-Fi. The newest standard is Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, which should be ratified by the end of this year. It is projected that half of all smartphone devices sold in 2020 will be equipped with Wi-Fi 6 technology.

Calix is committed to keeping our partners informed about the latest and greatest technological developments. You can find more information about Wi-Fi 6 by:

3. 10G PON will provide all of the bandwidth that consumers need

These new applications, being consumed on new Wi-Fi 6-enabled devices, are going to create demand for more and more bandwidth. Luckily, the engineers and developers at Calix have you covered with advances in passive optical network (PON) technologies that are designed to meet the extreme bandwidth demands of the future.

If you’re curious to know more about PON technologies, here are some resources:

  • The Real Deal With 5G, Wi-Fi 6, 10G, 50G PON’, an article written by Teresa McGaughey, Senior Director of AXOS Product Marketing at Calix, published in ISE Magazine
  • Is your GPON running out of steam?’, a webinar that explores what’s next for PON, including a deep dive into the capabilities and deployment architectures of the various 10G PON technologies and how you can ensure your network is ready for them
  • The Calix 10G Solutions web page, which includes links to videos, technical briefs, and articles dedicated to 10G PON
  • The breakout session ‘Let it be ... 10G’ at ConneXions 2019 on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Hear how best to transition your current network to the 10G network of the future, including implications for the access and home networks.

EXOS and Calix Smart Home and Business Spotlight

CAF Performance Testing – The Order Under Consideration


Bridget Watkins

Product Marketing Director

New Markets/Premises, Calix 

On Friday, October 25, the FCC will vote on the Order on Reconsideration for Measuring CAF Recipients’ Broadband Performance. The Order in circulation has been anticipated by many as the FCC has worked since July of 2018 to get guidelines in place to ensure carriers can accurately and efficiently test the networks they have built. So, what are some of the changes we can anticipate on October 25?

  • The most significant change from the original order is that a new schedule has been proposed which would stagger testing based on the type of high-cost funding that the recipient is receiving. Some companies will not need to begin testing until January 1, 2022.
  • There is a new pre-test program, which would require recipients to complete a pre-test prior to their testing start date.
  • The test server locations are now more specific.
  • There were adjustments to the speed test starting time so not all tests need to begin at the top of each hour, allowing for more flexibility.
  • And finally, there were some changes in regard to non-compliance withholding to ensure carriers are incentivized to get full compliance.

The Calix CAF Performance Testing solution, with EXOS and Calix Support Cloud provides a turn-key solution for service providers to utilize their existing network infrastructure for testing. At a minimum you need:

  1. Calix Support Cloud - the test Controller
  2. EXOS, along with GigaSpires or GigaCenters

That’s it, it’s just that simple. This software-based solution will easily adapt to the changes proposed in the Order and allow for additional adaptations as they become necessary. The Calix Professional Services team also has a Broadband Performance Compliance Service that will assist you through the entire process if you do not have the internal resources to manage your testing process. We are here to help.

Do you want to learn more?

  • As always, visit our web page for the latest updates on CAF Performance Testing.
  • Check out our latest blog on these latest changes. 
  • Join us at ConneXions on Monday, October 28 at 1:00 p.m. to hear from our Washington experts during the session on CAF Performance Testing.
  • Join us for a webinar on November 5 at 1:00 p.m. CST. 

AXOS Spotlight

The Power of Stories: Learn From the Latest AXOS Tales at Calix ConneXions


Teresa McGaughey

Senior Director, Solutions Marketing, Calix

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”

                                                                                                                 --Brandon Sanderson

Every year, we spend several months working through all the great stories there are to share at our annual Calix ConneXions Innovation and Learning Conference in Las Vegas. As Brandon Sanderson’s quote suggests,  our customers' greatest successes provide us all with ideas and questions to ponder as we consider the future of our companies. I am continually amazed by our customers' excitment and willingness to share their stories. 

We have many interesting tidbits to share. For example, what do strawberries and broadband have in common and what lessons can we learn from the rise and fall of Blockbuster. All of these stories share an important common thread. They are stories about taking the lead, striving to reach a destination, and willingness to take risks and make mistakes.  

I’m particularly excited for ConneXions 2019. We will have more customer and partner stories in our breakouts than we have ever had in the past. Some of my favorite highlights include:

  • OSS/BSS Transformation: Enabler or Inhibitor – Learn how your peers are making it an enabler.
  • Is Your Island Paradise in your Sites? – Explore with Calix and CityFibre how it’s not a technology, but a winning business strategy with a focus on the future, that can enable you to win against the competition.
  • Breaking Through the Bottlenecks – Have you thought about where the first bandwidth bottleneck will be in your network? Learn from your peers how they are using aggregation to address this challenge.
  • Active Ethernet: Reimagined – The next generation of point-to-point fiber deployments are here now. Learn about the latest capabilities and how your peers are using them to simplify their network operations.
  • Service Providers Share their AXOS Experience – Every service provider is a little different and therefore every experience is different. Join us to hear from 3 service providers on why they chose AXOS and how their experiences have been to date.

If we haven’t captured your story and you’d like to share it, we would love to hear it. Feel free to reach out to me and let’s set up a time to meet.  


Services Spotlight

Accelerate Your Insights and Save - Bundle Your Calix Support with Remote Monitoring Service


Tom Schroer

Senior Director, Services Marketing, Calix

We continue to receive powerful feedback from service providers about how the Calix Remote Monitoring Service has empowered their operations teams. The intelligent notifications and alarm analytics are providing unprecedented visibility and insight into subscriber-impacting issues. Service providers like Poka Lambro have been able to identify and resolve outages before subscribers could place a support call. Others, such as Ntec, have identified and corrected fiber ring problems before outages were caused. 

You will learn more about how service providers are benefiting from the Remote Monitoring Service at the upcoming ConneXions breakout session on Monday, October 28. Panel participants from Valley Telecom Group, Coleman County Telephone, and Poka Lambro will share how they have become more proactive by using the Remote Monitoring Service.

We have also created a Calix Services bundle that will delight your operations team. This limited time offer, available only through the end of the year, includes:

  • Remote Monitoring Service
  • Essential Support with a discount
  • Remote Monitoring Customer Success Manager
  • Access to streamlined and automated Technical Assistance Center (TAC) case creation

Service providers that have Remote Monitoring Service are better equipped to solve problems faster and become more self-sufficient, reducing their reliance on Calix Support. The new bundle allows service providers to focus on improving subscriber experience instead of troubleshooting their network. It also gives the Calix TAC team the same, rich visibility into the service provider's alarm history for faster analysis and acceleration of time-to-resolution on support cases. 

To find out more about this bundle or to contact a Calix Sales representative, visit the Managed Services page. You can also find out more about the ConneXions Services breakout sessions in the 2019 Calix ConneXions Session Finder.


Perspectives Spotlight

10G PON? Keep Watching the Numbers


Alan DiCicco

Senior Director, Thought Leadership Marketing, Calix

“Subscribers don’t need more than a 100 Mbps service. 1Gbps? No way!” Ever heard something like that from a colleague? The rationale is that there are not enough applications and devices in the home to generate a sustained bandwidth demand in excess of 100 Mbps. This is probably true for most homes – today – but it doesn’t mean that 10G PON isn’t in your immediate future.

As we’ve all discovered over the past few years, the big data workloads to the home come from streaming media. Here are some numbers to watch.

Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts more IP traffic in the next five years than in the history of the Internet. IP video traffic will grow to 82% of all IP traffic by 2022, up from 75% in 2017. Netflix, YouTube, and all the other streaming media services are driving up bandwidth consumption quickly. Cisco predicts Ultra HD (4K) will be 22.3% of video traffic by 2022, while 56.8% will be HD (1080p). A 4K (60fps) per channel media stream is 50-100 Mbps depending on a lot of factors. Thinking about 8K video? That would be 3-4x the 4K bandwidth. So 4K streaming video stresses, and 8K video blows a huge hole in the “I don’t need more than 100 Mbps” theory.

Google’s Stadia, a cloud-native gaming platform and streaming service, is launching soon. For a less-than-Netflix fee of only $9.99 per month, you can play a dazzling array of games on your home 4K UHD big screen. Google says that will be ‘only’ 35 Mbps sustained downstream bandwidth for each UHD screen, and that’s the good news. Some homes will have several multi-player gamers sharing the Stadia experience, and when added to the other 4K and 8K video streaming video bandwidth demand, the available shared 2.5 Gbps GPON capacity available for the neighborhood is not going to be nearly enough. Device bandwidth consumption adds up fast!  

Cloud-based streaming virtual reality, anyone? Verizon has developed some great augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality demonstrations to show off the capabilities of their 5G network. A strong interactive VR experience with comfortable refresh rates and peripheral vision coverage is 250Mbs or greater – estimates vary wildly and could be higher or lower based on innovation that is still in its infancy. That’s another 250 Mbps per home per VR experience, and truly time for a multi-Gigabit service for each home.

So why do we need 10G PON? Because the bandwidth capacity of the 2.5 Gbps GPON network will be exhausted by the aggregate bandwidth consumption. If 30 GPON subscribers are using just 100 Mbps to stream their IP UHD video, online games, and reality of choice, the PON is overloaded at 3 Gbps. The bottleneck won’t be the GE LAN port on the ONT. You’ll need more shared PON capacity and you’ll need it soon. If you have 64-way splits on the PON you’ll need to move to 10G PON even faster.

Fortunately, you have options and solutions to match your network’s needs – Calix AXOS and EXOS software platforms provide everyPON support for XGS-PON, 10G EPON and NG-PON2. Start planning now, watch the numbers (use Calix Marketing Cloud), and make the moves that will delight your subscribers. That’s what this is all about after all.

What’s your perspective?

There’s plenty more to read and share on the Calix Perspectives pages. I look forward to hearing your perspective.    

Calix Community News

Featured Blogs and Resources

Circles of Success

Success for All: Circles Rule!

Sign up for an upcoming Circles of Success!  Circles of Success are small, interactive peer conversations among Calix customers, facilitated by a Calix Customer Success expert, talking about solution adoption, best practices, and user tips.


Rules of Engagement:

  • These are interactive sessions, be prepared to have open discussions with other attendees.
  • Sessions will not be recorded, to drive live participation, but Thought Starter slides will be posted in the Communiy.
  • We cap registration to keep the conversations productive… if you can’t get into a session, don’t worry, we will repeat topics in upcoming sessions. 

TAC TV Featured Video

How to Assign a SPID to a Calix Premises System

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Top 5 Recent Blog Posts

Each month, we highlight the top 5 recent Calix Blog posts to make sure you don't miss out on the latest news and insights from Calix experts and industry guests.

  1. “Managed Wi-Fi Services Provide a Better Customer Experience.” ‘Nuff Said.
  2. What if you Could Transform your Service Reps into Superheroes? 
  3. Think Beyond Broadband for Your Fiber Network   
  4. Future-Proofing a Reimagined Active Ethernet World… the AXOS Way 
  5. Own the Wi-Fi Experience       

And don't forget to follow us and check out other insightful articles.


Calix Academy

We Listened: New and Improved Calix Wi-Fi Technician Specialist Course and Certification Exam

Calix Education Services gathers feedback from our course evaluations and constantly strives to offer the most beneficial training for our customers. Since the launch of the Wi-Fi Technician Specialist course in 2018, we gathered suggestions and comments from students to make the class even better starting in October 2019.

The course content has been adjusted to focus on Calix premises systems installations, including the GigaSpires and GigaCenters along with their respective mesh units. We also cover best practices with site survey RSSI recommendation values and installation acceptance testing using RF components (RSSI, SNR, Packet Drops, PHY rates, interference) as seen through Calix Support Cloud.

Enhanced lessons on troubleshooting provide common scenarios that technicians face and tests can be performed to provide the best solution to the issues, giving technicians the tools they need to be successful.

Ensuring your technicians are proficient in determining the best location for an installation and using the Enhanced Web Interface as well as the Calix Support Cloud Smart Check tools can reduce the number of support calls and truck rolls, thus ensuring quality installations the first time.

The all-day virtual instructor led course includes exercises, quizzes, and the Wi-Fi Certified Technician exam for $795/student. Classes are held monthly. 

Go to Calix Academy today and sign up for the new and improved Calix Wi-Fi Technician Specialist course.    


Business Transformation Profile

ALLO Communications

Last month, Nebraska’s ALLO Communications took a major step forward in advancing its subscribers’ experience through the launch of the ALLO Blast, featuring the Calix GigaSpire BLAST. Part of the communications service providers’ managed Wi-Fi offering, the ALLO Blast put ALLO well ahead of its competition by becoming the first in its market with a Wi-Fi 6 system.

With a history of being on the cutting edge of technology, ALLO once again put its subscribers’ needs at the heart of its service offering. With ALLO Blast, subscribers can take advantage of massively expanded Wi-Fi coverage in their homes and increased bandwidth available to their devices.

The advanced insights provided by Calix Marketing Cloud and Calix Support Cloud provide ALLO with the ability make its marketing and support teams more efficient and better aligned its ongoing commitment to the subscriber experience.

Learn more about the ALLO story from president and CEO Brad Moline in his Calix ConneXions keynote presentation, while ALLO’s Tanna Hanna will also provide a look into ALLO’s marketing approach during a main stage panel discussion.


Customer Team Member of the Month


Meet Shera Craddick

Role:  Sr Best Practices Lead, Services

Location: Bozeman, MT

Years of Service: 3 years

Calix Expertise: Process Development & Improvement; Cross-functional Integrations & Business Automation

School: Seattle Pacific University

Favorite Movie: Gladiator

Favorite Vacation Spot: Vienna, Austria

Fun Fact: I’ve flown a plane! I’ve taken a couple of flight lessons, in a Diamond DA20

Favorite Free-Time Activities: I love to spend time in nature – hiking, fishing, skiing; and I really enjoy linocut as a creative outlet


Recent Software and Support Resources

Recent Software Releases

Early Adoption*
  • AXOS (E3-2)

Mature Release**

  • DPx 4.2.2
Mature Release**
  • 800Gv2 GigaPoint 1.0.5 

*Note: This software is at Early Adoption status with select customers conducting field tests and providing feedback. This program requires Calix pre-approval. If you are interesting in joining an Early Adopter group for a specific software release, please go to the Software Center (below), select the software in question and click the "Request Software" link.

**Note: Mature Release means the latest production software is current and recommended for use.