Leveraging the Calix broadband platform and “Smart Start” program, United Fiber continues to lead with community values by deploying Bark social media monitoring in less than two months to help employees, members, and subscribers protect their children from online dangers
SAN JOSE, CA—December 7, 2023—Today, Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) announced that Missouri-based United Fiber, a subsidiary of United Electric Cooperative, is building on a 10-year partnership with Calix by leveraging its broadband platform to make Bark available as a managed service in more than 54 communities. Bark is an AI-powered text and social media monitoring service that alerts parents and guardians when their child faces online dangers, prompting swift intervention. By helping to protect children from pervasive online threats like cyberbullying and digital content that can result in violence, United Fiber joins a growing number of Calix broadband service provider (BSP) customers who are embedding themselves as community-centric technology partners for their communities.
United Fiber serves areas with some of the highest poverty rates in the United States. Broadband leaders like United Fiber are launching Bark, often at cost or at a revenue loss—demonstrating how much they care about the wellbeing of the people they serve. The BSP expects to grow 50 percent in the next 18 months, which will deepen the impact of Bark.
“The introduction of Bark to our members and subscribers is a pivotal contribution to our impact on the community,” said Jim Bagley, chief executive officer at United Fiber. “This isn’t about financial gain; it’s about making a meaningful difference in our communities.”
This commitment to community values serves as a potent differentiator that helps United Fiber enter competitive markets and increase revenue in their existing footprint. As they pursue their growth goals, Bark is helping United Fiber strengthen their community ties. A key component of their Bark launch was teaming up with student counselors and superintendents across 12 counties, reaching over 30 school districts, to educate families on available resources that help protect the physical and mental wellbeing of their children.
United Fiber quickly and easily deployed Bark as a SmartHome™ managed service because the tool is fully integrated for the Calix broadband platform. Efficiencies provided by the platform, combined with support from Calix Smart Start for Managed Services (Smart Start), enabled United Fiber to launch Bark to their employees within just two days and subsequently to members and subscribers in less than two months.
“Leveraging the Calix platform, we’ve grown significantly across Missouri and Iowa, beating our projections,” said Darren Farnan, general manager at United Fiber. “For the first few thousand homes we served, we had projected a 12-year return on investment. With the services we’ve provided, however, we achieved that goal in just four years. We’ve also given $9 million back to our cooperative members in the past five years through rate discounts and advanced capital credits. Although we’re small, we’re able to make a powerful difference for our members because of our investment in the Calix platform and support from Smart Start. Calix enabled us to streamline our Bark launch from months to mere days. With the launch of Bark, we are growing the value of our brand by successfully differentiating our services from those of much larger, legacy competitors in our region.”
Bark is the latest SmartHome managed service that United Fiber has deployed to enhance their service offerings. They offer ExperienceIQ® parental controls and home network management as an add-on to their “United Ultimate Wi-Fi Experience.” They also provide robust home network security from ProtectIQ® to all subscribers. Safety-focused managed services like Bark, ExperienceIQ, and ProtectIQ allow United Fiber to create persona-based service offerings to meet the specific needs of various subscriber groups, such as families with young children.
“From their founding, United Fiber’s mission has been to change lives for the better in their communities,” said Michael Weening, president and chief executive officer at Calix. “They deliver on this every day by not only connecting areas that have long been ignored by other providers but also by offering managed services to ensure safe online experiences for the families of their employees, members, and subscribers. As they achieve incredible growth for their business, Jim, Darren, and the United Fiber team continue to lead with their values by introducing Bark. With this tool, they are forging strong bonds with local institutions while setting their brand apart from legacy competitors. At Calix, we are proud to build on our decade-long relationship with United Fiber as they put the wellbeing of their members and subscribers first.”
Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX)—Broadband service providers of all sizes leverage the Calix platform and teams to simplify their business and excite their subscribers to grow the value of their business and for their communities for generations. The democratizing power of the platform and portfolio of managed services enables them to operate efficiently, acquire subscribers, and deliver exceptional experiences. Calix is dedicated to driving continuous improvement in partnership with our growing ecosystem to support the transformation of our customers and their communities.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based upon management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain. Forward-looking statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this release, and we assume no obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statement to reflect any event or circumstance after the date of this release, except as required by law. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from current expectations based on risks and uncertainties affecting Calix’s business. The reader is cautioned not to rely on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Additional information on potential factors that could affect Calix’s results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed in its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC and available at www.sec.gov.
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