Oberlin Cable Co-Op prioritizes protecting community youth and deploys Bark, offering the social media monitoring tool to parents at a 60 percent discounted rate as part of their Digital Equity and Inclusion program
SAN JOSE, CA—January 11, 2024—Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) today announced that member-owned Oberlin Cable Co-Op (Oberlin) is promoting digital equity by making the family-focused social media monitoring tool Bark available at a 60 percent discount in their northern Ohio community. Regardless of financial means, every family and child deserves access to safe and secure broadband. Oberlin leverages their investment in the Calix broadband platform to deliver security-focused managed services like Bark that differentiate them in competitive broadband markets. Oberlin has built on a noteworthy track record of collaboration with local institutions and government, embedding their business further into the lives of their members. By doing so, the broadband service provider (BSP) joins a growing number of visionary leaders within the cable segment who are transforming their value propositions and making a positive difference for their communities.
“Bark is all about protecting the minds of our youth and loved ones,” said Jay Shrewsbury, general manager at Oberlin Cable Co-Op. “The level of security this managed service offers affects every household and member within our community in a positive, impactful way and has become a shared initiative among our local leaders.”
Bark leverages AI to monitor social media platforms, text messages, emails, and 30+ apps—and alerts parents and guardians when a child faces online dangers or alarming content. This gives families the information they need to intervene and take immediate action. Since Bark is a fully integrated managed service for the Calix platform, Oberlin launched it in only five weeks with Calix Smart Start for Managed Services.
In 2020, the member-owned cooperative launched their Digital Equity and Inclusive Initiatives program to make affordable, competitive services available for residents who need wireless internet access. The program includes access to educational materials to assist with homework and access to medical, employment, and other critical resources only available online. Bark is the latest addition to the program, to protect teens and tweens in the community from the dire effects of unchecked cyberbullying and other digital dangers. Oberlin’s Bark offering is endorsed by both the police chief of Oberlin, Ohio and The City of Oberlin’s Equity Division.
“It is critical to protect the future of our community from the risks associated with cyber threats,” continued Shrewsbury. “Easily, the biggest threat to those young minds comes in the form of cyberbullying and misinformation circulating around the internet and going viral on social media. Because of this, Oberlin will continue to focus on defending the mental health of our children and students through education and awareness—and, by using Bark social media monitoring, our community can work together to overcome this threat.”
Prior to their Bark deployment in November 2023, Oberlin launched an advanced managed Wi-Fi service to create safer experiences for their members—bundling home network security with ProtectIQ® and advanced content and parental controls with ExperienceIQ®. Both services provide an extra layer of protection that continues to exceed expectations with high rates of member satisfaction while also garnering widespread support. Bark only strengthens those offerings by expanding the help Oberlin provides their community.
“Network operators traditionally focus on speed and CapEx—an outdated and failing strategy that will lead to commoditization when every market has at least two fast broadband providers,” said Michael Weening, president and chief executive officer at Calix. “A purpose-driven broadband provider understands that they play a critical part in helping a community thrive. This mission is synonymous with Oberlin's goal as a member-owned cooperative: to improve life in their community. The Calix broadband platform makes it easy to be purpose-driven. Our $1.2 billion investment and 13 years of innovation enable us to integrate solutions like Bark so that Oberlin can focus on educating parents on this important tool to stop cyberbullying and prevent devastating consequences like depression and suicide. In 2024, it will become even simpler for a broadband provider to differentiate from the network operator in their market by improving the lives of residential, business, and community subscribers. Our deepest thanks to Jay and the Oberlin team for allowing us to support their success as they improve their community.”
Schedule a consultation to learn more about Bark on the Calix broadband platform.
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.
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