Southwest Minnesota Broadband Services selects Calix E7 for regional Broadband Stimulus project

Broadband Stimulus award winner Southwest Minnesota Broadband Services (SMBS) has chosen the EXA Powered Calix E7 Ethernet Service Access Platform (ESAP) and 700GE family of optical network terminals (ONTs) from Calix Inc. to bring advanced broadband services to eight rural communities across southwest Minnesota.

Broadband Stimulus award winner Southwest Minnesota Broadband Services (SMBS) has chosen the EXA Powered Calix E7 Ethernet Service Access Platform (ESAP) and 700GE family of optical network terminals (ONTs) from Calix Inc. to bring advanced broadband services to eight rural communities across southwest Minnesota.

Modeled after the fiber to the premises (FTTP) network serving the adjacent community of Windom, Minn., the initiative will leverage components of the Windomnet network infrastructure to enable ultra-high-speed Internet services of up to a full gigabit per second (Gbps), as well as voice and advanced cable television services. The upgraded network will touch more than 3,300 residences and nearly 350 businesses and anchor institutions. The $12.7 million Stimulus award consists of a $6.35 million grant and a $6.35 million loan, which includes plant engineering, materials, labor, and other costs, such as access equipment.

“The cities of SMBS have a long history of proactive infrastructure investment to keep pace with their more urban counterparts, and we all recognize that broadband access will the key infrastructure that keeps us globally competitive in the twenty-first century,” says Keith Stubbe, SMBS chairman and mayor of member community Round Lake. “With the advice and expertise of Dan Olsen at Windomnet, John Schultz at U-reka Broadband, and the expertise of Calix, we believe we have the right resources in place to bring the deserving residents and businesses of our eight communities the network they deserve, and by implementing one of the most advanced networks in the nation, position southwest Minnesota to be globally competitive.”

SMBS is a consortium of cities and will own and operate the fiber access infrastructure and broadband network serving the eight rural Minnesota communities of Jackson, Lakefield, Round Lake, Bingham Lake, Brewster, Wilder, Heron Lake, and Okabena. The network will consist of a 125-mile fiber ring that will connect these communities and serve more than 7300 residents.

SMBS will be leveraging gigabit passive optical network (GPON), Active Ethernet (AE), and 10 gigabit Ethernet (10GE) technologies delivered via the Calix E7 ESAP and the 700GE family of ONTs.

"The eight rural communities that constitute the SMBS service area personify the spirit of self-reliance that Minnesota is known for," explains John Colvin, vice president of field operations at Calix. "They are taking control of their own futures and stimulating their own economic development. We congratulate the citizens of southwestern Minnesota for winning an award that has the potential to transform the region into one of the most connected in the nation, and we look forward to helping the communities served by SMBS reap the full benefits of a world-class fiber access network infrastructure."

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