OCTOBER 6, 2010 -- Broadband Stimulus award winners Wikstrom Telephone Company Inc. (Wiktel) and Reedsburg Utility Commission (Reedsburg) have selected the Calix Unified Access portfolio from Calix Inc. to address their respective access network initiatives. The awards, which include plant engineering, materials, labor, and other costs, such as access equipment, will result in more than $14.9 million dollars in grants, loans, and private investment.
Both awards will be used to deploy additional services in “unserved” and “underserved” rural areas of northwestern Minnesota and central Wisconsin, bringing broadband access services and the potential for future economic development to each region.
“The six rural communities targeted by this project sit in northwest Minnesota, one of the most remote areas of the state and an area with limited broadband connectivity today,” explains Alan Lundeen, plant manager at Wiktel. “The residents and businesses of this region, however, have a thirst and economic need for broadband services that is just as strong as those in the big cities. With the help of Calix and its Unified Access portfolio, we will build one of the nation’s most advanced broadband networks across our region, providing our subscribers with superior broadband services, and our community with an extraordinary foundation for economic development.”
“We’ve partnered with Calix to pull ‘Fiber Forward’ in our south central Wisconsin community before, and can testify to the transformation advantages that fiber access and advanced broadband services can bring to a region,” says Dave Mickonowicz, general manager of Reedsburg. “That said, until the Broadband Stimulus program was announced, there were rural areas of our community that we just couldn’t afford to reach, creating a digital divide in our own backyard. With this award, and advanced technology from long-time partner Calix, these rural areas adjacent to our existing fiber access serving areas will leapfrog from limited dial-up internet access to a network capable of delivering up to one gigabit per second to every home or business, and in so doing open a world of broadband opportunity to thousands of residents and hundreds of businesses.”
The rural subscribers included in these two initiatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin will be served by a combination of fiber and copper access technologies, including gigabit passive optical network
), point-to-point gigabit Ethernet
(GE), ten-gigabit Ethernet (10GE
) transport, very-high speed digital subscriber line two (VDSL2), and asymmetric digital subscriber line two plus (ADSL2+) technologies.
The networks being deployed are expected to be capable of meeting the broadband demands of each respective community for the next decade.
Wiktel will be using its funds, which consist of a $5.2 million grant and a $2.2 million loan, to build an advanced GPON and VDSL2/ADSL2+ network to an estimated 12,000 people, 1500 businesses, and 83 community institutions in six rural communities in Kittson, Marshall, and Roseau Counties.
Reedsburg will use a $5.2 million grant and $2.3 million in private investment to extend advanced communications services to an estimated 6,000 residents in rural areas that currently have limited dial-up Internet access. The E7 ESAP will enable a 10GE ring, for GE aggregation and for delivering an advanced bundle of services over GPON that will include symmetrical Internet services, digital TV, and reliable voice. The 700GE family of ONTs
will be deployed at an estimated 2,400 homes and 310 businesses, laying the foundation for deployment flexibility between GPON and Active Ethernet (AE) services, as well as advanced business services.