Conexon, Calix, partner to assist electric co-ops with FTTH broadband plans

Oct. 12, 2020
The two companies plan to assist rural co-ops who hope to take advantage of current government funding projects that have tight deployment timelines.

Conexon, which supplies fiber network design and construction management to rural service providers, and broadband technology developer Calix (NYSE: CALX) have partnered to better address the needs of electric co-ops with fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployment plans in rural parts of the United States. The two companies plan to assist rural co-ops who hope to take advantage of current government funding projects that have tight deployment timelines.

The partners already are collaborating with seven Mississippi electric power associations that are receiving a combined $30 million in CARES Act grant funding. Customers that will benefit from these projects are scheduled to be connected by the end of 2020. Meanwhile, Conexon says it is working with more rural operators whose projects should begin next year.

"Not many years ago, hardly anyone thought it possible to deliver Gigabit service to rural America," Conexon Partner Jonathan Chambers said. "And most thought it fanciful that rural America wanted or needed gigabit service. We started working with those who shared our vision. Calix was one of the companies that believed as we did. Today, where we work, gigabit service is becoming the norm. And with Calix, we're already building networks ready for the next generation of fiber optics. We're not trying to bridge the divide, we intend to leap the divide."

"Conexon is closely aligned with our vision for bridging the digital divide and has been instrumental in spearheading the cooperative broadband movement," added Matt Collins, chief marketing officer for Calix. "This partnership is a natural fit since Conexon helps electric cooperatives serve many of our most rural communities, and we are the leader in delivering fast, reliable broadband solutions for underserved areas in the U.S. We know that when Conexon brings us into a project, the cooperative is serious about delivering a critical service to its community, and they know that we are ready with the best-in-class solutions and knowledge to bring that project to fruition."

"As one of the original co-ops deploying fiber to the home, we've seen significant changes and evolution around FTTH equipment technology since launching nearly 10 years ago," offered Aaron Bradshaw, CEO of Missouri's Co-Mo-Connect. "We have leveraged Calix from the beginning, and the equipment has demonstrated sustainability and a long asset life. In fact, we still have Calix equipment from our pilot project begun in 2011 providing gigabit service to members today. That reliability is a tremendous advantage for us with members and our own operations."

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