Infinera accelerates KAMO Power’s rural broadband optical network

July 12, 2023
The Vinita, Oklahoma-based electric cooperative, taps Infinera to upgrade its transport network to support its members’ optical service needs.

KAMO Power is deploying Infinera’s XTM Series on its 2,700-route-mile rural network to serve its 17 member cooperatives across northeast Oklahoma and southwest Missouri. By leveraging the XTM platform, the electric cooperative will have an open optical network that delivers high-capacity transport services.

As one of the largest Generation and Transmission (G&T) cooperatives, KAMO Power provides its members power through its high-voltage transmission network and communications system. Besides being the region’s largest power source, KAMO Power’s cooperative members rely on its robust open optical network to meet the needs of utilities, local government agencies, internet service providers, and local telecom operators.

Infinera collaborated closely with partner BlueAlly to design and deploy KAMO Power’s network upgrade.

“As Infinera’s channel partner in this KAMO Power deployment, BlueAlly complements the Infinera XTM Series solution with additional IP solutions and an extensive service offering covering all aspects of the network,” said Maria Will, SVP of Telecom and Broadband at BlueAlly. “With initial network design expertise and a combination of pre-staging, installation, and commissioning services, BlueAlly can quickly and seamlessly bring KAMO Power an outstanding rural broadband network with minimal impact to their existing network operations.”

Focus on scale

By using Infinera’s XTM Series, KAMO Power can offer its members 100G transport services. The KAMO Power XTM Series deployment supports legacy and modern Ethernet-based services over a 100G-enabled flexible-grid ROADM-based network.

But 100G is only the beginning. Leveraging an open optical architecture, KAMO Power can scale its network to support 400G transmission speeds and beyond to meet future capacity needs while supporting third-party wavelengths if required.

The deployment also utilizes the disaggregated architecture of the XTM Series to provide a flexible yet compact network design with low power consumption, keeping both Capex and Opex low throughout the lifespan of KAMO Power’s network.

“With Infinera’s XTM solution, KAMO Power can offer a wider range of capacity and provide new services to its cooperative members,” said Nick Walden, SVP for Worldwide Sales at Infinera.

Electric cooperatives ramp broadband

Electric cooperatives have become the new savior in the rural broadband race.

According to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), over two hundred electric cooperatives are deploying broadband in their rural communities. Electric cooperatives liken their rural broadband deployment efforts to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

A critical issue that has hindered rural broadband deployment is that building and maintaining networks in low-density areas with rugged terrain has been prohibitive for large providers seeking to profit.

NRECA has advocated for electric cooperatives to access funding from new government programs like.

Jim Matheson, CEO of NRECA, asked a House panel in June to make critical improvements to broadband programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as it develops the Farm Bill. Specifically, he asked for four changes:

  • Make the ReConnect program permanent and easier to access.
  • Provide funding for rural broadband through USDA.
  • Prioritize symmetrical speeds and scalable networks in future federal funding rounds.
  • Drive middle-mile network investments.

“Congress must prioritize scalable, future-proof networks in any future rounds of federal funding,” Matheson said during the house panel. “Without the ability for networks to grow in response to increased bandwidth needs and consumer demands, the challenge of solving the broadband gap in rural America will persist.”

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