Calix Unveils Connect America Fund Performance Testing Solution

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Calix, Inc. has announced the availability of speed and latency testing for the Connect America Fund (CAF) as part of the Calix Smart Home and Business solution.

Communications service providers (CSPs) can now leverage Calix Support Cloud (CSC) as the test controller and the EXOS-enabled GigaSpire system as the test client in an FCC-approved testing framework.

This configuration gives CSC and EXOS-enabled GigaSpire customers a turnkey solution that requires no standalone hardware or additional agents. CAF Performance Testing is the latest solution to be released on the Calix Solutions Exchange.

The Calix Solutions Exchange is the business application marketplace where CSPs can acquire new solutions that will elevate subscriber experience and increase CSP revenue. Calix is also announcing a new Calix Managed Services offering and an updated education service for CSC to help customers implement their testing framework.

“The Connect America Fund (CAF) Universal Service for High Cost Areas support is critical to the providers who ensure that rural areas in the country have the same broadband communication services as in more densely populated areas,” said John Kendall, Principal Analyst, Home & Enterprise Communications Technology for IHS Markit. “As the FCC finalizes the necessary performance requirements, it will be vital for these smaller and regional service providers to meet the speed and latency standards as efficiently as possible.”

The FCC has set July 1, 2019 as the deadline for CSPs to demonstrate compliance with the performance standards. Calix has been an active participant in the CAF program by providing technical input to the FCC Technical Advisory Council and participating in the Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC) testing process.

Consequently, CSPs can begin running tests now with the peace of mind that the solution is designed to keep pace with FCC requirements. To manage the volume of testing required by the FCC, Calix leverages features and capabilities provided by Ookla, the global leader in mobile and broadband network intelligence, testing applications, and technology. With over 10 million consumer-initiated tests taken every day on the company’s flagship platform, Speedtest, Ookla provides invaluable insights into the performance, quality, and accessibility of networks worldwide.

“Ookla is trusted by both industry and government agencies. Our standardized approach is more efficient, resulting in lower costs for service providers and helping to more quickly bridge the digital divide experienced by those communities without reliable access to broadband. Calix is an excellent partner in this endeavor,” said Chip Strange, vice president of strategic initiatives for Ookla. “With a turnkey test architecture and multi-gigabit Ookla test servers available in all 16 FCC-designated Internet Exchange Point (IXP) cities, service providers will not need to set up, maintain, and verify their own test servers.”

Calix is committed to helping customers address this critical business requirement by integrating these capabilities into a complete solution that delivers Managed Wi-Fi, Whole Home Wi-Fi, and Smart Home services. Calix is augmenting a unique and powerful solution that solves today’s CAF requirements while elevating CSP revenue. In a few easy steps, CSC collects the results and generates a pre-formatted report, which can be downloaded and submitted directly to USAC when required.

The new Calix Managed Service is designed to help CSPs implement their testing framework and assist them with ongoing compliance and reporting. Key elements of the service include an implementation workshop, periodic customer engagements to run pre-tests, and report preparation for regulatory compliance.

“One of the most important foundations of Calix is our deep partnership with rural US carriers,” said Skip Hirvela, vice president of sales for Calix. “Recipients of CAF funding face the dual challenge of connecting their rural communities with reliable broadband services while maximizing their investment in solutions that deliver a sensational subscriber experience and generate new revenue streams. The Smart Home and Business solution solves both of these challenges, providing a cost-effective and easy to deploy CAF solution that demonstrates the quality of their broadband services while paving the way to future revenue through new smart home solutions.”


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