Oklahoma Electric Cooperative teams up with Conexon, Calix to Enable Gigabit Network

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Calix, Inc. has announced that East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (ECOEC) is deploying AXOS GPON for a next generation broadband network with the help of Calix Professional Services and business partner Conexon.

The cooperative’s new ecoLINK service will leverage a fiber broadband network to deliver service from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps. ECOEC, a member owned electric cooperative, recognizes the huge opportunity to bring new, high-value broadband services to its members. By partnering with Calix and Conexon, OCOEC is benefiting from years of experience and expertise to simplify operations and reduce risk while accelerating their network deployment.

“To successfully deploy this network, we needed a partner with the broadband network experience that we lacked but also one who understood the cooperative business model,” said Tim Smith, general manager of the East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative. “We are working to get these network services up and running ASAP but need to be efficient with our members’ resources. Conexon introduced us to Calix, which had both the solutions and the expertise we needed to meet both of these ends. The choice was clear.”

Conexon, which is dedicated to electric cooperatives rolling out broadband, has worked alongside ECOEC to plan and execute this deployment since the project’s inception.

“We knew that Conexon was the company that could help us bring this to reality. They have a proven track record with other cooperatives and a blueprint on how to do this in a way that works in terms of affordability, speed of deployment and sustainability,” Smith said.

The seamless partnership between Conexon and Calix allows ECOEC to also leverage Calix Professional Services. Once deployed, AXOS will ensure that ECOEC has a simple and efficient model for network operations. With a hardware abstraction layer and a modular architecture, AXOS enables ECOEC to scale and upgrade dynamically without impacting other systems functions or subscriber experience.

This allows them to adapt to changing technology now and in the future. To ensure that they embrace best practices from the start, ECOEC is leveraging AXOS SMx Deployment Services. These Calix services will accelerate the deployment of the AXOS network, as well as the ability to install, turn up, and run new network services as member needs evolve.

East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative covers approximately 35,000 members in 3,000 square miles in seven counties. Chartered with the mission to provide safe, reliable electric energy and related services, ECOEC has served eastern Oklahoma since 1939. The cooperative began considering broadband service in 2017, recognizing that its members needed faster and more reliable access to advanced services like distance learning and telemedicine. ECOEC is actively laying fiber and plans to have its first members turned up by July 2019.

“Whenever electric cooperatives are looking into broadband, we are going to be prominent in the discussion because it is exactly the type of project where we have deep expertise,” said Skip Hirvela, vice president of sales for Calix. “Building a broadband network from the ground up presents a unique set of challenges—especially when communications are not your primary business. The partnership between Calix and Conexon brings extensive experience and a unique combination of products and services that enable non-traditional service providers to successfully build the first and the last network they will ever need.”


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