The broadband subsidiary of a Missouri-based electric co-op is building a new fiber network that delivers gigabit, cloud-based WiFi services to rural residents.
Tired of telling people who called its offices that it only provided electricity to the region, SEMO Electric Cooperative wanted to expand its services, said Board Member Carla Moore, so it eventually created its own broadband co-op, GoSEMO.
"Our people want to be able to go shopping on Amazon... whatever. It got to the point where we had to do something for our people here," said Sean Vanslyke, CEO of GoSEMO and SEMO Electric Cooperative.
First, co-op executives met with peers at other co-ops to learn from their successes and mistakes, said Brad Milam, manager of IT and engineering services at GoSEMO. These fellow co-op professionals shared vendor partners, things to avoid based on their mistakes and best practices, he said. Based on that feedback, GoSEMO selected Calix E72, GPON, Calix GigaCenter and Calix Support Cloud (CSC), as part of its set of technology solutions, said Milam.
"Broadband is essential to the advancement of our communities -- from taking care of our current members to providing economic development opportunities in the future," said Vanslyke in a recent statement. "By partnering with Calix and learning from other electric co-ops, we have been able to accelerate our projects and build a network that exceeds the expectations of our members. Calix is a proven partner amongst electric cooperatives, and this relationship will be instrumental to the growth and success of our network."
The new network will span six counties and about 16,000 homes, farms and businesses. Several companies have left the region but allowed some staff to work from home, said Gina Beggs, a customer care and support specialist. However, remote workers must have reliable, high-speed Internet to retain their jobs -- something that appeared doubtful until GoSEMO unveiled its broadband plan and began rolling out the service, she said.
With cloud-based managed WiFi, GoSEMO can proactively monitor, diagnose and administer residential subscribers' networks to prevent outages by addressing issues before they arise. GoSEMO uses Calix Support Cloud and network insights to improve quality customer experience, said Vanslyke. With a GigaCenters in each home, GoSEMO subscribers have managed WiFi service so they can use smart-home devices, connected tablets or smartphones from every room.
Based on its successful launch, GoSEMO hopes to expand its WiFi offering outside its traditional footprint, and is working with the Municipality of Sikeston to provide those residents with gigabit service and accompanying WiFi connectivity, GoSEMO said.
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In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 11:00 a.m. New York / 4:00 p.m London
Win MDUs: Playing With Loaded 9-Sided Dice (archive available soon)
The MDU market continues to face fierce competition among service providers due to tech-savvy residents (i.e., millennials), demand from building owners and management companies, plus the favorable economics of bulk contracts. However, no MDUs are the same, so service providers must use multiple technologies and inconsistent deployment models, increasing operational complexity and rollout costs.
The MDU market itself is evolving as residents adopt smart-home technologies, generating rising demand for smart apartments with built-in connected thermostats, keyless entryways and doors, and video doorbells. This evolution presents both new challenges and opportunities. In other words, service providers must consider innovative service-delivery strategies to compete and win.
In this Broadband World News and ADTRAN webinar, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will highlight emerging MDU broadband Internet trends and challenges. In addition, Kurt will outline the next-generation service creation and delivery platform, built on open standards, that allows service providers to connect millions of underserved MDUs, enables creation of user-driven services, and reduces operational complexity and costs.
Plus, special guest, Alice Lawson, Broadband and Cable Program Manager for the City of Seattle, will discuss Seattle’s B4B-Build For Broadband initiative that addresses best practices in planning for MDU telecommunication infrastructure.