PETALUMA, CA — Bandera Electric Cooperative (BEC) is leveraging Calix solutions throughout its fiber network (known as BEC Fiber) and in their subscribers’ premises in the Texas Hill Country. The Calix AXOS E7-2 Intelligent Modular System and Whole Home Wi-Fi solutions deliver world class end-to-end connectivity throughout BEC’s fiber network, while Calix Support Cloud ensures that the customer support team is positioned with the analytics, insights, and remote management capabilities to deliver the best service in their market.
Serving over 26,000 members across seven counties, BEC expanded with the BEC Fiber service connecting their first subscribers in 2017. With a commitment to operational excellence and outstanding customer service, BEC Fiber is on a mission to reach all members with their fiber broadband service in the coming years. To date, BEC Fiber has already secured 4,000 residential pre-registrations and is providing local schools with 10 gigabit connectivity. In addition, the fiber network will serve as the foundation for BEC’s Smart Grid, as well as their renewable energy subsidiary, BEC Solar, which provides solar and energy storage alternatives for their members.
“We are now in the ‘Information Age,’ and we can see the needs of our members – and our business – evolving. As a member-owned cooperative, BEC is ideally positioned to address those needs,” said William Hetherington, CEO and general manager of BEC. “On the electric side of the business, we have members interested in our renewable energy alternatives including the solar panels, Tesla power walls, and even electric vehicle charging stations. This interest is driving growth in our distributed generation and battery storage products, providing additional revenue to BEC Solar, and cost savings for all our members. Connecting it all with a robust fiber communications platform is critical to the efficiency and effectiveness of our network services. Calix has helped us converge our broadband and Smart Grid services into a single, reliable fiber network that is delivering the best member Wi-Fi experience in our market. Fiber and world-class Wi-Fi connectivity are essential to our success both now and into the future, and we are thrilled to be partnering with Calix to lay this foundation today.”
Calix GigaCenters, 804Mesh Satellites, and Calix Support Cloud
As the fiber project expands, the Calix GigaCenters, 804Mesh satellites, and Calix Support Cloud will play key roles in assuring the delivery of an unmatched broadband experience. BEC members are already excited about the new whole home Wi-Fi services and 804Mesh satellites that will provide the coverage needed to bring service to every corner of a home or business. Calix Support Cloud allows BEC Fiber to remotely manage the network, utilizing real-time data to reduce service call times, reduce truck rolls and ensure member satisfaction.
Smart Grid Automation
While BEC’s members have shown a strong interest in broadband service across their underserved communities, improving the electric system with Smart Grid automation and support for renewable energy has also been the driving force to build the BEC fiber network. As a Tesla business partner, energy storage, along with energy efficiency and distributed generation, is a growing part of the BEC business.
With the end goal of a system-wide fiber network connecting every members’ home and business, BEC can execute its renewable energy program, as well as deploy meter reading and distributed energy management to enhance the operational efficiency of its electric business. As BEC introduces additional Smart Grid applications to their network, the cooperative can utilize its existing Calix infrastructure, which will reduce capital expenses while improving business operations.