NEW ORLEANS, LA — Illinois Electric Cooperative, Barry Electric Cooperative and Callaway Electric Cooperative are all transforming their businesses by expanding into broadband service delivery within their respective service areas in Illinois and Missouri using Calix Compass Consumer Connect Plus software. With parts of all three areas suffering from limited broadband connectivity, many electric cooperative members were forced to choose between fixed-wireless, dial-up and satellite broadband service options. Now, residential and business subscribers alike will be able to take advantage of fiber-based voice, video and high-speed Internet services from these cooperatives for the first time, giving numerous communities new opportunities for economic and social development.
Illinois Electric Cooperative
Illinois Electric Cooperative services 11,000 electric meters in 10 central Illinois counties. IllinoisNet.com was created initially to bring fiber broadband services to the communities of Winchester and Bluffs. Powered by the combined Calix Compass Consumer Connect Plus software, 844G GigaCenter, and E7-2 Modular Access System solution, IllinoisNet.com is offering voice, video, high-speed data and managed Wi-Fi services to more than 2200 members across the two communities. Early response and sign-ups exceeded expectations, allowing IllinoisNet.com to consider expanding their service into other nearby communities in the future.
“Much like electricity revolutionized rural America in the 1940s, we expect fiber to once again transform our communities,” said Sean Middleton, manager of engineering at IllinoisNet.com. “This technology will allow our members, both businesses and consumers, to communicate in ways they have never been able to in the past. Through our work with Calix, as well as our triple-play partners Co-Mo Connect and Big River Telephone, we look forward to bringing world-class broadband to our fiber-enabled communities.”
Two Missouri Electric Cooperatives
In the southwest corner of Missouri, Barry Electric Cooperative is embarking on a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network through its GoBEC subsidiary in five communities in Barry and McDonald counties. Starting construction in January, the fiber network will be built over five years with a goal of connecting all of Barry Electric Cooperative’s 6700 members. Starting in the county seat of Cassville and expanding into the rural areas to eventually encompass 1100 miles of route fiber. GoBEC will provide video and Internet service of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) using the combined solution of Calix Compass Consumer Connect Plus software, 844G GigaCenters, and E7 systems.
Using a different approach, Callaway Electric Service Company, a subsidiary of Callaway Electric Cooperative, is partnering with Kingdom Technologies Solutions to form Callabyte Technology to bring voice, video and gigabit broadband services to members in Callaway County, Missouri. After an initial pilot project, Callabyte will continue to expand its fiber network to reach unserved and underserved members who have previously only had wireless or satellite broadband options. With Callaway Electric Cooperative building the mainline infrastructure and Kingdom Technologies Solutions managing the customer connections, Callabyte subscribers will be coming online throughout 2016. All Callabyte subscribers will enjoy a world-class symmetrical broadband experience featuring Carrier Class Wi-Fi enabled by Calix Compass Consumer Connect Plus software, 844G GigaCenters, and the E7-20 Terabit Access System.
“Electric cooperatives have proven to be fiber innovators over the last several years, bringing fiber-based broadband services into many underserved parts of the country,” John Colvin, senior vice president of North America sales at Calix. “Each of these cooperatives has not only demonstrated a commitment to their communities by offering the most advanced broadband services, but also a commitment to the future health of their cooperative through this exciting business transformation. These communities will find tremendous benefits in terms of economic development and consumer satisfaction.”