South Central Connect Delivers Broadband Across Rural Arkansas


  • Calix
  • Conexon

SAN JOSE, CA — South Central Connect, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the South Central Arkansas Electric Cooperative (SCAEC), is future-proofing its GPON network with Calix Intelligent Access EDGE. Founded in December 2016, South Central Connect began fiber network construction in Oct 2017 to deliver fast, reliable broadband services to its electric cooperative members. However, the immense early success of its deployment generated incessant demand, presenting South Central Connect with a unique opportunity to deliver these critical services to more underserved neighboring communities. With the AXOS platform in place, the cooperative is positioned to deliver services to as many as three times the number of subscribers it had originally projected. Especially as communities adjust to the new normal, reliable broadband is crucial to keeping residents safely connected at home and attracting new business opportunities to help lead economic recovery.

“As a local electric cooperative, our mission is deeply personal, so providing broadband was a once in a lifetime opportunity to serve our communities, neighbors, friends, and families,” said Marty Allen, broadband manager for South Central Connect. “However, as we began our network rollout, we saw immediately that the demand for broadband would also be an immense growth opportunity for our business. Extending broadband services into surrounding communities is critical and enables all of us to benefit from infrastructure that attracts new businesses and enables schools. The transition has been amazing, and I am really looking forward to the next 4-5 years. Broadband is saving rural America.”

EveryPON Strategy

With the help of Conexon and the Calix Professional Services team, South Central Connect quickly deployed AXOS, simplifying its network operations and laying the foundation to embrace an everyPON strategy. The cooperative had originally deployed an E7-2 Intelligent Modular System with EXA, but as demand skyrocketed and expansion became an attainable goal, the rural cooperative migrated. After initially intending to cover its membership of 10,000 with the help of AXOS, South Central Connect now anticipates doubling or tripling that number. AXOS simplifies its network operations, and the Services Management Connector (SMx) enables South Central Connect to streamline back office integration, delivering critical reporting capabilities and information from multiple points in the network. The Calix Professional Services team accelerated South Central Connect’s first AXOS deployments, which also give the rural cooperative an upgrade path to 10G PON — critical to its communities’ ability to attract new businesses.

“Even as we transition from staying home to reopening the economy, this global health crisis has fundamentally changed the way we do business,” said Mark Dressler, senior VP of global sales for Calix. “The need for reliable broadband has never been more important, and South Central Connect is a fantastic example of an electric cooperative stepping up to deliver for its community, even looking beyond its traditional membership. Calix is committed to enabling all electric cooperatives to keep their communities connected and lead economic recovery efforts.”

Visit us online for more information on Calix solutions for electric cooperatives, the AXOS platform, and the E7-2 Intelligent Modular System.



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