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Cedar Falls Utilities Tests 10 Gigabit Connection

Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Cedar Falls Utilities was one of the first internet providers in the country to offer gigabit internet service to every home and business in 2013.

This year, CFU network engineers are laying the groundwork for the next upgrade to 10 gigabit service.

Calix, a broadband hardware and software company, was in Cedar Falls in June conducting its first 10 gigabit field test in the country.

Cedar Falls was chosen for the test because of the community’s all-fiber optic communications network and the capabilities of CFU’s network engineering staff.

During the field test Calix equipment was set up at CFU’s control center to deliver the faster speeds. Calix engineers also installed an upgraded optical network terminal at a customer facility, the Mill Race coworking and collaboration space.

The test went as planned and 10 gigabit service was delivered to Mill Race on CFU’s network.

A film crew from Calix was onsite and documented the field test process and results. Calix will use the footage from Cedar Falls as an example for other communities and internet service providers around the country. Watch the video here.

"We have an upgrade to our internet delivery equipment planned over the next few years," said Rob Houlihan, CFU Chief Technology Officer. "In our discussions with Calix we realized that the product and platform they are developing are what we are looking for. We enjoyed serving as a test site and learning about the new platform’s capabilities and features."

Next, CFU will continue to evaluate and test the Calix equipment. A rollout of 10 gigabit service across the network is expected in the next two to three years.

In addition to faster internet speeds, the upgraded Calix software could give CFU more flexibility in managing the network and make the process of adding services or features for customers more efficient.

"We know customer demand for bandwidth and connection speed will continue to grow," continued Houlihan. "We don’t know yet what our community will do with 10 gigabit service, but we view it as our job to offer a world-class communications network and get out of the way to see what our customers can do with no limitations."