Stimulus Projects: Progress ... and a Lot of 'Hurry Up and Wait'

Carl Weinschenk

Carl Weinschenk spoke to Geoff Burke, senior director of corporate marketing for Calix.

Calix is an infrastructure provider with deep roots in rural America. The vendor is working with many organizations on stimulus-related projects. Burke tells IT Business Edge blogger Carl Weinschenk that the overall initiative has, to some extent, a "hurry-up-and-wait" mentality. Projects are ongoing, he says, but natural disasters in Japan and closer to home are having an impact.

"Out of the gate, the government started issuing the rules of engagement and everyone reacted very quickly to get applications, sources of complementary funding and other things in order. Then they waited, waited and waited."

Geoff Burke
Senior Director of Corporate Marketing

Weinschenk: What special insight does Calix have on the stimulus projects?

Burke: We have a strong perspective. We came to market about 11 years ago and released our first product about a decade ago. Ever since then our primary targeted market was North America, and in particular rural areas. We have relationships as well as a focus on technology, particularly in deep fiber technology - fiber-to-the-premises and deep fiber into the network. That was the technology favored by the [stimulus'] Notice of Funds Availability, which are called NOFAs.

They outline the rules by which the stimulus winners would be chosen. They have two notices. They basically controlled the $7.2 billion in budgetary authority. There were a number of aggressive programs focused on building out infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas of the United States. That focused primarily on networks in rural areas. Those companies that historically focused on delivering broadband to rural areas in the U.S. ended up being favored by the programs themselves. That's where the coupling came in between Calix and the broadband stimulus. The awards being bestowed on companies deploying in these areas are companies that we are familiar with.

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