The Divide: Calix CEO Michael Weening on enabling the broadband disruptors

This episode features Michael Weening, CEO of Calix. We discuss the company's perspective on the digital divide and Calix's role as "enablers of the disruptors" in the broadband market.

For Calix, that means the Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies – including electric cooperatives, municipalities and other community broadband providers, flush with private equity and other sources of cash – that are helping close the digital divide in communities across the US.

We talk about the shift in capital toward smaller providers and what that means for legacy providers and the state of the digital divide overall. We also get into the various sources of funding fueling broadband buildouts, his views on fiber versus other broadband technologies ("satellite is all bull," said Weening), why "speed is death" as a selling point for broadband providers – and much more.

Here are just a few topics covered in this episode:

  • Weening's vision as CEO of the company (1:00)
  • Why capital is shifting toward smaller broadband players (2:30)
  • How Calix platforms help enable broadband service providers (5:00)
  • The role of private capital and federal funding in current and future deployments (7:15)
  • How closing the digital divide is changing where we work, and Calix's pitch to potential employees (10:34)
  • Where he agrees and disagrees with NTIA's funding rules for BEAD (12:55)
  • Why speed alone is a "bad long-term strategy" for broadband providers (19:50)

Related stories and links:

Nicole Ferraro, editor, Light Reading, and host of "​​The Divide" podcast.

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