Paul Bunyan Communications Brings Steve Wozniak to Bemidji for the Midwest’s Largest Annual Gaming Expo, Powered by the Calix Platform

Paul Bunyan Communications leverages their investment in the Calix broadband platform to deliver exceptional subscriber experiences and establish Bemidji, Minnesota, as a major e-gaming hub where gamers, families, professionals, and small business owners can thrive

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Calix, Inc. today announced that Paul Bunyan Communications (Paul Bunyan) is leveraging the end-to-end Calix platform to grow an incredible brand and drive economic development in north-central Minnesota. The member-led cooperative has a 71-year history of providing access to critical technology and services in the region. Paul Bunyan’s GigaZone—built on Calix Intelligent Access EDGE™, Calix Revenue EDGE™, and GigaSpire® BLAST systems—is one of the largest all-fiber gigabit networks in the rural United States. The cooperative’s focus on leveraging their technology to create more opportunities for residents is a significant contributor to Bemidji’s recent ranking as one of the best work-from-home cities in the country. Paul Bunyan’s brand has become so well known it is common to hear a customer say they “reside in the GigaZone.” As a result, Paul Bunyan continues to grow steadily, installing 35 percent more GigaSpire BLAST systems since last summer to bring the GigaZone Wi-Fi experience to more members.

Paul Bunyan leadership has successfully built a brand identity that attracts working professionals, gamers, and business owners with initiatives like their renowned GigaZone Gaming Championship and TechXpo. Drawing legendary Apple computer co-founder Steve Wozniak to Bemidji, Paul Bunyan has grown the expo to become the largest rural e-gaming event in the nation. Earlier this spring, thousands of attendees flocked to the event to experience life in the GigaZone. The Paul Bunyan team ran the extensive gaming operation off a single 760 optical network terminal (ONT) and showcased the new GigaSpire BLAST u10xe.

To continue to grow value for members and invest in their communities, the Paul Bunyan team:

  • Plays a leading role in economic development. Paul Bunyan helps attract people and businesses to their communities by partnering with the local economic development programs 218 Relocate and Thrive Up North. Together, they eliminate barriers for those wanting to relocate to the area by offering incentives paired with the secure and reliable Wi-Fi experiences required by remote workers and e-learners.
  • Provides members with self-service options and easy control of their home networks. Paul Bunyan teamed with Calix Customer Success Services to boost member engagement on their personalized GigaZone mobile app, powered by CommandIQ®. Serving as the cooperative’s central hub for a range of managed services, the GigaZone app has seen a 32 percent increase in member usage over the past six months. The app offers various self-service options, minimizing the need for unnecessary truck rolls. This enables customer support to direct resources to initiatives that improve the member experience, like launching new managed services.
  • Delivers managed services for Wi-Fi experiences that go well beyond just fast internet. Paul Bunyan’s GigaZone managed Wi-Fi service includes two Calix SmartHome™ managed services in the premium bundle: ProtectIQ® home network security (to protect against cybercrime) and ExperienceIQ® Wi-Fi controls (to set household internet rules and prioritize bandwidth for specific devices). Since January, 23 percent more members have been using both ProtectIQ and ExperienceIQ through the app. Paul Bunyan will soon grow their managed service offering to support local businesses and provide community-wide Wi-Fi throughout the region.

“We remain committed to leveraging our network investment and utilizing innovative technology to enhance the well-being of our members both now and in the future,” said Gary Johnson, chief executive officer and general manager at Paul Bunyan Communications. “The rapid expansion of our all-fiber GigaZone network continues to connect underserved areas. We heavily invest in our community through initiatives like the GigaZone Gaming Championship and TechXpo and participate in the 218 Relocate and Thrive Up North projects. Building on the fast and secure Wi-Fi we deliver to the region, we are also launching differentiating managed services like cybersecurity, advanced network controls, and soon, small business productivity, and community Wi-Fi. We’re proud to establish the area as a hub for gaming, technology, and top-notch Wi-Fi—and Calix has been critical to this success.”

“The Paul Bunyan team is investing in their north-central Minnesota communities to positively contribute to the region for generations,” said Michael Weening, president and chief executive officer at Calix. “Investment in their Calix-based broadband network and industry-leading managed Wi-Fi is the tip of the iceberg when building world-class experiences that attract high-value subscribers and spur business development for the community. Paul Bunyan leverages their investment in the Calix platform to continuously tap new and exciting ways to benefit their members and Minnesotans across the state. The incredible e-gaming event proves how Paul Bunyan is making a significant impact and repositioning their community as a world-class destination where anyone—from young professionals to competitive gamers to Steve Wozniak—can enjoy incredible broadband experiences. This is how you build a powerful brand using the Calix platform.”

To learn more about the importance of building a brand that delivers value in the region you serve, read “Want To Win? Build a Brand Your Subscribers Believe in and Transform Your Community.”

About Calix

Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX)—Broadband service providers of all sizes leverage the Calix platform and teams to simplify their business and excite their subscribers to grow the value of their business and for their communities for generations. The democratizing power of the platform and portfolio of managed services enables them to operate efficiently, acquire subscribers, and deliver exceptional experiences. Calix is dedicated to driving continuous improvement in partnership with our growing ecosystem to support the transformation of our customers and their communities.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based upon management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain. Forward-looking statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this release, and we assume no obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statement to reflect any event or circumstance after the date of this release, except as required by law. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from current expectations based on risks and uncertainties affecting Calix’s business. The reader is cautioned not to rely on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Additional information on potential factors that could affect Calix’s results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed in its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC and available at

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