GPON Vendors

Jeff Saxe jsaxe at
Tue Dec 6 22:18:07 UTC 2011

Here at Blue Ridge InternetWorks we evaluated a few vendors (a couple of years ago) and are extremely happy with our choice of Calix E7. The engineering is top-notch, optical components are good quality, boot time is very fast, decent GUI (not perfect, but improves with each software release), software upgrades have been (knock wood) seamless every time, etc. And the E7 line is easy to use -- I hear tell that the C7 line had a horrible CLI and cryptic GUI and was powerful-but-demanding, but the E7 just acts like a big Ethernet switch with VLANs, customer-side rate-limiting, and a little bit of DHCP snooping, security, and multicast processing. And their tech support, both pre-sales and on-demand, have been responsive and very helpful every time I've called on them. I don't think they are cheap, and we wish they made an ONT model with many Ethernet ports but no POTS and RF video, but that's just a product mix suggestion. Overall we are really happy, and it's easy to deploy and making us actual money.

We have a rather small network, with a 2-slot (thin) E7 chassis. They also have a 20-slot large chassis. Only reservations I would have about it: 

- Currently runs only RSTP, but not MST. So difficult to load-balance redundant links into our switching core. I don't remember if MST is on the planned feature list.

- Currently no true IPv6 support. You can hand off IPv6 over a "straight transparent LAN" connection, but you can't use the DHCP snooping / IP source verify features, which they have in v4, to ensure that a customer must use DHCPv6 to get their address and then cannot impersonate another customer with a manual IPv6 address. Calix says full IPv6 support is planned.

- We had a few 711GX ONTs that developed optical transceiver failures in the field. It could be something that we did, but it seemed to me that it was just a bad batch of components in that specific product, since the 710GX and 711GE and 716GE's were all fine. All were replaced under warranty just fine, so no complaints other than customer downtime and our time to repair.

Feel free to ping me off-list for any other questions.

Jeff Saxe
blue ridge internetworks

321 east main st • suite 200
charlottesville va  22902
434.817.0707 x 2024

Central Virginia’s technology authority since 2000.

From: Josh V. Hoppes [jhoppes at]
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 2:52 PM
To: nanog at
Subject: GPON Vendors

Hello NANOG,

Due to unforeseen circumstances we need to consider alternative vendors for our GPON system, moving away from Motorola.  We wanted to throw out a line and find out what other networks have deployed and what experiences they have had positive or negative with them. Thanks in advance for any replies.

Josh Hoppes
Network Engineer
Cedar Falls Utilities

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