A competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) headquartered in Elk Rapids, Michigan, Cherry Capital Communications provides telecommunications services to the residents and small businesses of northern Michigan.

The network provider loves operating in the Grand Traverse region of the state, which is known as the ‘Cherry Capital of the World’ thanks to its production of around 75 percent of the global cherry supply. Each spring, visitors flock to the area to see miles of magnificent cherry blossoms. It’s this backdrop that inspired Cherry Capital Communications’ name.

While northern Michigan enjoys abundant natural beauty due to its lakes, beaches and lush forests, its rural landscape can pose challenges when it comes to communication services—resulting in a splintered web of networks. In many areas, reliable high-speed internet service can be hard to find or very costly, leaving residents underserved or not served at all.

And therein lies the conundrum: deploying fiber to ‘the last mile’ can be an expensive proposition for operators who must balance demand with a sustainable business case.

But Cherry Capital is working to address this challenge. CEO Tim Maylone noted: “Why should people living in northern Michigan expect less of their broadband service than those living in a city center? We feel that where someone resides should not limit their telecommunication options.”

‘Fiber is the future’

When it came to satisfying increasing demand for high-speed broadband, Cherry Capital knew that fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) was the answer. “Fiber is the future. It’s essential for telecommuting, education, telemedicine and economic development. With it, the possibilities are endless,” said Maylone.

And so the network provider set a goal of providing gigabit-level services to all households and businesses in its service region, spanning from M-55 North to the Mackinaw bridge. 10G passive optical network (PON) was the technology of choice for the deployment because it can be aggregated to 100Gb/s speeds over long distances. To bring the project to life and ensure its economic feasibility, Cherry Capital assessed local interest via electronic petitions and secured federal funding to offset costs.

With the technology vision and capital in hand, the selection of a network infrastructure partner was next. After evaluating several vendors, Cherry Capital chose to work with Ciena.

Ciena solutions supporting Cherry Capital

For its FTTP network, Cherry Capital is leveraging Ciena’s Universal Aggregation (UA) solution, including the 5164 Router5166 Router, pluggable XGS-PON uOLT, 3801 ONU and Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller.

Remarked Maylone, “In rural rollouts especially, it’s common to encounter space constraints and intemperate weather. Ciena’s dense, hardened, easy-to-manage solution helped us simplify and derisk our journey.”

“Particularly, Ciena’s pluggable OLT modules have allowed us to reduce transport costs, footprint and power consumption—key to our economics.”

‘We bridge the Digital Divide’

Cherry Capital’s network deployment is well underway. Now, consumers in rural Michigan are enjoying greater choice and faster, reliable and more affordable internet service.

“We bridge the Digital Divide in our communities, allowing them to fully prosper in today’s data-driven economy,” said Maylone. “Fiber has been well received by the Michiganians we serve. They appreciate the value and new opportunities it brings to bear.”

Visit this link for more information on Cherry Capital Communications.