"Fixed wireless will sometimes be the right choice and Calix's software supports it. But our telco customers with fiber will lose very few customers. If they provide strong, customer-focused service, no one will have a reason to switch. It's only a slight exaggeration to say customers only churn if they move or die." Russo adds, "This is provided the service provider chooses to “own” the subscriber experience.  A service provider that invests in fiber … but doesn’t further invest in an excellent subscriber experience … is still vulnerable."

Fiber today is routinely a gigabit; ten gigabits add little to the cost, although the demand is unproven so far.

It's been clear for several years that fiber is the right choice in most parts of the developed world where competition matters. Darren Entwhistle at Telus, Canada's #2, has been building fiber home for years because the numbers are very favorable. The reduction in churn and the savings in operating costs pay off the higher cost of fiber in most locations.

France Telecom, Telefonica Spain, and Bell Canada have proven the same.

British Telecom and Deutsche Telekom are now true believers in more fiber home. It may be too late for BT, which now is going as fast as it can to FTTH. It has lost 80% of its market value in four years.

Carl's customer CityFibre has raised billions with the help of Goldman Sachs and has plans to reach millions of Brit homes. Liberty Global/Virgin cable is also expanding, as are other FTTH carriers. BT is struggling. 

Five years ago in Australia, I said I prefer fiber but vectored DSL could also be a reasonable choice. In hindsight, I think I was wrong. I told Malcolm Turnbull vectored DSL can deliver 100 Mbps to most, in my opinion plenty for (almost) all of us today and for years to come.

However, Australia's NBN didn't put in enough remote terminals. Many customers receive less than 50 Mbps. 

Russo years ago decided hardware would be commoditized but software offered opportunities. He turned the entire company towards software defined networks and innovative data analysis. After a few rough years, he landed Verizon as a major client. CenturyLink's near-zero network upgrades hurt but Century is now buying modestly.

Calix's traditional base of smaller telcos stands to receive billions in new federal support, much of which will be spent on Calix gear. The stock market is noticing and the company reached a recent market cap of ~$900 million.