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Frequently Asked Questions

The Iowa Communications Network (ICN) is a state-of-the-art fiber optic network providing broadband and telecommunications services to the education, government, public safety, and healthcare sectors of Iowa. ICN provides high-speed broadband Internet, data, security, and voice (phone) services to authorized users, under Code of Iowa, which includes: K-12 schools, higher education, hospitals and clinics, state and federal government, National Guard armories, and libraries.

Facts About the ICN:

  • The Iowa Communications Network is an independent state agency that administers Iowa's statewide fiber optic telecommunications network.
  • Business office is located on the State Capitol Complex in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • The hub and Network Operations Center are located at the Iowa National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters (JFHQ) in Johnston, Iowa.
  • The Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission (ITTC) is the governing body of the ICN. The Commission provides for the centralized, coordinated use and control of the Network.
  • ICN’s executive director is appointed by the ITTC.
  • Administrative and operational functions of the ICN are performed by the Administration Division (Finance and Business Services) and the Network Operations & Engineering Division.
  • Fees for services make up the majority of the revenue received by the ICN. The ICN has not received a General Fund appropriation since FY 2004 for operating the Network.

The ICN is statutorily limited, by the Code of Iowa, Chapter 8D, in who is permitted to utilize the Network. ICN's authorized users include: K-12 schools, higher education, hospitals, state and federal government, National Guard armories, and libraries.

Authorized User Type
Updated: October 2020

Number of
Users by Type

Higher Education (Regents Universities, Community Colleges, 
Independent Colleges and Universities)
134
K-12 Schools (Public and Private)
437
Area Education Agencies
17
State Government (**Includes Legislative Branch, Judicial Branch,
Executive Branch, Public Safety, Court Systems)
328
Libraries
165
Hospitals and Clinics
188
Miscellaneous (Federal Agencies, US Postal Service, 
City of Des Moines)
77
Total
1,346
 

ICN does not provide services to all authorized users. Numbers reflect entities classified as authorized users in the Code of Iowa.

 

The ICN provides high-speed broadband Internet, data, voice (phone), and security services to authorized users.

Our support team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Connect with Iowa technicians in ICN’s Network Operations Center (NOC) via a toll-free number (800-572-3940), ICNServiceDesk@iowa.gov, or using our online Customer Portal

The ICN is an independent executive branch agency within the State of Iowa government. ICN is governed by a commission named the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission (ITTC). The Commission was statutorily created in the early 1990's. Commissioners are appointed by the Governor and tasked with overseeing the operations of the Network. The executive director is appointed by the Commission and confirmed by the Senate.

Yes, ITTC Commissioners are appointed by the Governor and serve six-year staggered terms. Appointed Commissioners are also subject to approval by the Iowa Senate. The Commission provides for the centralized, coordinated use and control of the Network.

In mid-1989, the Iowa Legislature passed a bill that called for the construction of a shared statewide telecommunications network. The bill was signed into law by Governor Branstad and within a year, construction began to install one fiber-optic endpoint in every Iowa county. By 1994, 104 fiber endpoints were in place and a state agency (the ICN) was created to manage the vast network.

The ICN has not received a General Fund appropriation for maintaining the Network's infrastructure since Fiscal Year 2004.

Over the years, the ICN has received equipment appropriations from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund. The funding assisted in ensuring redundancy for the Capitol Complex (continuation of government in the event of a natural disaster) and other equipment enhancements, such as the replacement of generators at authorized user's sites.

Yes, the ICN paid the State of Iowa back in full for the cost of constructing the Network in March 2005. Unlike most state departments and agencies, the ICN operates with fee-based revenues rather than General Fund appropriations.

The Network is approximately 3400 miles of owned fiber and leased connections making up the balance of the network.

Part I: Was the initial build out of the Network. This build out provided the three Iowa regents universities, 15 community colleges, Iowa Public Television, and the State Capitol Complex with fiber-optic connections. This part of the Network is owned by the State of Iowa.

Part II: The fiber build-out created a Network point of presence in the remaining 84 Iowa counties. These sections of the Network are also owned by the State of Iowa.

Part III: Involved connecting other authorized users throughout the state such as libraries, area education agencies, etc.

The ICN's legislative language code refers to the Code of Iowa, Chapter 8D. The ITTC, ICN's governing body, was established by Chapter 8D to coordinate communications services of the state of Iowa government, in a consolidated effort, to manage, develop, and ensure these services are compatible with the fiber-optic network.

The ICN's legislative language code refers to the Code of Iowa, Chapter 8D. The ITTC, ICN's governing body, was established by Chapter 8D to coordinate communications services of the state of Iowa government, in a consolidated effort, to manage, develop, and ensure these services are compatible with the fiber-optic network.

Chapter 751 of the Iowa Administrative Code provides detailed clarification for Chapter 8D, which section of the Code of Iowa, that stipulates who can use the Network.

The Iowa Communications Network's main office is located in the Grimes State Office Building on the State of Iowa Capitol Complex at 400 East 14th Street in Des Moines, Iowa.

ICN's bandwidth sales and data services continue to climb at a steady pace. This reflects the demand and need for greater access to high-speed Internet by ICN's authorized users.

Additional facts about ICN's Internet:

  • Seventy-nine (79) percent of the Internet provided by the ICN is used by educational entities.
  • The amount of Internet purchased by authorized users has increased 165 percent over the past two years.
  • The Iowa 1:1 Laptop program was created to develop new innovative teaching and learning practices. ICN provides many Iowa schools with Internet services necessary for the program. Schools are increasing bandwidth by doubling, and in some cases, tripling their previous Internet capacity.

The ICN serves nearly 12,000 telephone, fax, and modem numbers. Besides supplying the video and data services to authorized users, the ICN is the corporate telecommunications for the state government enterprise and provides line side telephone services on the Capitol Complex and other locations in the metro Des Moines Area.

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