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  • Early 1980s

    Iowa community colleges were the first to experiment with educational networks for distance learning. Several community colleges planned and installed separate microwave-based telecommunications networks.

  • 1987

    Iowa community colleges proposed the idea of a statewide microwave-based network to connect the community colleges. A Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued but proposals for a fiber optic network were received.

  • 1989

    Legislation providing for the construction of a shared, statewide telecommunications network was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

  • 1990

    The Iowa Department of General Services issued a notice of Intent to Award to Kiewit Network Technologies for network construction.

  • 1991

    Part l & Part ll state-owned construction began.

  • 1993

    Part l & Part ll became operational at 104 sites.

  • 1994

    The ICN became a state agency and the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission (ITTC) is established by the Legislature. Telemedicine and the federal government were given authorized user status.

  • 1995-1999

    Part lll construction commenced and completed. Part lll is comprised of connections leased to the state by the private sector and connects Part l and Part ll to schools, libraries, and area education agencies.

  • 1995

    The agency staff organization and structure was approved by the Governor.

  • 1998

    ICN began operating and maintaining the State Firewall.

  • 2000

    ICN began its participation in the Universal Service Fund (USF) program as a common carrier. Over the years, ICN has saved Iowa’s schools and libraries over $53 million.

  • 2000

    The ICN began to upgrade the backbone of the Network to Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and MPEG-2 technologies.

  • 2000

    Deployment of an ICN ring topology structure continued. The ring structure features two-way uninterrupted signal transmission, i.e., increased dependability.

  • 2001

    The ICN's Internet bandwidth jumped to 400 Mbps, assuring fast, efficient, dependable and affordable access to information on the Web for authorized users.

  • 2004

    The last year that ICN received an operational support appropriation associated with subsidizing video rates. Fees for services make up the majority of the revenue received by the ICN.

  • 2007

    The Iowa Rural Health Telecommunications Program (IRHTP) was awarded $9.95 million under the FCC Rural Health Care Pilot Program. IRHTP and ICN began the preparation and implementation of a secure, statewide, high-speed Healthcare Network.

  • 2010-2013

    ICN was awarded a $16.2 million federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant, along with ICN’s 30% matching funds, resulted in a $24 million upgrade to the statewide Network.

  • 2012

    Iowa City CSD was the first school district in the state to subscribe to a full 1Gbps of bandwidth for Internet through the ICN.

  • 2015

    ICN’s Broadband Information Center was built to house the Virtual Presence Monitoring Network which can instantly display an indication of a Network issue.

  • 2016-2021

    Deploying a network upgrade to provide 100GB capacity on the network backbone, upgradeable to 200GB.

  • 2017

    Added additional Security services.

  • 2018-2021

    Partnering with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) to implement a dedicated and secure network for Iowa’s Next Generation 911 (NG911).

  • 2019

    Completed VoIP platform migration. Consolidated 6 legacy Voice systems and moved over 8,000 phones for 168 customers.

  • 2019-2021

    Deploying a healthcare network upgrade for IRHTP to replace legacy equipment for redundancy and increased bandwidth speeds.

View the ICN Timeline pdf.


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