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Celebrating 30 Years

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Impact | Snapshot of Articles

A Message from our Executive Director, Randy Goddard

Randy GoddardAs we kick-off celebrating 30 years of the ICN Network, I want to thank the people that had the vision years ago to establish a one of kind statewide Network. Our staff in those early years had backgrounds from the private sector and the military. Several of those original staff continued to work with the ICN for many years and some are still working with ICN today. Those first years were spent finalizing fiber installations and establishing our county points of presence to allow us to take the next step of connecting K-12 schools and other customers to the Network.

More recently, the pandemic taught everyone the need for flexibility and alternatives for connecting to each other, whether it be for your personal life or professional services for healthcare, education, and government.  As a telecommunications provider, we need to ensure broadband connectivity is available far beyond the base service level requirements defined by State and Federal guidance.

Today, our focus is listening to our customers and hearing their needs. We continue to hear about bandwidth demands, cloud connections, and security concerns. I want to share some of the Network's recent enhancements implemented to meet these needs.ICN 30 Year Proclamation Thumbnail

  • We recently upgraded all of our core equipment to support up to 100 gigabit with a quick path forward to even greater bandwidths.
  • We established direct connectivity with several national access points for Cloud connections such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and hundreds of others.
  • Cyber security is on the top of everyone’s list. Our attention is ensuring we have the latest software patches, providing our firewall service as a barrier between internal networks and the public internet, and updating our Distributed Denial of Service Mitigation (DDoS) platform.

In January, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation celebrating 30 Years of Service with the Iowa Communications Network. A digital version of ICN's 30 Years of Service proclamation is available.

We’re proud of our first 30 years and we are excited to look ahead to the next 30.

Randy Goddard
Executive Director
Iowa Communications Network

Snapshot Through the Years

Impacting Iowans

As part of our year-long celebration of our 30th anniversary, we are pleased to publish our Impact Paper of Providing Services to Iowans. This paper is also a snapshot of our recent impact over the last few fiscal years. We look forward to continuing to provide service to our authorized users to benefit Iowans for years to come.

One of the most important pieces of celebrating our anniversary is thanking our customers, partners, and others that have had an impact. ICN would not be successful without the support of all entities.

Education Impact
"We have used the Internet connection for over 20+ years. We have been using the [ICN’s] security service DDoS Mitigation for almost four years. This service is invaluable as learning online has become more prevalent."

Public Safety Impact
"We use the ICN to transport all 9-1-1 calls originating within the State.  All 911 call centers in Iowa (112) are connected via the ICN.  This comes at a tremendous cost savings measure to the taxpayers of Iowa.  Starting in 2011, all wireless 911 calls began being transported via the ICN fiber. In 2019, we added wireline calls onto the network."

Healthcare Impact
"We use the ICN to connect to critical resources that assist us in caring for our patients in the emergency room setting.   One example is the secure audio/video connection that we have with a provider that work remotely. These providers and nurses are able to assist us in the care of our emergency room patients by way of a secure audio/video connection that travels over the ICN."

Looking Towards the Future

Aggregation Equipment Upgrade
Our aggregation equipment and design improvements include implementation of the 10Gb converged aggregation network, which is the segment that operates between the Core and edge.

  • This upgrade allows Ethernet and IP services to pass through the network on a redundant and more resilient infrastructure.
  • The aggregation layer plays an important role in addressing the challenges of our customers by providing an efficient, diverse network with greater capacity.

State Firewall Decentralization
The second phase of the State Firewall decentralization includes taking 17 government agencies and giving them their own Palo Alto security solution.

  • We will provide capabilities that current firewalls provide like intrusion prevention, content filtering, anti-malware and more.
  • The security solution will also explore enhanced reporting for agencies of security events as well as the possibility of multi-tenanting.

SIP Migration (Session Initiation Protocol)
The ICN recognizes the need to migrate from the legacy Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) infrastructure to a SIP trunking architecture.

  • The ability to plan and design new services that provide our customers access to additional unified communications (UC) applications.
  • This is the pathway forward for voice services, which would allow the ability to retire the legacy platform.

Cloud Services
Our goal is to develop services that meet the needs of our customers. 

  • Continue to expand connectivity for our customers to reach cloud services by using our direct express routes to Microsoft (Azure), Amazon (AWS), Google Cloud, and 250+ additional cloud providers.

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