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ICN Upgrades Core Network to 100GB

Iowa Communications Network (ICN) has completed a 100GB backbone upgrade across the State. This massive multi-year project to the Network’s core integrates an IP/Ethernet infrastructure, which is scalable up to 200GB as needed. The upgrade allows for plenty of capacity as our customers continue to ask for more bandwidth year-after-year.  Doubling the capability to 200GB across our Core can be completed quickly by changing/adding optics and updating licensing.

While 10GB technology seems sufficient for many existing deployments, it cannot efficiently deliver and scale the bandwidth being requested by our customers for their cloud and security requirements. The ICN’s network goal is to manage a more efficient network with larger bandwidths. This is being accomplished by this upgrade.

There are multiple layers that make up the statewide Network. Twenty-two (22) locations were chosen to be included in the Layer 2/switching core upgrade initially. The plan was to upgrade or install: 91 ports to 100Gb, 122 ports to 10Gb, and 329 ports to 1Gb; followed by providing Layer 3/IP 100 Gb upgrades at 12 locations. During this transition, the ICN also upgraded its Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) to accommodate requests for direct connections to several national content providers like Amazon and Azure. ICN's CTO explains, “In May 2022, we installed our last 100GB circuit. Now the ICN has over 100Gb of transport/bandwidth available throughout most of the State of Iowa.”

Benefits from this upgrade include scalability, redundancy, and the ability to connect to multiple local, regional, and national internet exchanges.  The infrastructure leverages transport and peering for connectivity to all of the national content providers (i.e. Amazon, Azure/Microsoft, Google, Netflix, and more), which will ensure the delivery of network services to our customers.

The future requires increased bandwidth, and this upgrade enables the ICN to proactively manage the ever-increasing bandwidth needs being requested by customers. The ICN leadership team is very proud of the organization's success and the level of professionalism displayed during this large endeavor.

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