A State-of-the-Art Fiber Optic Network

ICN logo

Learn about the network and major initiatives of the ICN.

Network Facts

Secure Network

The ICN operates a private (closed) state-of-the-art fiber optic Network that provides telecommunications services to authorized and certified users.

  • DDoS Mitigation Platform: Services include high-performance network monitoring, analytics, security and forensics to detect a range of network behaviors that if needed can be mitigated.
  • Disaster Recovery Site: Established an additional disaster recovery site that further enhances network redundancy, provides a diverse fiber path, and enhances disaster recovery operations for all users.
  • Carrier-Grade Testing Lab: A telecommunications technology test facility that allows ICN to operate efficiently as a carrier and establish a standards based approach to evaluate new technologies.

Common Carrier Designation - E-Rate Funding

ICN began its participation in the Universal Service Fund program in FY 2001, as a common carrier.

As a result of ICN’s status as a common carrier, education and healthcare users can access federal funding that subsidizes the costs of eligible telecommunications services.

  • ICN’s education and healthcare users received approximately $6.3M in federal USAC funding for FY19.
  • To receive discounts, users are required to use competitive bidding and award based upon best value (primarily cost).
  • ICN’s Common Carrier status is in part based on the autonomy of the Commission (ITTC) in the oversight of the Network.

Public Private Partnerships

ICN managed services incorporate premium partnerships with the private sector.

  • Fiber Network Services, network maintenance provider (Iowa based).
  • CenturyLink, managed voice provider.
  • LightEdge, managed firewall provider (Iowa based).
  • Pratum, managed security provider (Iowa based).
  • Private Sector Telecommunications, ICN partners with the private sector for leased fiber connections.
    • In Fiscal Year 2019, ICN reinvested $9.6M of revenue for private telecom services.

Major Initiatives

Network Redundancy / Core Network Upgrade

Efforts continue to increase redundancy for the protection of critical users and uses, as well as provide disaster recovery functionality that will benefit all authorized users.

  • Core Upgrade Details: 100GB native core with all counties currently connected with a 10GB capable backbone.
    • Scalable capacity to meet increased demand for services of up to 200GB as needed.
  • Enables the ICN to proactively manage the increasing current and future bandwidth needs of our users.
  • Sufficient capacity at the Core to securely carry the State’s data traffic, without degradation.

911 Partnership with Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HSEMD)

  • Providing a closed secure network for 911 wireless calls.
  • Providing infrastructure and services for merging the existing wireline carrier network, consisting of all the State’s wireline service providers, onto HSEMD’s Next Generation 911 (NG911) IP network.
  • Providing colocation facilities and transport services for a Hosted Public Service Answering Point (PSAP) solution. Results in the consolidation of equipment expenses.

Healthcare Dedication

Healthcare facilities are connected to either the ICN network or the Iowa Hospital Associations’ (IHA) network.

  • Serving 279 hospitals and clinics; providing critical broadband and Internet services.
  • Iowa Hospital Association Partner (since 2008).
    • Technical, engineering, and maintenance provider of the Iowa Rural Health Telecommunications Program (IRHTP).
    • Project management and deployment of a complete network upgrade on behalf of the IHA. The ICN is upgrading equipment at 191 locations.
      • Enhances redundancy to hospitals and clinics.
      • Increases bandwidth availability to enable improved access to specialists and records.

Managed Voice Service (MVS)

ICN provides MVS to authorized users on the Capitol Complex and Statewide, as well as to education users.

  • 153 active user groups, with over 7,600 seats.
  • Provides relocation benefits during disaster recovery, no long distance or 800 expenses, and call encryption.
  • Eliminated approx. $1.1M appropriation that supported telecommunications services on the Capitol Complex.
  • Voice services on the Capitol Complex transitioned to the ICN during the 1990’s.

Security Services

A top priority is creating and deploying security services for our users, to assist in protecting their networks.

DDoS Mitigation

Mitigation solution allows Internet traffic to be “cleaned” and returned to user with little impact on service.

During the Last 12 Months:

  • Detected 8,860 DDoS attacks on the State’s Network.
  • Longest DDoS attack was 11 hrs, 31 mins, 29 secs.
  • Largest DDoS attack was 4.38TB (Terabyte).
    • Sustained 2-3 Gbps for 6 1/2 hours targeting a high school in October.


All Network traffic entering or leaving passes through the State Firewall which examines and blocks the traffic that does not meet the specified security criteria.

  • State Firewall: Hosted and Managed by the ICN.
    • Protects confidential information from those not authorized to access it.
    • Protects against malicious users and incidents that originate outside users’ networks.
  • Managed Firewall Service.