Since the early 1990s, the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) has been dedicated to our customers, providing innovative, secure and reliable connectivity using the statewide fiber optic Network. Our customers realize that high-speed Internet and bandwidth capacity are valuable, as more users are integrating virtual applications, moving data to the cloud, or requiring security solutions.
We understand that selecting a broadband and telecommunications provider is an important decision. Here are 12 facts to familiarize yourself with what the ICN has to offer.
- Dedicated Account Team. Our dedicated sales team, sales engineers, project managers, and support staff offer our customers the industry expertise needed. Many team members have been loyal to the Network for 15-25 years, which shows the one-of-a-kind dedication our employees have for the Network and our users. Your project will be in good hands from start to finish when you work with the ICN.
- Security Team. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing industry areas, and ICN has been dedicated to providing security products and resources to our users since the 1990s by operating and maintaining the State Firewall. We also provide all users a variety of security services: Firewall, DDoS Mitigation, Penetration Testing, and Incident Response. The DDoS platform monitors all IP traffic across the state and mitigates DDoS events as they occur within our customer’s network.
- Fiber Optics in the Ground. Our greatest asset is our fiber optics, which are mostly buried under the ground. This means our Network and connectivity is protected from inclement weather. This was a huge benefit for our customers during the Derecho storms in 2020.
- Local NOC Support. When you need support, you can rest assured that you will be contacting personnel from Iowa. Our Iowa-based Network Operations Center (NOC) is always available 24/7/365.
- Private Network. The closed Network is ONLY available for our education, healthcare, government, and public safety users. This is highly valued for redundancy, reliability, and security.
- Responds Quickly During Emergencies. We know that connectivity is even more important during emergencies. In the early days of COVID-19 (March 2020), ICN provided 13 hospitals with bandwidth increases at no charge within 48 hours of the submitted request. In addition, 16 government agencies received bandwidth increases and Voice users across the State implemented mobility features. Additionally, ICN increased State Ethernet and Internet bandwidth by 41.7Gb to support additional remote operational services utilized by government teleworkers.
- Uptime is Critical. As a telecommunications carrier, our responsibility is ensuring that the Network is reliable and highly available when delivering service to our users. Our healthcare and government users require connectivity to be ‘always on’. Our Network demonstrates 99.999% reliability, which means our users receive the highest level of service possible within the industry.
- With Uptime, Comes Redundancy. The Network operates a 100 GB core, which includes an optical ring architecture that provides redundant paths. With over 170+ rings, this allows data traffic to flow bidirectional establishing better network reliability. Yep, we are getting technical here, but it’s important. With the ring protection, different traffic routes are available. If a path is damaged due to an unplanned fiber cut, the equipment throughout the Network will automatically reroute the traffic, which reduces the chance of customer downtime.
- Network Peering. Public and private peering allows networks to connect to each other directly without having to carry traffic across the Internet. This improves performance and efficiency for both our customers and ourselves. ICN has both national and local peering from Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon (AWS) to Mediacom.
- Customer Portal. Customers can order services and submit/monitor support tickets and incidents online. This dedicated portal is our recent addition to be the one-stop-shop for customers.
- One Bill. Customers will appreciate receiving one bill from the ICN for all services, including procured services from outside vendors on behalf of the customer. We can provide customization to customer invoices, if requested such as by accounting string, location, department or service.
- Contracting Team. We provide the best Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and have master contracts for services. Our team follows State of Iowa procurement guidelines, and have a strong experience in competitive bidding and negotiating. ICN has established consortium contracts, and is well-versed with procurement and provisioning of telecommunications hardware and services.
Let’s end with some bonus information. There has been a lot of innovation happening at the ICN, and we want to share some of the most recent highlights.
- In April 2021, GCN reported that ICN partnered with the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to use FirstNet as the backup connection for the state’s public safety answering points (PSAPs). (Iowa taps into FirstNet for 911 backup)
- In June 2021, Iowa State University announced ICN and other partners would be included in a rural broadband testbed when ISU and partners received major National Science Foundation research grant to drive innovation in rural broadband connectivity.
- In June 2021, ICN was also highlighted by the National Governors Association for our dedication to our healthcare users. The publication, Governors Lead On Expanding Access To Affordable Broadband for Telehealth Services, emphasized the recent equipment upgrades and bandwidth increases for our partner the Iowa Hospital Association and the Iowa Rural Health Telecommunications Program (IRHTP).
We hope this helps make you aware of what sets ICN apart from other providers. Now that you’ve learned a bit more about us, we’d like to do the same with you.
Contact us today to learn more.