Iowa Communications Network
The Iowa Communications Network (ICN) is a robust network offering statewide voice, video and symmetrical Ethernet connectivity to more than a thousand education facilities, hospitals, libraries, public safety entities, workforce development sites and other authorized users. The ICN facilities features over 9,000 miles of fiber reaching all 99 counties in Iowa, positioning the ICN as one of the largest statewide networks in the country.
In 2013, FG finalized project management of a $24 million upgrade to the statewide network. FG was instrumental in securing federal funding on behalf of ICN from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), a $4 billion grant program established to bridge the technological divide in communities across the country. The FG team upgraded the network to the latest protocols using wavelength division multiplexing providing an initial backbone capacity of ten gigabits per second expandable to 100 gigabits per second in all 99 counties. The upgrade provides a minimum of one to ten gigabits per second of dedicated, symmetrical, Ethernet connectivity to 1,036 locations throughout the state.
FG provided project oversight and technical assistance to the ICN during the course of the project, including research and data collection of the project’s environmental impacts and prepared the federally mandated Environmental Assessment. FG also assisted the ICN with the development and implementation of the project’s comprehensive deployment plan, provided general project management, coordinated with sub recipients, assisted with operational resources and offered technical assistance when needed.
In 2015, FG was awarded the contract to provide technical staff for the operation and services of the ICN, including management systems, on-site technicians to staff ICN’s Network Operations Center located in Johnston, IA, and field support staff located around the state.
The Executive Director of the Iowa Communications Network said, “Through several major projects, FG has demonstrated both their commitment and the technical prowess needed to operate an extensive network resource like the State of Iowa’s ICN.”
As part of its long-term commitment to network operations, FG created Fiberutilities Network Services, LLC, as a wholly owned subsidiary who specializes in managing optical fiber networks to the unique specifications of its clients, including seamless network management services utilizing a 24×7 Network Operations Center.
Scot Eberle, President of FG said, “Our long-term success has come from building and growing client-centric partnerships. Designing, building and operating large client controlled networks is what FG was created to do. Our new ICN agreement to provide network operations assets and expertise is a natural addition to FG’s history of assisting large enterprises in making maximum use of their network assets.”