During the 1980's, Iowa's legislature began exploring the exciting possibilities of cutting-edge communications technologies. The State of Iowa Communications Task Force and the Education Uplink Study Committee were two early efforts to determine what the state government's role in the field of communications technology would be.
In 1989, a bill was passed that allowed for the construction of a statewide telecommunications network, which was to be completed in three stages. Parts I and II, begun in 1990, included 104 fiber optic endpoints--one per county (99), per state university (3), at Iowa Public Television (IPTV), and at the state capitol complex. These endpoints became operational in 1993.
The ICN became a state agency in 1994, when the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission (ITTC) was established by the legislature as the ICN's govening body. In 1995, implementation of part III began with the establishment of full-motion video sites in public and private school districts, area education agencies, and public libraries.
As of 2007, the ICN continues to upgrade its technology as it administers a statewide fiber optics network that allows hospitals, state and federal government, public defense armories, libraries, schools, and higher education institutions to make use of telephones, high speed internet connections, and full-motion video.
Based in part on "The ICN Story - Bringing a State Together" (available at the Iowa Communications Network).