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ICN History



The Illinois Century Network (ICN) was created in 1997 with the recommendation from the Higher Education Technology Task Force to create a single, statewide educational network. The ICN became reality in May of 1999 with the signing of legislation (20 ILCS 3921). 

The ICN, managed by the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT), is a high speed broadband network serving K12 and Higher Education, Public Libraries and Museums, State and Local Government, and the Healthcare community.  The ICN provides Internet and Intranet connectivity for thousands of sites state wide, ensuring high availability for cloud based content, disaster recovery services, data, video, and audio communications.

Serving over millions of citizens every day, in every county, primarily students, the ICN is the largest and most successful state network of its kind in the nation. ICN constituents rely on the network for:

  • Access to on-line learning reference sources like newspapers, journals, radio and TV news, encyclopedias and reference databases.
  • Interactive learning that engages students in a wide variety of subject areas including science, social studies, language arts, world languages, mathematics, and health.
  • Online student assessments aligned to state learning standards.
  • Requesting books and media as part of the interlibrary loan program.
  • Online classes available through Illinois colleges, universities, community colleges, and the Illinois Virtual High school.
  • Parent and student online access to student grades, assignments, lunch accounts, parent bulletins, tests and quizzes, and attendance, available through the websites of K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and community colleges.
  • Network connectivity among schools, colleges, universities and libraries to operate administrative software and applications such as payroll, student records, student health services, student residential services, and campus security.
  • Network connectivity to educational and research programs and websites hosted on Internet2.
  • Seminars and training for rural doctors and health care providers from Illinois universities and medical schools via video conferencing.
  • Transfers of large amounts of data for improved management of state resources such as the ISBE State Student Information System initiative

Lighting Illinois!  

Building for Our Future Video - IBOP-EC
Illinois Broadband Opportunity Partnership-East Central

Beginning in August 2010 with $62 million in federal funding and $34 million from public and private partners, the Illinois Broadband Opportunity Partnership-East Central (IBOP-EC), when completed 1000 miles of new fiber and 1000 miles of upgraded fiber to a fifty-five county region in central and eastern Illinois.  In collaboration between the Department of Central Management Services (CMS), Illinois State University (ISU) and more that 40 public and private sector partners, the IBOP-EC joined together more than 400 community anchor institutions, directly connecting them via fiber to the upgraded Illinois Century Network (ICN) supporting high speed connection of up to 1.6 terabits per second.

As we traveled the state "LIghting Up" Illinois, and talking to many Illinois citizens they told us that they were anxiously awaiting broadband service and the business and educational opportunities that it would bring.  Litchfield High School was the first to experience the benefits and the teachers, parents, students and administrators were pleased with the results. 

The ICN serves as a platform for innovation and collaboration, enabling a variety of programs and applications in education, government, public safety and education.  Video: Lighting Illinois - Building for Our Future Video 

What ICN customers are saying... 

CUSTOMER QUOTE

Now that a bit of time has passed and our semester has started, I just want to say (at least) one more time how much we appreciate all the work that you all, and others, have done for us on this.  The new connection is outstanding, and our users (both students and employees) are benefiting greatly from it. We now have bandwidth to spare even during the middle of the day, which is a wonderful thing to have.  Thank you!

Danville Area Community College
Jeff Williams - Computer & Network Services