Dakota County broadband by the numbers

In their most recent In Brief newsletter Dakota County features their broadband network…

The traffic signals, public health nurses, 911 calls  and elections are services that Dakota County and other local governments provide – and they all rely on an integrated fiber-optic network.

They talk about the infrastructure…

So far, we have installed nearly 320 miles of high-capacity cable beneath roads, trails and other public land across the county. We’ve replaced outdated copper cables with highspeed fiberoptic lines that safely move data and work more efficiently. This complex network connects libraries, schools, county service centers and city halls — forming an institutional network, or I-Net.

Who uses is and how (I’ve put it into bullet points)…

  • Courtrooms, National Guard armories, hospitals, county parks, colleges and even the Minnesota Zoo use the I-Net to provide services.
  • Emergency dispatchers receive 911 calls and talk with law enforcement and first responders through the network.
  • Our Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) is connected through the I-Net. The ATMS allows real-time adjustments to the signals, such as changing their timing based on traffic volume, to help improve traffic safety and flow along county roads. Thus far, 66 of the 305 traffic signals are connected to the I-Net.
  • we installed our own cable between a county office in Hastings and the Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount — reducing our costs by $50,000 a year.

How it could be used in the future…

The I-Net doesn’t provide internet service to private homes, but it could serve other uses. The Dakota Broadband Board, a partnership among Dakota County and cities, has the fiber capacity to allow internet service providers to leverage that infrastructure and offer commercial broadband to businesses and homes, improving service and lowering costs. Our priority is to continue finding cost-effective ways to use, maintain and expand this underground information superhighway to enhance public safety and provide reliable services that residents depend on every day.

This entry was posted in Broadband Applications, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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