SDN Blog

SDN's network poised to serve eight states

Posted on Monday, August 17, 2009

Blog written by Admin Admin

SIOUX FALLS - A tight economy isn't holding back SDN Communications from expanding its reach into nearby Northern Plains states, which the company expects  will enhance the ability for local businesses to grow, as well.

The Sioux Falls-based broadband service provider's growth will offer larger capacity connections and better reliability into the surrounding state markets.

SDN's recent connection to its North Dakota counterpart, Dakota Carrier Network (DCN) in Bismarck, is the first in a number of connections that will expand SDN's reach.

"This is another connection in our ever-expanding network that will soon serve eight states," says SDN Communications CEO Mark Shlanta.

In addition to North Dakota, SDN will reach deep into Minnesota and Wyoming this year.  Future expansions will go into Colorado and Montana. SDN already has connectivity into Iowa and Nebraska. In fact, SDN opened an Omaha office in late 2008.

SDN has expanded its 21,000-mile fiber optic network capacity within South Dakota, as well. Last year the state of South Dakota tapped SDN to build the Research Education and Economic Development (REED) Network. It allows South Dakota's universities and research institutions, such as EROS and the Sanford Lab at Homestake, to move data across the country to researchers in a more efficient manner, allowing them to compete for more research opportunities. Before the REED, researchers found large research files clogging data pipes. The REED has changed that because its 10 Gigabit capacity is so robust it could:

  • Download the entire text of the U.S. Library of Congress in 12 minutes
  • Allow every man, woman, and child in the nation to be on six phone calls at the same time

SDN intends to offer similar "big pipe" connections to businesses on its expanded eight-state network. This network will provide unparalleled reliability because the connections will be made of fiber rings instead of straight-shot, linear connections. If a fiber line is cut, the data is automatically rerouted in the opposite direction on the ring and will still make it to its final destination, minimizing interruption of service.

In its 20-year history, SDN has primarily served South Dakota. Its ownership is a coalition of South Dakota's independent telephone companies - cooperatives, family, municipal, and tribal-owned companies. They joined their independent networks beginning in 1989 and created SDN as a hub to deliver more long distance choice to the telephone companies' largely rural customer base. Today that same statewide fiber footprint allows file sharing and Internet traffic for business and government. In fact, SDN provides Internet not only to state government offices but also all public K-12 schools and the state universities. In addition to business class broadband service, SDN also offers telephone systems, cabling infrastructure, networking equipment and network surveillance.