WIN Reveals Expansion Activities

Posted on October 19, 2008 - WIN News

Wisconsin Independent Network, LLC (WIN) today announced the expansion of its fiber optic network into twelve additional markets in Wisconsin by year end.

We’re very excited about the continued growth of our network in Wisconsin, said Scott Hoffmann, Executive Director of WIN.  These network additions will extend our reach into many smaller communities that today have little or no protected network carrier presence.

By end of 2008, WIN will add SONET ring network connectivity into the following Wisconsin communities:

  • Rhinelander
  • Stevens Point
  • Park Falls
  • Mauston
  • Tomah
  • Sparta
  • Beaver Dam
  • Richland Center
  • Blue River
  • Strum
  • Durand
  • Cochrane

Founded in 1997, Wisconsin Independent Network (WIN) is part of Communications Management Group (CMG), a privately-held limited liability corporation owned by thirty-one Wisconsin-based independent telephone companies.   WIN provides wholesale and enterprise network transport services on its 3000-mile fiber optic network throughout the upper Midwest.  WIN also operates a new data center on its network, offering secure data backup,  high-capacity Internet connectivity, colocation, business continuity,  and hosted services for businesses of all sizes.  WIN and CMG are headquartered in Eau Claire, WI.

With the continued growth WIN has experienced in 2008, its network will surpass the 3000-mile mark, with sixty-four points of presence across Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan.  The network consists of twelve fully-redundant SONET rings supported by DWDM, OC-192, OC-48 and Ethernet ring technologies.

The WIN network is the largest Wisconsin-owned fiber optic network operating in the state.  The network carries a wide variety of communications transport applications, including Internet, long distance, cellular, IPTV, point-to-point, Voice over IP, educational,  government, and healthcare data traffic.

While the WIN network operates in the larger cities across its footprint, a great deal of the network resides in rural areas of Wisconsin.  This presents greater economic development opportunities to those communities through access to newer, higher bandwidth applications like Ethernet and Internet bandwidth.  These communities also have direct access through WINs network to the new state-of-the-art WIN Data Center in Eau Claire.

Bring IPTV to Rural America and Beyond

Posted on May 15, 2008 - WIN News

While large national telephone companies announce their rollouts of digital TV services in larger metropolitan areas, several rural Wisconsin independent telephone companies have been providing the leading edge triple-play combination of entertainment, information, and communication services to their residential and business customers for years.

Three Wisconsin companies, Midwest Telnet, based in Westby; Tri-County Telcom, based in Strum; and Wisconsin Independent Network, based in Eau Claire; have joined forces to start Midwest Video Solutions, LLC. Midwest Video Solutions provides IPTV head-end services to other telecommunications companies.

Head-end facilities are critical, capital-intensive elements required for deploying high-quality video services to subscribers. By coordinating the video signals from two existing geographically diverse downlink facilities and transporting the aggregated video streams to other providers over a redundant fiber optic network, Midwest Video Solutions offers a robust IPTV video signal solution that can be very cost prohibitive for a single telephone company to build on its own.

With over 200 channels of TV and digital music to choose from, video service providers have a wide selection of content that they can choose to offer by working with Midwest Video Solutions. An expanding line-up of High Definition (HD) channels helps when competing with traditional cable companies and satellite providers. Adding additional channels down the road becomes less of a hassle in terms of capital investment and implementation timeframes.

Midwest Video Solutions has sixteen video service providers already receiving signals from either of the two individual head-end facilities. Transport of the video signals is not limited to Wisconsin or the Upper Midwest; one international site receiving the video signals is the U.S.s Yokota Air Force Base in Japan.

With seven years of experience in providing digital TV signals over telephone networks, along with thirty years of analog video system experience, Midwest Video Solutions has resources knowledgeable in not only the technical aspects of providing high quality video services, but the marketing and administration aspects as well.

Midwest Video Solutions will have a display at the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association Spring Conference in Lake Geneva on May 21 and will be marketing its services at various venues in the future.

For more information regarding Midwest Video Solutions, contact Marty Snustead, Executive Director, at 608-634-6901.

New Midwest Data Center Opens for Business

Posted on November 7, 2007 - WIN News

Wisconsin Independent Network, LLC (WIN) today announced the availability of its new 4200-square-foot data center in downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The company completely refurbished a former Sequent Computer/IBM office and data center in the Banbury Place complex after moving its headquarters to the location this May.

Designed primarily to provide the perfect environment for critical business Information Technology (IT) equipment (such as computer servers and data storage devices), data centers are in increasing demand as businesses look for secure, fault-tolerant alternatives to building and maintaining their own data processing and data storage sites. Earlier this year, Gartner Group and IDC predicted that power and cooling challenges will make a large number of corporate data centers obsolete by 2010.

Several information-intensive industries, including financial and healthcare firms, have regulatory requirements for retaining and backing up electronic information files in geographically separated locations to ensure that a disaster does not destroy their data.

“While metropolitan settings like Milwaukee, Madison, and the Twin Cities are where you usually find this type of facility, we are ideally located in a smaller, less congested, less expensive area right in between these other markets,” explained Scott Hoffmann, WIN’s Executive Director. “Another unique feature is that WIN not only provides the physical space for IT equipment in its Data Center, we also operate an extensive 2,500 mile fiber optic network throughout the region that can securely connect customers in fifty large and small cities in four Midwestern states back to this site. Through the Internet, businesses across the country and around the world can access their IT equipment in this facility as well.”

The Midwest is also a desirable location for at least one large Internet company. In June of this year, Google Inc. announced plans to open a data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

WIN knew that refurbishing the vintage 1990 data center would require extensive upgrades. “When we calculated the power and cooling capacities required for today’s more dense and powerful computer systems, we realized that we needed to replace the existing infrastructure with more

“When we calculated the power and cooling capacities required for today’s more dense and powerful computer systems, we realized that we needed to replace the existing infrastructure with more cost-effective, scalable systems,” stated Matt Yach, WIN’s Director of Operations. “We took a unique distributed approach that enables us to grow the power and cooling capacities of the data center as the need for both increases.”

Besides designing a highly scalable and reliable data center, WIN concentrated on creating a “green” facility by implementing efficient electrical systems, power-saving data storage arrays, and an atmosphere-friendly waterless clean agent fire suppression agent.“WIN hopes that our new Data Center will have a local impact on the greater Eau Claire business district by showing that environmentally friendly facilities can not only work, but work well,” stated Hoffmann.

“WIN hopes that our new data center will have a local impact on the greater Eau Claire business district by showing that environmentally friendly facilities can not only work, but work well,” stated Hoffmann.

Additional features of the WIN Data Center include extensive environmental and security monitoring, on-site back-up power generation, and a soft-loading parallel utility/generator power switching system.

WIN’s sister company Airstream Communications will be the first tenant to utilize part of the new data center for its Internet servers and networking equipment. Airstream provides Internet services to local telephone companies serving over 100,000 Internet customers in Wisconsin. With the opening of the Data Center, WIN anticipates adding additional technology professionals to its current staff of twelve as the demand for its data center services grows.

Formed in 1997, WIN is a full-service provider of wholesale transport network services and next generation IP solutions. WIN and Airstream Communications are both part of Communications Management Group, LLC, a privately-held company owned by 31 independent local telephone companies.

The company’s website may be found at:http://www.wins.net.

WIN Expands Network in Northwest Wisconsin

Posted on September 1, 2006 - WIN News

Wisconsin Independent Network, LLC (WIN) announced today the extension of its network into three rural locations in northwestern Wisconsin.

An existing WIN SONET ring was extended an additional 100 fiber route miles to include the communities of Siren WI; Grantsburg, WI; and Dallas, WI. They join seven other sites from a ten-node route redundant SONET ring in rural Wisconsin.

Since its initial network of ten POPs in 1999, the WIN network has expanded to fifty Points of Presence (POPs) extending into Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois.

See WIN’s network map for POP locations throughout the WIN Network.

WIN Establishes 2nd POP in Minneapolis at 511 Building

Posted on February 24, 2006 - WIN News

Wisconsin Independent Network, LLC (WIN) announced today the turn up of its new Point of Presence (POP) at the Minnesota Technology Center in Minneapolis, MN.

Also known as the “511 Building,” the facility is located at 511 11th Avenue South in Minneapolis and acts as a major Midwest hub from many companies involved in long-haul carrier, enterprise, and other telecommunications services.

WIN’s presence at the 511 Building will provide carriers and other customers an alternative meet point to WIN’s regional network, in addition to WIN’s presence at the Equinix Collocation Facility in Chicago, IL.

“Customers will be a cross-connect away from WIN’s network through the turn up of this new Point of Presence in Minneapolis,” said Scott Hoffmann, Executive Director of WIN. “This gives our customers options at Chicago and Minneapolis to directly connect with the WIN network.”

See WIN’s network map for additional information regarding WIN’s fiber optic network.

WIN Establishes POP and Ring Diversity Into Equinix, Chicago

Posted on January 8, 2006 - WIN News

Wisconsin Independent Network, LLC (WIN) announced today the turn up of its new Point of Presence (POP) at the Equinix Internet Business Exchange Center in Chicago.

Located at 350 E. Cermak in Chicago, Equinix is a 143,000 square foot collocation facility, acting as a meeting point for many of the long-haul fiber network operators and large enterprise customers in the US and beyond.

“Operating now out of the Equinix facility will allow WIN to make direct connections with many of our customers located in the same facility,” explained Scott Hoffmann, Executive Director of WIN. “Equinix is an outstanding facility and provides us with options we did not previously have, options that will allow us to continue to grow and expand our business in the region, allowing our customers greater access into WIN’s network.”

WIN’s POP at Equinix will reside on a 450 route-mile fiber optic SONET ring that includes Schaumburg IL, Rockford IL, Janesville WI, Madison WI and Milwaukee WI. WIN established route-redundant entrances into the Equinix facility to complement the SONET diversity built into this regional fiber ring, providing the highest level of redundancy and diversity possible over this type of network.

See WIN’s network map for additional information regarding WIN’s fiber optic network.

WIN Upgrades Capacity to OC-192

Posted on August 25, 2005 - WIN News

Wisconsin Independent Network, LLC (WIN) announced today the upgrade of its network to OC-192.

“We began this business with OC-48 SONET equipment at the core of our network,” said Scott Hoffmann, Executive Director of WIN. “We knew eventually we would exhaust that capacity and we started looking at alternatives to upgrade last year. We eventually settled on the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Platform for our network.”

The OC-192 equipment will eventually be installed across several high traffic core rings through WIN’s network. It will be capable of traditional SONET TDM, IP and DWDM on the same platform.

Cisco’s original press release at http://www.cisco.com.

WIN Announces Major Fiber Network Expansion

Posted on April 15, 2005 - WIN News

Wisconsin Independent Network, LLC (WIN) announced today a major expansion of its fiber optic transport network.

WIN has acquired 505 miles of fiber network between Minneapolis and Chicago, and another 194 miles from Madison to Green Bay. These routes will form a portion of the core of WIN’s network, enable WIN to complete key SONET rings for redundancy and diversity purposes, and provide WIN access into new markets, including Madison, Milwaukee, Fond du Lac and Chicago. WIN will also utilize this fiber to establish a second Point of Presence (POP) in Minneapolis.

“We have executed agreements to acquire seven hundred miles of dark fiber in two routes from Minneapolis to Chicago, and from Madison to Green Bay,” said Scott Hoffmann, WIN Executive Director. “We are currently in the process of lighting this fiber and integrating it into our existing network.”

Of immediate benefit is the completion of a SONET fiber ring touching ten POPs across central to eastern Wisconsin, some in rural areas of central Wisconsin, some touching larger communities of Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, and Madison. This ring is now fully complete and operational.

“We have served the Green Bay and Appleton markets for a couple years now,” said Hoffmann. “We have eyed this network growth for quite a while. It provides full SONET ring redundancy through these markets in the Fox Valley of Wisconsin. It also grows our network into the major cities in southeastern Wisconsin, and most importantly, Chicago, Illinois. Our diverse fiber ring connectivity into our Chicago point of presence at the Equinix collocation facility will be a key location on our network. We have been working six years to grow our business and achieve this type of connectivity into Chicago and Equinix from nearly forty locations across Wisconsin. At Equinix, we are simply a cross-connect away from the majority of carriers operating in the US and across the world.”

Since its initial network of ten POPs in 1999, the WIN network has expanded to thirty-four POPs, with additional expansion planned for 2005. See WIN’s network map for POP locations throughout Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota.

WIN Begins 2005 Network Build-Out

Posted on January 24, 2005 - WIN News

Wisconsin Independent Network, LLC (WIN) announced today the recent acquisition of dark fiber and the launch of its 2005 network build-out throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois.

“We have executed agreements to acquire over seven hundred miles of dark fiber in two routes from Minneapolis to Chicago and from Madison to Green Bay,” said Executive Director Scott Hoffmann. “We are currently in the process of lighting this fiber and integrating it into our existing network.”

The first phase, completed in early January, featured the addition of a new network point of presence in downtown Eau Claire, WI. WIN is completing work to add network POPs at Madison, WI and Fond du Lac, WI. These locations are expected to be operational in February 2005. Additional sites in Milwaukee, Chicago, Rockford, and Minneapolis are expected to be on-network by mid-year. WIN also plans to add a DWDM overlay to its network in 2005.

WIN Expands Network Into Hudson, WI

Posted on December 20, 2004 - WIN News

Wisconsin Independent Network, LLC (WIN) announced today the addition of a new Point of Presence (POP) in Hudson, Wisconsin.

“As a growing community given its close proximity to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Hudson represents an excellent opportunity for WIN to provide cost-effective access to our carrier and wireless customers,” said Scott Hoffmann, Executive Director of WIN. “We’re very excited about this addition to our fast growing network.”

A new SONET ring extension off WIN’s network supporting a new POP was established in Hudson, WI in November of 2004 and will provide fully diverse and redundant access to the Hudson area. WIN will be able to provide CFA at the SBC C.O. over a fully redundant and diverse SONET connection.

Since its initial network of ten POPs in 1999, the WIN network has expanded to thirty-four POPs, with additional expansion planned for 2005. See WIN’s network map for POP locations throughout Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota.