What is the Idaho Education Network (IEN)?

The State of Idaho recognized that preparing its students and citizens for the increasingly competitive global marketplace of the 21st century is critical to improving the State’s economy. Education stakeholders, especially teachers and students, must have reliable and high-speed access to networked tools to improve their ability to communicate and learn in a more collaborative environment.

Through a competitive RFP process, the Department of Administration, Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), has contracted with Education Networks of America (ENA) and Qwest to deliver a statewide high-speed education network called the Idaho Education Network (IEN). The intent is to build new infrastructure where required and to leverage and enhance investments that have already been made to enhance connectivity for IEN participants as well as bring broadband investment to communities throughout Idaho.

The State of Idaho actively pursued a service provider that will meet the unique needs of K-12 and library customers including Internet services, wide area data transport and video services (interactive and streaming). ENA will assist the state to ensure the proper administration of E-Rate funds; provide the overall network management, monitoring and support; and will utilize the backbone network and extensive coverage of Qwest and Syringa Networks, as well as many other carriers across the state.

A phased implementation approach has been established per Idaho House Bill No. 543 – Idaho Education Network. Specifically, the first phase will connect each public high school with a scalable, high-bandwidth connection, including connections to institutions of higher education as necessary; subsequent phase considerations will be delivered in partnership with local entities and may include:

  • Enhancement of rural bandwidth to public entities
  • Direct connectivity to each elementary and middle school to IEN
  • The addition of libraries to the IEN
  • Migration of state agency locations from IdaNet or current technology and services

The State of Idaho sought a total end-to-end solution and selected this combined team based on their extensive experience in managing statewide networks, to include education, as well as their knowledge and expertise in the federal E-Rate program. Together, they are an experienced education-focused managed Internet network service provider team that can leverage existing state infrastructure and contracts with multiple telecommunications, cable and utility providers to provide a ubiquitous statewide education network with a high-level of quality support services. Participation in the IEN is optional; however, we urge you to evaluate the full-service delivery components that this network has to offer. We are confident you will find the managed service offered under this state contract will deliver both cost and service efficiencies.

The Idaho Education Network is a long-term commitment to meet the current and future connectivity needs of the Idaho community. We will work together to ensure the network has a positive and lasting economic impact for Idaho.


Benefits of the IEN

  • Lower overall network costs
  • Continuous technology improvement
  • Enhanced service and support for IEN users
  • Greater efficiencies
  • Interoperability of systems providing video courses and opportunities
  • More affordable Internet access
  • Better use of federal E-Rate and other government funding resources
  • Personalized, dedicated account service
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