April 19, 2014

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Education - Healthcare - Technology - Economic Development

JOB POSTING: Click here to review the job posting for seasonal Telecom Inspector.

Northeast Service Cooperative's Middle Mile Fiber Project highlighted on the local news stations.
To view the report from WDIO, click here.
To view the report from Northland's News Center, click here.

Northeast Service Cooperative Recognized Nationally
Award showcases leaders in technology innovation


Executive Director Paul Brinkman accepts the Brian L. Talbott Award on behalf of the Northeast Service Cooperative at the AESA Conference last week. Pictured left to right: AESA Executive Director Emeritus and award namesake Dr. Brian L. Talbott, AESA president R. Stephen Aguirre, NESC's Paul Brinkman, AESA past President Cliff Carmody and AESA Executive Director Lee Warne.

MOUNTAIN IRON – Northeast Service Cooperative (NESC) has been recognized nationally for its role in the area of technological innovation in education.
NESC has been chosen as this year's recipient of the Brian L. Talbott Award for its contribution and support to local school district and educational service agencies in this area.

Each year, Associations of Educational Service Agencies (AESA) gives four national awards to outstanding candidates for contributions to ESAs at the regional, state and/or national level.

“We truly appreciate AESA honoring NESC with this national technology innovation award,” said Paul Brinkman, executive director of NESC. “It's a testament to the four years of work by our board, members, partners and staff in bringing a world class optical fiber backbone to Northeast Minnesota.”

AESA serves educational service agencies in 45 states with 533 agencies nationwide and hundreds of thousands of staff members.

“The Talbott Award recognizes some of the best technology implementations that are going on around the country,” said Lee Warne, AESA executive director.  “The awards committee felt strongly about the Northeast Service Cooperative’s proposal.  I was glad to help highlight the leadership and work it took to reach this pinnacle.”

NESC is being acknowledged for its broadband infrastructure project and its technology support and leadership.

NESC designed a fiber optic backbone, the Northeast Minnesota Middle Mile Fiber Project, which connects critical service sites across eight counties in northeastern Minnesota. NESC was awarded $43.5 million in federal funding through the Rural Utilities Service at the United States Department of Agriculture.

The more than 915-mile fiber optic network has enabled critical service sites including schools, libraries, higher education, health care organizations, tribal, state and county access to high speed broadband.

Having access to increased broadband, school districts have been able to implement new initiatives that impact the areas of instruction. It provides rural students access to higher connection speeds for research and learning.


Deron Stender, superintendent at Virginia School District, said the project has enabled the district to increase its ability to serve students, staff and parents through dependable high-speed broadband. Stender noted the project provides schools with a robust reliable connection that enables staff and students to leverage the full capacities of their 1:1 iPad program to drive instruction.

The technology leaders at NESC have been providing technology support and leadership in the region for more than a decade. NESC has operated a regional wide area network since that time working with school districts.

At the Mountain Iron-Buhl School District, which increased its connectivity 10 times through the project, NESC has upgraded the districts local area network infrastructure and deployed a wireless solution. This upgrade paves the way for the implementation of iPads in the classroom and enables other technology devices to be used as part of the daily classroom setting.

The technical expertise of NESC staff has enabled MIB to continue to provide a quality educational setting and extend technology access for rural students, stated MIB Superintendent John Klarich.

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