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Northern Tier Network North Dakota - Annual Reports

NTN-ND annual reports provide an update for each fiscal year on the operations and maintenance of NTN-ND, a state-level segment of the larger Northern Tier Network Consortium and part of the national research and education (R&E) network community.

The NTN-ND partnership consists of North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota. The two Universities continue to sponsor Internet2 participation for the other nine public institutions, the five Tribal Colleges and public K-12 schools in North Dakota. On behalf of this partnership, NDSU continues to serve as the fiscal agent and supervises operations and maintenance activities. 

Reports are intended to inform NTN-ND stakeholders across North Dakota, especially those beneficiaries of the exemplary resources that connection to this global community provides. These include students, faculty and staff located at higher education institutions and Tribal Colleges, and the K-12 community.

About Northern Tier Network - North Dakota 

NTN-ND History 

Northern Tier Network – North Dakota (NTN-ND) is North Dakota’s state-owned segment dedicated for use of research and academic activities only. NTN-ND plays a key role in the partnerships, collaborative planning and implementation of the regional NTNC, demonstrating the commitment to support our member institutions as they engage in current and emerging trends for research and academics. 

The state connection to the national and global R&E network community depends upon North Dakota’s state government and education network (STAGEnet) to connect public higher education institutions, Tribal Colleges, and public K-12 schools. NTN-ND is an example of a state network segment contributing to the 43 regional R&E networks that are the foundation of Internet2. While Internet2 serves as the national R&E network backbone, it could not function without the operations and innovations realized across the collective local R&E community. 

True to its original vision, NTN-ND has positioned itself to serve as an upper Midwest crossroads for R&E traffic, leveraging the capacity enabled through partnerships with neighboring states and regional networks. 

Established in 2008, NTN-ND benefits from the engaged support of its partners: North Dakota State University (NDSU) and the University of North Dakota (UND). Collectively, the partners are responsible for oversight and visioning the future direction of this valuable resource. The two Universities continue to sponsor Internet2 participation for the other nine public institutions, the five Tribal Colleges and public K-12 schools in North Dakota. On behalf of this partnership, NDSU continues to serve as the fiscal agent and supervises operations and maintenance activities.

The Northern Tier Network Consortium (NTNC) serves as a primary regional R&E technology network in our region, partnering with other R&E networks and network providers to interconnect with each other and the national backbone of Internet2. The NTNC benefits from the continued growth and expansion of its members. A shared ideology across the membership aligns to the philosophy that what helps one, helps all. State, institutional and research entity memberships cover a 13-state region from Michigan to Alaska and includes public, private and Tribal Colleges and Universities, public and private K-12 school districts, research laboratories, libraries, municipalities, hospitals, and state networks across the NTNC footprint. Individual segments are owned and operated independently, abiding by their own state-specific laws and infrastructure requirements. Interconnections among neighboring networks serve to form the larger regional footprint.

FY21 Financial Report

The state level NTN-ND research and education network budget for FY21 was supported through remaining funds previously state appropriated and designated for annual operations and management. Annually, a portion of funding was set aside for depreciation and capital refresh and replacement requirements. Annual revenue was realized through reimbursements for services extended by NTN-ND to the state of South Dakota and the Pacific Northwest GigaPop.

For FY22, current available funds will cover annual operations and maintenance, along with one-time expenses generated by for the regional NTN upgrade project where overall project costs will be shared with partners in BOREAS-Net and the University of Minnesota, and the South Dakota Board of Regents. These existing NTN-ND funds are anticipated to sufficiently cover any remaining project upgrade costs and newly adjusted annual operations and maintenance through FY23. Beginning in FY24, barring any further support from state appropriations or reimbursement by other NDUS institutions, full responsibility for all expenses will be borne by the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University. As the sponsoring institutions responsible for operations and management of this network in North Dakota, the budget supported by UND and NDSU also provides access to Internet2 and the global community of research and education resources enabled via these networks. Additional institutions benefiting from this access include the North Dakota University System and the remaining nine universities and colleges, the five Tribal Colleges and Universities in North Dakota, and North Dakota’s K-12 public schools. To date, no annual fees have been charged by UND and NDSU to assist in covering the cost of this access.

The FY21 report reflects a starting balance of $214,427 with total expenditures of $541,574. Reserved funds designated for Capital refresh and replacement and reimbursements totaling $265,000 were made available to support annual operating expenses. Reimbursements in the amount of $107,883 were received from the state of South Dakota for their portion of annual network and NOC expenses, and from the Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) for their portion of annual network, telecommunications and hardware expenses. In anticipation of work necessary for network upgrade activities, fiber circuits in the Fargo metro area were also upgraded to provide additional capacity in connectivity between NTN-ND and for peering with circuits to Minnesota and South Dakota. NTN-ND funds remaining on balance at the end of FY21 will be used to cover expenses going forward into FY22.

Annual expenses of NTN-ND are incurred across five categories: equipment, fiber, network operations center, Internet2 and NTNC dues, and other operating. Funds expended on upgrade activities are identified in a separate category beginning with the FY20 financial report going forward. Funds for depreciation and capital refresh and replacement typically transferred at the end of each fiscal year have not been deducted since FY17 due to statewide budget cuts and subsequent termination of state and University System funding support. As the NTN-ND partners, UND and NDSU continue to use existing account funds to support annual operations and maintenance.

NTN-ND Annual Expenditures Occur in Six Main Categories: 

Equipment: Cost related to equipment acquisition and maintenance fees. 

Fiber: Operations and maintenance fees on fiber, and rack and power required to house equipment in space provided by the vendor.

Internet2/NTNC dues and participation fees: Annual Internet2 participation and connectivity fees, NTNC membership dues, sponsored participant fees and costs for Internet2 to accept and route traffic to and from NTN-ND. Internet2 membership dues and fees continue to change as the organizational structure for Internet2 and their member community evolves to address the needs of current research and academics. 

Network Operations Center (NOC): Management of network equipment, including troubleshooting and response coordination for unplanned outages. 

Other operations: Includes insurance, minor supplies, printing and shipping costs. Beginning in FY18, NTN-ND partners covered all of their own travel and per diem expenses relevant to R&E activities. 

NTN Upgrade: Includes one-time expenses related to fiber, hardware, software, electrical, equipment and installation. These expenses will be categorized separately until the upgrade project is fully completed.

FY21 Graph

Notable changes since FY20

Most notable as NTN-ND ends FY21 is the expected deployment in FY22 of the network upgrade planned for a regional footprint encompassing North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Completion of this upgrade is anticipated to result in significant cost savings to NTN-ND in annual operations and maintenance and an increase to 100G capacity. Agreements between the regional partners were completed by the end of FY20 and project completion is anticipated by the end of FY22. The improvements for NTN-ND will mark a transition in operational status of the network, moving from a business model of owned assets to a model where the majority of daily operations is achieved through procurement of services from other entities.

Estimated Upgrade Project Costs

Project design and development that has been completed at the end of FY21 breaks down estimated project costs into the two categories of Capital investment, and Operational ongoing costs. Expenses in those categories are then split among the three project partners: University of Minnesota, South Dakota Board of Regents, and NTN-ND. The majority of the project is anticipated for completion during FY22.

NTN-ND Partners

A variety of state, regional and national colleagues partner with NTN-ND to contribute to the collaborative environment where U.S. research and education organizations solve common technology challenges and develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research and community service missions.

Broadband Optical Research, Education and Sciences Network (BOREAS) Optical RBOREAS is a Regional Optical Network (RON) providing services to the advanced production and experimental network requirements of the research and education institutions in this region. BOREAS is a collaboration of four major research institutions in the upper Midwest: Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. BOREAS members are part of the NTNC.
Internet2 primary provider and operator of the nation’s research and education network.
North Dakota Information Technology Department

Statewide Technology Access for Government and Education Network (STAGEnet)
https://www.ndit.nd.govOperated by the North Dakota Information Technology Department, STAGEnet provides gateway services to the public internet and to Internet2 for designated sites. NDIT is a member of the NTNC.
North Dakota State University (NDSU) with the University of North Dakota, has been an Internet2 member for North Dakota since 1996. Together NDSU and UND provide Internet2 sponsorship for the other nine NDUS institutions, the ND Tribal Colleges and the public K-12 schools. NDSU is a member of the NTNC. Together, NDSU and UND comprise the partnership of NTN-ND.
Northern Lights Gigapop, University of Minnesota NTN-ND to Internet2. The University of Minnesota is a member of the NTNC.
Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) hub in Seattle, Wash., providing connections between the Northern Wave and other national and international R&E networks. PNWGP and the state of Washington are members of the NTNC
South Dakota High Speed Research, Education and Economic Development Network (SD REED)

South Dakota Board of Regents
Provides high speed connectivity for six SD public universities to Internet2 and regional networks and interconnects sites including the NTN, Great Planes Network, the Northern Lights Gigapop and ESnet. Several institutions and research centers in the state are members of the NTNC.
University of North Dakota (UND) with NDSU, has been an Internet2 member for North Dakota since 1996. Together UND and NDSU provide Internet2 sponsorship for the other nine NDUS institutions, the ND Tribal Colleges and the public K-12 schools. UND is a member of NTNC. Together, NDSU and UND comprise the partnership of NTN-ND.
University of Wisconsin, Madison network operations center (NOC) services for NTN-ND and is a member of the NTNC.

Past Annual Reports:

Keywords:service, NTN, Northern Tier Network, Northern Tier Network North Dakota, Internet2, Research and Education Networks, report   Doc ID:107056
Owner:Kim O.Group:IT Knowledge Base
Created:2020-11-09 15:09 CDTUpdated:2022-03-08 09:46 CDT
Sites:IT Knowledge Base
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