Proven Leadership in Technology

From network engineering to virtualization, encompassing cellular towers to wireless intiatives, the Telecommunications and Technology (TnT) division provides an array of services to fit the needs of our northern Minnesota area. This division is responsible for designing, developing, supporting, and managing networks. We have worked with our members to provide local area network solutions as a way to improve technology and expand coverage. We operate an extensive fiber optic network that spans across northeastern Minnesota. This department incorporates leaders in the field who bring expertise and innovation.

  • Broadband

    Fiber Optic Network

    The Northeast Fiber Network is a fiber optic network that spans across eight counties in northeastern Minnesota including St. Louis, Lake, Cook, Koochiching, Carlton, Pine, Itasca, and Aitkin. It was designed by the Northeast Service Cooperative to provide broadband to underserved and unserved areas.

    • It is a $45.3 million federally funded project
    • 50% grant/50% loan through the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service.
    • Approximately 332 critical service sites connected.
    • Anchors are connected at a minimum of Gigabit (1000Mbps) connectivity and up to 10Gpbs.
    • The network provides 2.8 Terabit current core switching capacity using DWDM technology
    • Long term carrier level public/private partnerships have been established.
    • Extends 1,200 miles across the region

    This network has changed the landscape of the region providing our members with access to high-speed internet. It increased connection speeds by 10 to 100 times. School districts connected to the network were able to implement wireless devices in the schools and are able to participate in telepresence opportunities through Education Innovation Partners. Health care entities are providing telemedicine to patients and are able to transfer files over a secure network. State parks provide connectivity to those camping enabling visitors to stay connected for important business matters while enjoying the beauty of the region. The network enables private entities access through agreements to the network to extend to businesses and other entities.

    Get Connected

    The Northeast Fiber Network serves critical service sites including schools, libraries, sovereign nations, counties, cities, health care, and state entities across northeastern Minnesota. We also make dark fiber, wavelength services available to the public sector and to private sector technology service providers.

    For Critical Service Sites:

    The Northeast Fiber Network connects critical service sites to high-speed fiber optic across northeastern Minnesota. Critical service sites include schools, libraries, health care, nonprofits, state, cities, counties, sovereign nations, and higher education.

    The network provides 2.8 Terabit current core switching capacity using DWDM technology.

    For Service Providers:

    The Northeast Fiber Network is a middle-mile fiber network that expands into eight counties of northeastern Minnesota.

    We offer Network Services, Lease Fiber Services, Broadband Internet Services, and Professional Services. We also have Optical Transport Network facilities across the region with collocation availability, which meets Space and Power Service requirements.

    For Business or Residents:

    We do not provide direct access to businesses and homes. Agreements with last-mile service providers enable access to the Northeast Fiber Network to expand broadband.

    NESC supports broadband initiatives in the region. Currently, the Minnesota Broadband Coalition is collecting stories from those who do not have access to broadband. More Information

    View Service Request Flowchart

  • Services

    As technology advances and grows, our experienced team is here to provide services to and solve issues for members. This division has successfully developed and deployed a major broadband network in Minnesota. It also works with members to assist with technology needs, such as network support, software management and project coordination.

    For information on how our Minnesota Telecommunications and Technology department can assist you with your needs, please contact Paul Brinkman at

    View Service List

  • Projects

    The Northeast Service Cooperative’s Telecommunications and Technology department is a leader in innovation in the industry.

    We look for opportunities to expand networking and technology as part of ongoing collaboration.

    Contact Paul Brinkman at to explore development projects further.

    A Glance at Project Success

    Border to Border Project:

    • $4.35 million state funded project
    • 45% DEED funded, 35% IRRRB funded and 20% NESC match
    • Approximately 70 miles of fiber network in St. Louis County
    • Provides middle-mile fiber to Frontier Communications impacting more than 877 households
    • Provides direct connectivity to rural town halls and fire halls

    This is one significant public-private partnership by NESC to provide for member needs.

  • Support

    Networks Operations Center

    Our technical staff is available to answer and troubleshoot problems for members and those connected to our fiber optic network. Our Network Operations Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Email support requests to or call 1-866-306-3926 (leave message) to access on-call support staff 24/7. Daytime hours of operations are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    Technical Support:

    We have on-board experienced technical staff available to answer and troubleshoot technology problems and inquiries.

    Network Monitoring:

    Critical systems are monitored 24/7 by our Network Operations Center where members can report and track incidents.

    Minnesota Telecommunications:

    The Northeast Fiber Network operates under Minnesota Telecommunications. Northeast Service Cooperative has successfully operated a regional wide area network since 2000. We are experienced in designing, building, and operating telecommunications networks.


  • Paul BrinkmanInterim Senior Director/Managing Director
  • Greg Peterson – Network Architect
  • Joe WeberOperations Manager
  • Teresa RautiolaNetwork Administrator
  • Stephanie AllanTelecommunications Specialist
  • Andrew DollTelecommunications Specialist
  • Richard PfeiferInformation Technology Specialist/Support
  • Dustin SmitherInformation Technology Specialist/Operations