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DCN Launches first-of-its-kind statewide Wi-Fi network

From DCN, North Dakota Living reports
For the Wi-Fi announcement, DCN CEO Seth Arndorfer, center, was joined by Sen. John Hoeven, and Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer, Microsoft.
For the Wi-Fi announcement, DCN CEO Seth Arndorfer, center, was joined by Sen. John Hoeven, and Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer, Microsoft.

Dakota Carrier Network (DCN), a provider of broadband and other Internet-related services to customers throughout North Dakota, along with its 15 owner companies, indicated last summer they are establishing a Wi-Fi network that will provide their customers expanded access to DCN’s reliable, secure Internet connection.

When complete, customers will have the ability to log onto the DCN Wi-Fi network at access points throughout the state. It is believed that the DCN Wi-Fi network will be the first Wi-Fi network in the nation to span an entire state.

Seth Arndorfer, CEO of DCN, made the announcement in Fargo during The State of Technology Conference, an annual event hosted by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce and Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.). The conference spotlights technological innovations being made in the region. 

Arndorfer noted that broadband service providers have succeeded in providing high-speed Internet access to nearly every community in North Dakota, making it one of the most connected states in the nation. DCN’s owner companies alone have invested $1.3 billion into their own fiber optic network over the past decade. Now, DCN and its owner companies will leverage that investment to provide customers with the next step in connectivity – a secure Wi-Fi network that allows seamless access for mobile users throughout the state.

“Mobile phones, tablets and other portable devices that require bandwidth are increasingly becoming the main source of connectivity for everywhere,” Arndorfer said. “Let’s face it – we as consumers want to access what we want, where we want, whenever we want to. Hot spots and expanded cellular data plans are becoming more common in response to consumer demand, but the reality is, not all Wi-Fi is the same. Through this initiative, DCN and our owners are leveraging investments in fiber and gigabit capacity to create a more secure, user-friendly, statewide solution to that growing demand for mobile access.”

Arndorfer said the DCN member companies have made fiber-based broadband service available to subscriber-members in North Dakota, and now want the broadband connectivity to be available to subscribers on their mobile devices, all across North Dakota.

“We are making sure that our broadband subscribers have the same experience with their mobile devices as they have through the broadband connection at their home, farm, in town or anywhere in North Dakota,” Arndorfer said.

DCN’s member companies have already begun installing access points for the Wi-Fi network, beginning with Red River Communications in southeast North Dakota. Statewide connectivity is expected to be complete within 24 months. Anyone who subscribes to service from DCN or its 15 owner companies will have access to the Wi-Fi network. For more information, or to subscribe to services, visit

About DCN

Dakota Carrier Network, created in 1996, is owned by 15 North Dakota-based independent telecommunications companies representing 85 percent of all telephone exchanges in North Dakota and more than 90 percent of the state’s total surface area. Together, DCN and its owner companies currently have more than 40,000 miles of fiber optic cable in service, reaching every community in North Dakota. DCN’s corporate headquarters is located in Fargo, and its Network Operations Center (NOC) is located in Bismarck.

DCN owner companies include: BEK Communications, Consolidated Telcom, Dakota Central Telecom, Dickey Rural Communications, Inter-Community Telephone, Midstate Communications, MLGC, North Dakota Telephone, Northwest Communications, Polar Communications, Red River Communications, Reservation Telephone, SRT Communications, United Communications and West River Telecommunications. For more information, visit