In The News...

  • Northwest Nazarene University expands broadband access to students, faculty and staff (Feb. 2014)
  • IRON announces officer slate for 2014 (Jan. 2014)
  • National Park Service and Internet2 to Deliver 150th Anniversary Reading of Gettysburg Address Live to Schools and Libraries Across the United States (Nov. 2013)
  • President Carter to Share History of Alaskan National Parks (Nov. 2013)
  • Nez Perce tribe expands broadband access on the Nez Perce Reservation (June 2013)
  • University of Idaho expands broadband access for Agricultural Research Sites (June 2013)
  • Guryan named Distance Education Coordinator (Nov. 2012)
  • North Idaho College expands broadband access for Idaho Panhandle! (Oct. 2012)
  • IRON Awarded J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation Grant (May 2012)


IRON announces a partnership with the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to support education in Resilient Control Systems and Cybersecurity

Our standard of living is dependent on complex industrial control systems. Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has pioneered the development of "resilient" control systems that are more resistant to interruption from natural or man-made disasters. Complex control systems with enhanced resilience maintain safe levels of operations in response to natural disasters or man-made, malicious threats.

The challenge for the next generation of researchers is to address our need for robust and adaptable systems. IRON and the Idaho Education Network (IEN) are partnering with INL to produce a distance learning course in resilient control systems. Contributors and participants from Idaho's research universities, INL and select high schools will be engaged in this "first of" course to be broadcast in the United States. Comprehensive perspectives on power system operation and the impacts of their failure from security compromise and human error will be presented through a combination of lectures and interactive video sessions that include real world equipment and scenarios.

Promising research solutions will preface a mentored project for college students to propose their own unique resilience strategies. For more information on the program, click here.


From The President


As I begin my second term as President and CEO of IRON I want to take this opportunity to express appreciation to IRON's associates, directors, officers, and staff for the support this past year. As a result of everyone's commitment and dedication, IRON achieved another rewarding, successful, and growing year during 2012. We are very well positioned for the exciting opportunities before us in 2013.

IRON continues to mature in our impactful service to Idaho's health, education, and research communities. It is not practical to list all of IRON's accomplishments this past year but several are certainly noteworthy:

  • IRON established two additional Points of Presence (POPs) within the network. The first is on the ISU campus in Pocatello, and the second is on the North Idaho College campus in Coeur d'Alene. These additional POPs bring us to a total of ten, including Boise, Pullman, Lewiston, Clarkston, Idaho Falls, St. Anthony, Pocatello, Coeur d'Alene, Spokane, and Salt Lake City. To provide more network redundancy and diversity, we've begun the installation of additional switching and routing equipment in Boise to significantly enhance IRON's network's reliability in the event of failures.
  • IRON strategically partnered with the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation and was awarded a generous $3.06 million grant focused on building distance learning infrastructure in Idaho. Over the next five years, IRON will work to further Idaho's distance learning support infrastructure providing storage, compute power, high speed bandwidth and other technical resources to Idaho's research and education communities. The grant also enabled IRON to hire a Distance Education Coordinator, who will work with Associates and Community Anchor Institutions (CAI's) to more fully develop and support distance education in Idaho. An Idaho-owned distance learning infrastructure would attract new educators; retain students; provide the basis for a continuing, well-educated work force; and, create a better overall education environment for students, teachers, and administrators throughout the state.

The owner/operators of IRON (our charter associates), officers, staff, and I are looking forward to an exciting year ahead. In 2013, IRON will upgrade portions of our existing 1 GigE WAN backbone to 10 GigE WAN. When completed, IRON's backbone from Coeur d'Alene in the north to Salt Lake City in the south, and from Boise in the west to Idaho Falls in the east, will operate at 10 Gigabits/second. This significantly enhances our ability to provide our Associates and Community Anchor Institutions with a robust and diverse network infrastructure that will accommodate collaborative research, expanded distance education service offerings and high-speed access to the commodity Internet, Internet2, and the National LambdaRail.

The IRON Board of Directors has approved a 2013 strategic plan that supports our mission and navigates us closer to our 2020 vision. IRON exists to benefit institutions of research, education, health care, state government, and partner organizations that support research, education, and economic development in Idaho. I look forward to an exciting year of possibility, collaboration, and success!

 Stacey Carson
 Vice President, Idaho Hospital Association
 IRON President and CEO for 2013


IRON is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Guryan to the newly created position of Distance Education Coordinator.

Michael will directly support the objectives of the J. A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, through a $3.06 million grant awarded to IRON in May of 2012. The J. A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, and IRON, are committed to attracting new educators to Idaho, retaining students in Idaho, providing the basis for a well-educated workforce for the state, and creating a better overall environment for students, teachers and administrators throughout the state.

Michael will work with IRON's community of higher education, students, teachers, researchers, and Community Anchor Institutions (CAI's) to meet the goals of the grant 'to enhance our ability to provide a highly-reliable, cost-effective system for housing, accessing, and delivering Distance Learning content to and from all interested education entities throughout the state and the region.'

According to Stacey Carson, President of IRON, "Michael's significant experience in IT management, most recently in revamping the Idaho State Network (ISN), will give our Associates new and expanded capabilities as we build services on the maturing Idaho Regional Optical Network".

Prior to joining IRON, Mr. Guryan was the Enterprise IT Infrastructure Manager for the State of Idaho.

IRON Brochure (PDF)

Idaho Regional Optical Network



What is IRON?

Chartered in late 2007, IRON, Inc. is a cooperative effort between universities located in the Northwest region of the United States, the State of Idaho, the Idaho Hospital Association, and the INL (Idaho National Laboratory) to establish a high-performance Regional Optical Network (RON) within the State of Idaho. The first IRON Board of Directors meeting among Charter Associates was conducted on January 31, 2008 where goals were defined and a charter was adopted. Since that time, significant interest has developed from surrounding states which recognize Boise is a strategically located Pacific Northwest and Intermountain interconnect site.

Additional objectives of IRON include enabling research, education, healthcare, and other institutions to collaborate effectively with other counterparts in Idaho, as well as nationally and internationally. IRON will also become Idaho's voice to other regional optical networks in the West, Northwest, and Midwest.

Advantages and benefits of establishing a high-performance computing network within Idaho include improving technological access throughout the state as well as support for large scale research. IRON will also support the continued strengthening of Idaho's economy as the backbone for a solid computing infrastructure.


Battelle CIO Briefing 08/20/2010 (PDF)

Update to the Idaho Hospital Association 06/25/2010 (PDF)

© Copyright 2009 - Idaho Regional Optical Network. All Rights Reserved.