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How students, teachers, and the public benefit from

Gigabit Fiber-Optics


Students make up the majority of the approximate 100,000 users from the 120 schools connected by the NMSA.



These students, while from rural NW Minnesota, are not subject to the 'digital divide.' Through the schools membership in NW-LINKS, students have access to local, regional, and worldwide resources, our students have access to educational tools as good as anywhere in the country, including:


  • Distance learning from regional and worldwide educators

  • The Learning Network of MN

  • Interactive TV teaching

  • Internet2

  • Internet



Internet2 is non-profit association providing access to an exceptional community of U.S. and international leaders in research, academia, industry and government who create and collaborate via innovative technologies.


Internet2 comprises:

  • 252 U.S. universities

  • 82 leading corporations

  • 68 affiliate members, including government agencies

  • 41 regional and state education networks


All NWLINKS sites are fully interoperable allowing for full access across NWLINKS and the rest of the Learning Network of Minnesota as well as out of network access.  


Teachers from schools connected to the NMSA Gigabit network benefit by:


  • Enhancing their curriculum with video conferencing 

  • Meeting minimum enrollment goals 

  • Bringing college courses to their communities

  • Ability to take electronic field trips

  • Saving staff travel time and expense

  • Facilitating professional development and training

  • Providing  access to homebound or out of area learners




The public at large benefits from the NMSA network.


  • Economic development - Quality education means quality employees are attracted to and incented to stay in our rural area

  • Educated workforce - Good education means high quality workers

  • Libraries - Enable the public access to resources they may not otherwise have access to

  • Policy makers - Policy makers can focus on using the resources this network provides instead of fighting to improve connectivity like many rural communities do


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