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Fujitsu and West River Cooperative Telephone Company Bridge the Digital Divide in Western South Dakota


Fujitsu Network Communications Inc., a leading supplier of IT and wireline/wireless networking solutions, announced today that the West River Cooperative Telephone Company (WRCTC) has installed Fujitsu FLASHWAVE® optical networking solutions to bring broadband services to western South Dakota. The new $819K network, which serves eight rural areas in the state and covers approximately 6,500 square miles, enables WRCTC to offer advanced voice and high-speed Internet access services to its customers.

“Cooperatives such as the WRCTC are not-for-profit organizations owned by its members and as such, we have to strike a balance between providing the latest telecom services to our members and watching our expenses,” said Jerry Reisenauer, general manager of West River Telephone. “The Fujitsu FLASHWAVE optical solutions give us the ability to offer the same type of advanced broadband services that larger metropolitan areas enjoy, but by easily integrating with our existing Fujitsu network they help minimize our costs. Plus, Fujitsu exceeded everyone’s expectations with quick delivery and installation. From official approval to network turn up took only one month, which is incredible when you consider the bandwidth, the number of locations and the distances between them. By turning up our network 10 days earlier than anticipated, we’re getting a head start on generating a valuable new source of revenue via new broadband services.”

“We realize that in parts of rural America, consumers unfortunately face the so-called ‘digital divide’ and don’t always have access to the latest video and data services that consumers enjoy in other parts of the country,” said Jim Hintze, senior vice president of marketing at Fujitsu Network Communications. “We’re proud to be a part of West River’s efforts to ensure its rural communities have access to the best voice and data experience that is available today. They trusted us to meet their tight deadlines, and I’m proud to say that we exceeded them.”

The New WRCTC Network
The new network includes Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 4500 Multiservice Provisioning Platforms (MSPPs) installed at 10 locations in western South Dakota. The nodes are connected via an OC 192 (10 Gbps) SONET optical fiber ring that supports instantaneous self-healing capabilities in the event of a fiber cut due to construction or other external factor. Two Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 4100 Extension Shelf (ES) nodes were also installed at WRCTC headquarters in Bison, S.D. to aggregate circuits into larger connections and interconnect with the Internet backbone.

Gigabit Ethernet and Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps) circuits between locations support a substantial upgrade for Internet access. The WRCTC has leveraged Resilient Packet Ring (RPR) capabilities of the FLASHWAVE platforms to optimize the transport of Ethernet circuits on its network and allow voice and data traffic to be shared between WRCTC sites without dedicated lines to each one.

Fujitsu Network Life Cycle Services, which support fundamental requirements for networks at all phases of their life cycle, were instrumental in the delivery of the WRCTC network. Engineering, Furnishing and Installation (EF&I) services were used to complete the initial implementation. Turn up and Test services ensured fast and efficient onsite configuration, comprehensive testing, and network connectivity. Program Management services were used throughout the entire process to ensure that deliverables were completed on time or ahead of schedule.

SDN Communications is the cooperative holding company owned by 19 member companies (including the WRCTC) and provides business communication services, carrier services, and hardware equipment support for the network. SDN upgraded its existing Fujitsu NETSMART® 1500 Element Management System (EMS) software to enable simplified management, provisioning, and surveillance of its entire Fujitsu network, including all network elements in the new WRCTC network.


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