|North Dakota's information technology infrastructure helps business and government become more profitable and efficient.
As one of our five targeted industries for growth, North Dakota's technology-based business sector is growing and diversifying. Keeping pace with rapid changes in the technology arena and integrating those advances benefits all North Dakotans.
North Dakota’s IT industry contributes significantly to the state’s overall growth and economic strength. It is connected to virtually every industry across the state. According to the Information Technology Council of North Dakota (ITCND) State of the IT Industry 2015 Guide, more than 3,280 businesses employ 21,760 North Dakotans in various fields including IT, human relations, finance and marketing.
Companies like Microsoft and Amazon have long called North Dakota home. They, together with other high-demand IT users like Unisys and Cargill Global Business Services understand the state’s economic landscape and have experienced our great work ethic.
North Dakota continues to be at the forefront of offering broadband services to even the most rural communities in the state, despite having one of the lowest population densities in the nation. The ND Association of Telephone Cooperatives tells us that more than 95% of the our population has access to broadband services.
North Dakota has the highest percentage of people with access to FTTH (fiber to the home). This status is thought to be attributed to an abundance of rural cooperatives and small telecoms that have worked together to fill the gaps left by larger companies. In fact there is one corner of the state where 100% of homes and businesses are connected to fiber. Dakota Central Telecommunications (DCT) cooperatives produced This is Living Well, a video about the benefits of the collaboration with Dickey Rural Network (DRN) that created this 10,000 square mile region.
North Dakota’s broadband leaders have also released a report highlighting investments made to make North Dakota number one in the country for providing high-speed fiber optic access. Redundancy has been built into every corner of the state’s fiber backbone (see map) providing broadband access to every K-12 school, state agency and hospital in the state.
In October of 2013, ITCND, in cooperation with private and public sector stakeholders launched the Dakota Fiber Initiative (DFI) to ensure that ND remains at the top of the nation in broadband availability, speed and affordability.
State leaders are now working toward providing an even more inviting atmosphere for data centers. Legislation has been introduced to create a new section to ND Century Code Chapter 57-39.2 to provide a sales tax exemption for enterprise information technology equipment and computer software purchased for use in a qualified data center. See HB 1089.