DRN ReadiTech delivers big-city Internet in small-town North Dakota

Innovators don’t just live in urban areas, and DRN ReadiTech is proof. A member-owned cooperative, ReadiTech recognized early on that its community needed the same highly available, high-speed connectivity services as a major metropolis.

ReadiTech delivers fast, affordable internet, TV, and phone services to people of southeastern North Dakota using an advanced Juniper network.


Company DRN ReadiTech
Industry Service Provider
Products used MX480MX960
Region Americas
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Customer Success At-a-glance


Rural Communities are offered fiber to their homes and businesses


Member-owners served


Bandwidth upgrade during pandemic

Creating digital equity for rural communities


Bringing the power of the digital world to farms, ranches, and homes

ReadiTech’s decision to deploy a Juniper network, made in 2014, laid the foundation for bringing fiber to homes and enterprise-quality services to farmers, ranchers, and related businesses.

A modern, scalable network enables the local provider to be ready for customers’ new digital requirements even during the first wave of the pandemic.

“We owe it to our member-owners to offer one of the most advanced networks in the nation,” says Kent Schimke, CEO and general manager of DRN ReadiTech.

Beyond residential and business connectivity, Microsoft Office 365, and backup, the company offers managed IT services under its ReadiTech and Fargo brands, offers local exchange carrier services as ReadiTech Fiber, and provides network engineering and operations services as ReadiTech Engineering. 

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Expanded its network service portfolio despite the pandemic

DRN ReadiTech commitment to innovation began in the 1950s when it first brought landline phones to Dickey County, about 75 miles east of Bismarck, North Dakota.

DRN ReadiTech services 32 communities across a 5600-square-mile region with a carrier-grade network that enables reliability, scalability, and agility. DRN ReadiTech uses Juniper MX960 and MX480 Universal Routing Platforms for the core network, which it recently upgraded to 100 Gbps. With Juniper, it can extend MPLS Layer 3 services to the edge, providing security and multitenancy, while efficiently delivering a portfolio of services that is ready to meet new customer needs.

DRN ReadiTech has long worked with Walker and Associates, a premier distributor, on the evolution of its network.

“DRN ReadiTech recognized that investing in a carrier-grade network gives it the ability to adapt to new customer requirements efficiently,” says Dan Neitge, regional account manager at Walker and Associates. “Phone companies might not know what customers will want next, but with a Juniper network, they can be ready to adapt.” 

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Helping its community thrive in a connected world

Rural Americans want—and need—access to the same digital resources that are available to people living in metropolitan and urban areas. That’s what DRN ReadiTech delivers.

At the start of the pandemic, 30 percent of students in North Dakota lacked broadband Internet at home. But in DRN ReadiTech’s service territory, where fiber to the home is readily available, only 100 students needed to be connected.

With equitable digital access so critical, DRN ReadiTech expanded its portfolio, launching a competitive local exchange carrier and connecting three more communities with fiber. It also launched its ReadiTech network engineering and operations business unit.

“We saw our communities in need, and we went for it as quickly as we could, despite the pandemic,” says Schimke.

With access to high-speed Internet, people can find good jobs in their own communities. Whether it’s getting milk to market, or applying the latest precision agriculture methods, farmers and ranchers can be more efficient, economical, and sustainable. Broadband makes tele-health possible in a region where driving a long distance for a medical appointment is common.

As one DRN ReadiTech customer, a metal fabrication business that serves the aerospace sector, says: “Quality broadband allows us to be competitive in a national market while staying in small-town North Dakota.”

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“We future-proofed our network to ensure that we had the reliability, scalability, and security for all of our members in our service territory and our CLEC customers.”
Kent Schimke CEO and General Manager, DRN ReadiTech

Published November 2021