From being housed in a small movie theater in 1931, Midcontinent Communications has taken the lead in connecting the Midwest region to the world through broadband Internet, digital and HD television, and phone service.
Having outgrown its old facility, Midcontinent needed to relocate, and the company asked AVI Systems to lead the charge for the Network Operations Center and studio – all while keeping service smooth and reliable for more than 300,000 customers in 335 communities throughout the region.
Both a technical and logistical challenge, “The project was in planning for almost a year,” explained Network and Operations Center Manager Amy Lingbeck. After meeting several times to discuss varying design and installation options, “[The AVI team] worked with us on ensuring we had all the pieces for a smooth move.”
Major Network Operations Center (NOC)
The Network Operations Center at Midcontinent is a 24/7/365-staffed network, monitoring and control center with a 2 x 6 video wall using Samsung 55” video wall monitors. CNN, ESPN, fiber maps, server maps, surveillance, weather – you name it, they’re monitoring it. If there’s a server outage, the staff at the NOC will be the first to know – which is why the move to the new facility had to go as smooth as possible.
“[AVI was] accommodating and open to ideas and questions about the function of the wall,” said Lingbeck. “[They] followed up on installation dates and time to make sure everyone was aware of when the installation would take place and coordinated with the installation of other items in the NOC. [They] completed the install and were informative about what they were going to do, incorporated my feedback into how the wall was installed and were easy to work with. Overall the project was well managed and as the end user, I feel knowledgeable about the product and its use. The NOC is a very high visibility area and the wall needed to be impressive. This goal was accomplished. The video wall looks amazing!”
Located on the upper level in the creative department, the studio at Midcontinent is used for everything from feature stories to sportscasts and interviews – even (believe it or not) rodeos. Because Midcontinent does their own creative in-house, commercials are also frequently shot in the studio for the Midco Sports Network. A live production room, master control room, two audio control rooms, two video control rooms and eight editing bays surround the large studio.