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Frequently Asked Questions

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The Chippewa Valley Internetworking Consortium (CINC) is a regional Community Area Network (CAN) formed in 1999 to allow members to collaborate, connect and save costs. CINC (pronounced “sink”) became an Unincorporated Association in 2011 and enables application sharing between city, county and state government, educational institutions, libraries, nonprofits, healthcare organizations and technology providers. Through a coordinated regional communication infrastructure, captured in an online documentary (http://bit.ly/yTIBIt), CINC helps the Chippewa Valley be innovative, competitive, and economically viable for present and future generations.

Collaborate -> Connect -> Save  

CINC’s network promotes economic development, expands educational opportunities, improves the availability of government services, and increases efficiency to reduce the burden on taxpayers. CINC is innovative and sustainable because it is a consortium ownership model with access to ECB frequencies, a robust backbone, and public-private WiFi and WiMax. The CINC infrastructure is fully mapped using Google Earth Mapping and Intermapper applications.


• 230 miles of 96-strand fiber with a value in excess of $13.3 million

• 16 towers and tower-type structures providing Wi-Max

Chippewa Valley Members (as of December 2018)

1. Altoona School District

2. Augusta School District

3. Cameron School District

4. Chetek-Weyerhaeuser School District

5. Chippewa County

6. Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District

7. Chippewa Valley Technical College

8. City of Altoona

9. City of Chippewa Falls

10. City of Eau Claire

11. City of Spooner

12. Colfax School District

13. Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) 10

14. Covenant Healthcare, LLC (dba Dove Healthcare)

15. Eau Claire Area School District

16. Eau Claire County

17. Elk Mound School District

18. Fall Creek School District

19. HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital (Eau Claire)

20. HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital (Chippewa Falls)

21. Indianhead Federated Library System

22. Mayo Clinic Health System Eau Claire Clinic, Inc.

23. Mayo Clinic Health System Eau Claire Hospital, Inc.

24. McDonell Area Catholic Schools

25. Menomonie School District

26. Mondovi School District

27. Osseo-Fairchild School District

28. PESI (health care continuing education)

29. Rice Lake Area School District

30. Spooner Area School District

31. Spooner Health System

32. UW-Barron County

33. UW-Madison Department of Family Medicine

34. UW-Eau Claire

35. UW-Stout

36. Washburn County

37. Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (Shell Lake)


Project Collaboration

CINC projects begin in a conceptual phase with a timeline and objectives. Shared interests and resources help identify technical solutions. Member needs (such as lowering costs through shared applications and sharing infrastructure) are met by working together to solve mutual problems. CINC members have found that solving problems together provides better solutions and identifies innovative and cost-effective solutions.

A Best Practice Model

CINC is a role model community area network with officers and bylaws that utilizes inter-governmental agreements and memorandums of understanding. Should one member disengage, it does not diminish the operability, connectivity and infrastructure enjoyed by the other members. CINC’s low- or no-ownership capitalized multi-stakeholder model enhances collaboration and creates economies of scale. As a CAN with minimal fees (for fiber locates, support and network maintenance), the outcome service level and advanced network speed and connectivity are far higher than any private provider. Redundant design also allows members, including hospitals and emergency services such as police and fire, to utilize a dependent network for mission-critical applications. The CINC model received inspiration from a book by Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom titled, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action.


Funding, Synergy & Sustainability

CINC is a consortium. Each member is invested and acts together with other members to provide ongoing maintenance for a shared infrastructure that meets each member’s needs. This infrastructure enables member organizations to provide exponentially greater and more dependable service at substantially less cost to their respective stakeholders and customers. This CINC community area network model generates a technical and fiscal synergy to create value greater than the sum of its members. CINC projects are funded by the institutions that receive the greatest project benefit. This capitalizing process may involve a lead member with support from others. Members individually determine their own return on investment in order to justify a project investment. This process involves partnership invitations, negotiations, and allows each CINC member to evaluate their own interest and make a proposal to their own governing board. Projects may be incrementally completed in phases. Collaboration allows one member’s need to become another’s opportunity. Because organizations have different fiscal years, CINC is able to complete projects with exceptional agility.


Organizational Structure & Leadership

As an Unincorporated Association (formed in 2011 under §184 WI Statutes), CINC has no employees or payroll and does not sell any product or service. CINC has an Executive Committee, Officers, Bylaws, a Finance Committee, a Fiscal Agent, committees and an annual meeting. These structures provide the necessary workforce for physical and technical support to oversee infrastructure. Because it is a diverse group of CIOs and IT representatives from various public and private member organizations, CINC members provide the necessary operational staff resources themselves (much like a condo association). For some tasks, vendors are hired. Members each share in the operational responsibilities, costs, and vendor oversight to further the organizational mission. CINC conducted its last strategic planning in July 2013.


Awards & Honors

  • Grant Completion: Led by UW-Extension, CINC partnered to expand infrastructure in several Wisconsin communities with two Broadband Technology Opportunities grants totaling nearly $33 million (Building Community Capacity through Broadband). They were completed on time and under budget (January 2014).
  • Hosted International Researchers: Mr. Yasuichi Kitamura, a researcher at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan, and a member of the Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN); Dr. Hiroshi Mizushima, Chief Senior Researcher at the National Institute of Public Health in Japan. The researchers also visited Internet2 and NIH colleagues and other best practice networks in North America to study innovations and their impact on health care (March 25, 2013).
  • Papers Presented at International Conference: CINC members presented four CINC network case studies at theInternet2 Member Meeting. The presentation, “Strengthening a Health Care Community with Advanced Networks: Care Integration at Two Wisconsin Hospitals,” examined operational advances that save lives and improve efficiency. The presentationand slide deckare online (September 2012).
  • Honored with the Chancellor’s Friend and Advocate Award,” presented by Ray Cross, Chancellor, UWExtension and UW Colleges, who commented, “The CINC model improves the way many local services are delivered to citizens, saves local taxpayer dollars and lays the foundation for healthy economic development and job growth” (September 2011).

CINC-Sponsored Non-Profits, Municipal and Community Groups

Whether supporting the work of these organizations with application sharing, remote classroom capabilities, or member volunteerism, CINC sponsors the following community and municipal organizations (as of December 2014):

  1. Augusta City Hall
  2. Augusta Senior Center
  3. Beaver Creek Reserve and Citizen Science Center
  4. Bolton Refuge House (support for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault
  5. Caillier Clinic, Ltd.
  6. Carson Park Baseball
  7. Carson Park Football Stadium
  8. Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin
  9. Chippewa Falls Senior Center
  10. Chippewa Valley Free Clinic (Eau Claire)
  11. Chippewa Valley Museum (Carson Park)
  12. Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild
  13. Clinicare Corporation (residential treatment for children and adolescents)
  14. Community Table
  15. Eau Chamber of Commerce
  16. Eau Claire Hmong Mutual Assistance Association
  17. Eau Claire Transit (providing free WiFi to city bus riders as of September 2013)
  18. Fall Creek Village Hall
  19. Fall Creek Public Safety
  20. Hobbs Municipal Ice Center
  21. Hope Gospel Mission Store
  22. L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
  23. L.E. Phillips Senior Center
  24. L.E. Phillips Libertas Treatment Center
  25. Lutheran Social Services (LSS)
  26. Marriage and Family Health Services
  27. Open Door Clinic (Chippewa Falls Free Clinic)
  28. Owen Rust Memorial Apartments (Housing Authority of the City of Eau Claire)
  29. Paul Bunyan Museum (Carson Park)
  30. Township Fire Department Dispatch Center (Eau Claire County)
  31. Park Towers Apartments (Housing Authority of the City of Eau Claire)
  32. Eau Claire Soccer Park

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