MANKATO, Minn., April 13, 2010— HickoryTech Corporation (NASDAQ:HTCO, news, filings), through its Enventis subsidiary, has applied for $16.8 million in federal stimulus grants to extend its middle mile fiber-optic network connecting community anchor institutions across Minnesota to an advanced high capacity broadband network.
HickoryTech would provide $7.2 million in funding or 30 percent of the total project cost of $24 million under the grant application submitted to the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA).
“HickoryTech has invested millions of dollars to extend its statewide broadband network to reach more than 75 percent of the population of Minnesota,” said Walt Prahl, president of HickoryTech’s wholesale solutions and business development division. “The federal broadband stimulus grants will allow for cost-effective expansion of broadband services to high-cost and underserved rural areas across Minnesota.”
HickoryTech would partner with state agencies and health care institutions and expand its 2,400-mile fiber network with 418 miles of new fiber construction directly connecting rural community anchor institutions across the state with at least 100 MB of service. HickoryTech, which is currently the largest telecommunications provider based in Minnesota, has a history of partnering with local, state and government agencies to offer innovative broadband solutions in rural Minnesota.
The NTIA has indicated it will review the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program applications during the summer and award grants by Sept. 30, 2010.
HickoryTech Corporation (dba HickoryTech and Enventis) is a leading integrated communications provider in the markets it serves. With headquarters in Mankato, Minn., the corporation has approximately 450 employees and a regional fiber network with facilities-based operations in Minnesota and Iowa. Enventis serves businesses of all sizes across a five-state region with IP-based voice, data and network solutions. HickoryTech provides bundled residential and business services including high-speed Internet, Digital TV and voice services in its legacy telecom markets. The Company trades on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, symbol: HTCO, and is a member of the Russell 2000 index. For more information, visit www.hickorytech.com.
The press release may contain forward-looking statements that are not based on historical facts. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, events or developments to be materially different from future results, events or developments described in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include those risks described in HickoryTech’s Form 10-K on file with the SEC. These factors should be considered carefully and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. HickoryTech undertakes no obligation to update any of its forward-looking statements, except as required by federal securities laws.