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Press Release -- August 26th, 2011
Source: Enventis
Tags: Construction, MPLS, Video

Enventis Holds Ground Breaking in Duluth for Greater Minnesota Broadband Collaborative Project

MANKATO, Minn., August 26, 2011Enventis, a subsidiary of HickoryTech (NASDAQ:HTCO, news, filings), held a groundbreaking ceremony in Duluth, Minn. to celebrate the start of construction on the company’s $24 million Greater Minnesota Broadband Collaborative Project. The event was widely attended by HickoryTech executives, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon, dignitaries from Minnesota Senator Al Franken’s office, Angela Simpson, acting chief of staff of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Duluth Mayor Don Ness along with members of the Duluth Chamber of Commerce, Duluth business owners and local citizens.

“We greatly appreciate the support Enventis has received from so many constituencies within our State as we move forward with construction of the 430-mile fiber network in northern Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin,” said John Finke, president and chief executive officer at HickoryTech.  “Once complete, the Greater Minnesota Broadband Collaborative Project will provide new broadband access to institutions and businesses of all types and sizes.  The project is well underway and we look forward to its completion in 2013.”

“Expanding access to broadband is essential for ensuring that all Minnesotans have access to the tools they need to compete in an increasingly global economy,” said Minnesota Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon. “This project will play a critical role in laying the foundation for growth throughout our great state.”

“This Recovery Act investment will create jobs, improve healthcare and education, enhance public safety, and lay the groundwork for sustainable economic growth in communities across Minnesota,” said Angela Simpson, acting chief of staff of NTIA.

Enventis was awarded a $16.8 million grant in August 2010 as part of the NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).  The company will contribute an additional $7.2 million to the project over the next two years. Enventis started construction of the fiber network in July in northern Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin.  Enventis has completed approximately 50 route miles of the 430-mile fiber network project, which will be constructed over the next two years.  You may view photos and video from the ground breaking event and follow the project of the fiber build at www.enventis.com/stimulus.
About HickoryTech
HickoryTech Corporation is a leading communications provider serving business and residential customers in the upper Midwest.  With headquarters in Mankato, Minn., the corporation has 460 employees and an expanded, multi-state fiber network spanning more than 2,750 route miles serving Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.  Enventis provides IP-based voice and data solutions, MPLS networking, data center and managed hosted services and communication systems to businesses across a five-state region.  HickoryTech delivers broadband Internet, Digital TV, voice and data services to businesses and consumers in southern Minnesota and northwest Iowa. HickoryTech trades on the NASDAQ, symbol: HTCO, and is a member of the Russell 2000 Index.  For more information, visit www.hickorytech.com.

Forward-Looking Statement
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.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Video and photos from the groundbreaking are available.  Contact Jennifer Spaude at 507-386-3765 / media@hickorytech.com.

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