MANKATO, Minn., August 23, 2011— Enventis, a subsidiary of HickoryTech (NASDAQ:HTCO, news, filings), announced today the company will hold a ground breaking ceremony in Duluth, Minn. on Aug. 25 at 1 p.m. at Rice’s Point to celebrate the start of construction on the company’s $24 million Greater Minnesota Broadband Collaborative Project.
Speakers at the ground breaking will include: John Finke, president and chief executive officer at HickoryTech, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon, Angela Simpson, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) acting chief of staff and Daniel Fanning, regional outreach director for the office of Minnesota Senator Al Franken. As part of the ceremony, attendees will have the opportunity to see a close-up view of the fiber bore across the St. Louis Bay.
The Greater Minnesota Broadband Collaborative Project will enable high-speed Internet access in 36 rural communities within 23 counties. The project involves the construction of a fiber build from the Twin Ports of Duluth, Minn. and Superior, Wisc. to the Twin Cities north metro and a fiber build from Brainerd, Minn. to Moorhead, Minn. and neighboring communities. The fiber network will deliver up to 100 MB broadband Ethernet services to 74 community anchor Institutions, including: health care facilities, schools, libraries, higher education institutions and public offices. The broadband network will enable affordable Internet access to northern Minnesota.
Enventis was awarded a $16.8 million grant last August as part of the National Telecommunication and Information Administration’s (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. As of August 22, Enventis has completed 52 fiber optic miles of the 430-mile project, which will be constructed over the next two years. You may follow the progress of the fiber builds at www.enventis.com/stimulus.
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.
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.