MANKATO, Minn., Aug 18, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — HickoryTech Corporation (Nasdaq: HTCO), through its Enventis subsidiary, today was awarded $16.8 million in federal stimulus grants to extend its middle mile fiber-optic network across greater Minnesota connecting health care facilities, schools, libraries, higher education institutions and public offices with an advanced high-capacity broadband network.
Upon accepting this award administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA), HickoryTech will expand its 2,800-mile fiber network with 428 miles of new fiber construction connecting rural community anchor institutions across greater Minnesota. Enventis will directly connect community anchor institutions of its collaborative partners including: health care facilities, state and local government offices and educational institutions with a minimum of 100 MB of broadband service and 10GB backbone fiber services supporting advanced high-capacity service applications.
HickoryTech will invest $7.2 million or 30 percent of the total project cost of $24 million over a three-year period to build the fiber optic network.
This broadband network will provide rural communities across Minnesota with affordable, high-capacity broadband services enabling telemedicine, economic development opportunities and improved connectivity to state and local government offices.
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 throughout rural Minnesota. Enventis is a wholly owned subsidiary of HickoryTech. In April, HickoryTech announced the expansion of its fiber network to Sioux Falls, So. Dakota, and Fargo, No. Dakota.