Company will provide Internet, Data, and Video Conferencing to Schools and Libraries in 12 Minnesota Counties
MANKATO, Minn., Feb 22, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — HickoryTech Corporation (Nasdaq: HTCO) today announced it has been awarded a three-year contract to provide Internet, data, VoIP and video conferencing services to 69 schools and libraries within a distance-learning network spanning across a 12-county region in south central Minnesota. SOCRATES (South Central Regional Area Telecommunications Systems), a program of the South Central Service Cooperative located in North Mankato, provides learning institutions in south central Minnesota with data and video connectivity that allows for innovative instruction techniques and educational experiences for students and educators.
The contract, which is effective July 1, 2010, totals more than $4 million over three years. HickoryTech will install, support and manage the telecommunications infrastructure to the schools and libraries in the SOCRATES network with members across south central Minnesota.
“We are very pleased to partner with HickoryTech and have a local company deliver these network services to the south central region,” said Glenn Morris, administrative services director for SOCRATES. Dale Carrison, director of operations for SOCRATES, added, “HickoryTech’s fiber network, combined with its strong support team, will provide us with increased bandwidth and the most cost effective solution for our users. HickoryTech will help us facilitate increased e-learning opportunities with this solution, an important objective for us.”
“HickoryTech has made significant investments to its statewide fiber network and its business support services,” said John Finke, president and chief executive officer of HickoryTech. “We understand the importance of reliable data services and increased bandwidth and we’re well suited to offer SOCRATES both. In addition, our services are backed by our outstanding local support team. HickoryTech has always been a leader in delivering innovative broadband services to southern Minnesota and winning the SOCRATES business validates our commitment to grow our business services and extend our network throughout Minnesota.”
HickoryTech will partner with Video Guidance, a leading visual communications company in the Upper Midwest, to integrate its “best in breed” video conferencing solution, combining HD video, voice, web, streaming, gateway and bridging services to SOCRATES. “This creative partnership provides the sharpest high-definition visual communications technology in a variety of formats, from desktop to telepresence conferencing,” said Michael Werch, president of Video Guidance. “SOCRATES’ distance learning will be greatly enhanced and become more valuable for students and educators.”
HickoryTech, and its subsidiary Enventis, is the only Minnesota-based company with a statewide fiber network, local phone services, long distance, dedicated Internet services, Ethernet, MPLS, advanced fiber services, hosted voice communications, data center services and equipment sales as a Cisco Gold Certified partner.