MANKATO, Minn. – September 16, 2013 — Enventis, a subsidiary of HickoryTech (Nasdaq: HTCO) announces the completion of its Greater Minnesota Broadband Collaborative Project, which extended its fiber network to connect to health care facilities, schools, libraries, higher education institutions and public offices with an advanced high-capacity broadband network.
“We are pleased to have completed the Greater Minnesota Broadband Collaborative Project on time and under budget,” said John Finke, president and chief executive officer of HickoryTech. “We’re now able to provide rural communities across Minnesota with broadband infrastructure enabling telemedicine, economic development opportunities and improved connectivity to state and local government offices.”
Enventis received a grant administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for this project. The company invested approximately $6.3 million or 30 percent of the $21 million project over a three-year period to build the fiber optic network, completing the project on time and under budget.
Enventis built approximately 430 fiber route miles across northern Minnesota, connecting the network to its existing statewide fiber network. The project also directly connects community anchor institutions of Enventis’ collaborative partners, including Mayo Clinic and the State of Minnesota Office of Enterprise Technology (OET), enabling high-capacity fiber services and applications.
“In today’s 21st-century economy, access to high-speed Internet is essential – it means innovative health care services, connected classrooms and libraries, and competitive businesses,” said Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator. “This partnership will help bring broadband to over 36 communities in 23 counties, helping to drive economic development and strengthen our state.”