HickoryTech wins two-year contract extension from education provider SOCRATES

Will provide IP services to 64 schools, cooperative education agencies, and libraries
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HickoryTech (Nasdaq: HTCO) on Monday added another education win to its business services column, securing a two-year agreement with SOCRATES (South Central Regional Area Telecommunications Systems).

This latest agreement reaches across a wide part of the state.

The service provider will offer a suite of Internet, data, VoIP, and video conferencing services to 64 schools and education agencies within a distance-learning network spanning across a 12-county region in south central Minnesota.

As classrooms begin to integrate more technology into their daily routine, SOCRATES was created to provide data and video connectivity to educational entities in south central Minnesota. In addition, HickoryTech will increase Internet bandwidth at 12 library sites.

Neither SOCRATES nor HickoryTech revealed the financial details of the new agreement other than to say it is a multimillion-dollar contract that will go into effect on July 1, 2013.

Like other vertical market segments, the education segment--despite seeing budget cuts--is upping its bandwidth and service requirements, which is creating new opportunities for local telcos like HickoryTech.

Besides SOCRATES, the service provider' Enventis division was awarded a 10-year WAN services contract with the West Fargo School District.

HickoryTech's ongoing move to beef up its presence in the business services segment has produced positive financial results. In Q3, the service provider reported that overall revenues rose 1 percent year-over-year to $45.8 million due to gains in its fiber and data business segment.

In the fiber and data business segment, the telco reported revenues rose 36 percent year-over-year to $15.7 million, a factor it attributed to the strong performance in both the retail and wholesale transport and data services segment as well as the addition of IdeaOne Telecom's assets, which it acquired in March

For more:
- see the release

Special report: Wireline telecom earnings in the third quarter

Related articles:
HickoryTech's Enventis wins 10-year contract with West Fargo School district
HickoryTech's fiber, data business drives slight increase in Q3 top line revenue
HickoryTech Q2 revenue up 9% to $43.8M on strong business services sales
HickoryTech's Q1 revenue up 22% on strong fiber, data sales