HickoryTech's Enventis wraps up its 430-mile Northern Minnesota middle-mile project

Enventis, HickoryTech's (Nasdaq: HTCO) business services subsidiary, has completed the build out of the $21 million Greater Minnesota Broadband Collaborative Project, a middle-mile network that connects to various health care facilities, schools, libraries, higher education institutions and public offices in the northern part of the state.

While there have been a number of well-publicized middle-mile projects that were plagued by cost overruns and mismanagement, the Greater Minnesota Broadband Collaborative Project was completed on time and under budget.

Initially, the project was set to cost $24 million, but it was completed for only $21 million. 

As part of this project, the telco built 430 fiber route miles across northern Minnesota, connecting the network to its existing statewide fiber network. In addition, the network provides a direct connection to what it calls "collaborative partners," including the Mayo Clinic and the State of Minnesota Office of Enterprise Technology (OET).

The network was built with a mix of its own capital and a U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) grant. It invested about $6.3 million, or 30 percent, while the NTIA provided $16.8 million.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar praised the project's completion.

"This partnership will help bring broadband to over 36 communities in 23 counties, helping to drive economic development and strengthen our state."

Completing this project will also give the telco another conduit to expand its fiber and data segment services, which in the second quarter rose 11 percent year-over-year to $17 million.

For more:
- see the release

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