MANKATO — For more than 100 years Mankato Citizens Telephone Co. provided telephone service and later — under the HickoryTech name — cable TV, Internet and other services.
Today the company becomes Enventis, the name of one of its subsidiaries that has seen dramatic growth providing broadband and data services to businesses in several states.
The name change will not affect customers' services in any way. People will even be able to keep their current HickoryTech email addresses. Other than working under a different name, employees are unaffected and the headquarters remains in Mankato.
HickoryTech President and CEO John Finke said the time was right for unifying the company under one name.
"We've been running with two brands for the last seven years or so and it's time to position ourselves with the Enventis brand," he said.
“We have transformed from a local telephone company into a regional communications provider. The timing is right. The scope and scale of our capabilities has expanded, and so has the range of customers that will benefit from a partnership with Enventis.”
He said operating with two growing brand names was becoming confusing to customers and said it is not the most efficient way to continue growing the company.
"While we are taking on the new name of Enventis, we are the same company and have the same team of local experts and have the same commitment to the communities we're in."
HickoryTech bought Enventis for $39 million in 2006, greatly expanding its business customer base and fiber networks throughout Minnesota and neighboring states. (Enventis also has residential broadband and TV services.) Enventis was largely focused on Duluth and northern Minnesota when it was purchased by HickoryTech.
Since then, HickoryTech has been on a fast-paced expansion of its fiber network for business and residential customers in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and the Dakotas, by building more routes and buying other companies, including Twin Cities-based CP Telecom for $6.6 million and Fargo-based IdeaOne for $28 million.