Sioux Falls-based SDN Communications is expanding east as it adds partnerships in Iowa and Minnesota.
Seven independent telephone companies – six in southern Minnesota and one in northern Iowa – are partnering with SDN to improve connectivity and Internet options for business customers.
The partnership swill extend SDN's fiber network across southern Minnesota, from South Dakota to Wisconsin, and from northern Iowa to beyond the Hutchinson, Jordan and Prior Lake, Minn., areas.
"We are excited about the opportunity to expand east, expand our footprint … and work with more of the independent phone companies in the region," CEO Mark Shlanta said.
Some of the Minnesota cities that that will be included in the new market area include Albert Lea, Blue Earth, Mankato, Owatonna, Red Wing, Rochester and Winona.
"The population is about 500,000, so positioning us over the next 10 or 15 years we should see good growth," Shlanta said. "A 20 to 40 percent increase in revenues over that 10-year period would be a reasonable estimate."
SDN employs 180 people, mostly in Sioux Falls. The company has added a couple of engineers to support the expansion and plans to add sales staff.
Projects are planned to address some gaps in the network as well as to make ongoing improvements, Shlanta said, adding that the Minnesota companies approached SDN about the partnership.
"These are companies that are just like our owners in South Dakota," he said. "And those companies in Minnesota really were seeing the success that our companies in South Dakota were enjoying through having access to the wider network that SDN offers."
Companies participating in the deal are:
- AcenTek of Houston, Minn.
- BevComm of Blue Earth, Minn.
- Communications 1 Network of Kanawha, Iowa.
- Jaguar Communications of Le Sueur, Minn.
- KMTelecom of Kasson, Minn.
- NU-Telecom of New Ulm, Minn.
- Woodstock Telephone of Ruthton, Minn.
SND's network already serves businesses across South Dakota and part of western Minnesota. The company's 30,000-mile fiber network reaches from South Dakota into seven other states and connects businesses with metropolitan areas such as Minneapolis, Omaha, Chicago and Denver.
Fiber construction needed to connect the Minnesota companies will begin immediately and is projected to be finished in the fourth quarter of 2015. SDN will sell the connectivity to businesses.