Click here to close now.


Mobile IoT Authors: Anders Wallgren, Pat Romanski, Kevin Benedict, Liz McMillan, Deep Bhattacharjee

News Feed Item

Blackfoot to Expand in Idaho, Broadening Access to Its Cutting-Edge Services & Technologies

New Market Expansion Drives Blackfoot's High-Capacity Fiber Network Across 8,500 Square Miles Throughout Montana and Idaho

MISSOULA, MT -- (Marketwire) -- 11/28/12 -- Blackfoot Telecommunications Group (Blackfoot) today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Fremont Telcom Co. (Fremont) and Fretel Communications, LLC (Fretel), which are both part of FairPoint Communications, a publicly traded service provider headquartered in Charlotte, NC (NASDAQ: FRP).

Fremont and Fretel, collectively known as FairPoint Idaho, provide data and voice for thousands of local homes and businesses. The expanded network will bring innovative technology products and services from Blackfoot's successful IP network to the doorstep of eastern Idaho customers and nearby communities.

"We welcome the opportunity to serve our neighbor state. As a locally owned business, we understand the value of our strong customer relationships in western Montana and are eager to earn the same trust in Idaho," said Bill Squires, Blackfoot's chief executive officer.

Squires continued, "We believe the stability of our top tier IP network adds significant value to eastern Idaho. It will improve the area's ability to attract new businesses while giving owners and residents more service options to meet their growing communications needs. Through our advanced wireless and fiber connectivity, Blackfoot can offer a new world of more competitive products and services to the region."

This expansion is part of the company's "Smart Growth" initiative and is the shared vision between Blackfoot's board of trustees and Blackfoot's executive team to become the region's technology leader.

Overall, the acquisition adds 5,400 business and residential customers to Blackfoot's growing network, boosting its high-capacity fiber backbone by 25 percent across 8,500 square miles in both states. It also includes a minority investment in Syringa Networks, LLC, which is a rapidly growing fiber transport and related services business.

The sale is expected to close in early 2013, pending approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The process of integrating employees as well as Fremont and Fretel customers into the Blackfoot family of companies will begin immediately thereafter.

Currently, Fretel serves Idaho Falls, the largest city in eastern Idaho, and Rexburg, which is home to Brigham Young University-Idaho (BYU-I) formerly known as Rick's College, the largest private university in the state. Fremont serves St. Anthony, Teton, Ashton and Island Park. Using its fiber-based strategy, Blackfoot will also seek expansion opportunities south to Pocatello, Idaho's fifth largest city.

Tom Eggensperger, Blackfoot's board president, said, "Blackfoot has been a cornerstone in western Montana since 1954. As board president, I'm pleased with Blackfoot's progress as an innovative leader. As a cooperative resident and business owner, I believe these new neighboring communities will appreciate Blackfoot's solid reputation and outstanding commitment as a community friend and supporter."

Joel Block, Blackfoot's vice president of customer care and marketing added, "For eight consecutive years, Blackfoot has earned stellar customer satisfaction ratings for both its residential and business services. We're a high-tech, high-touch company and take pride in maintaining an unparalleled customer care group and one of the largest teams of technical support experts in the region."

This acquisition is Blackfoot's third smart growth initiative this year. In early 2012, Blackfoot purchased Modwest, a local web hosting company, and is currently acquiring Cutthroat Communications, a communications services provider offering wireless and fiber optic technologies, which is expected to close by the end of 2012. Another thriving expansion occurred in the late 1990s when Blackfoot purchased nine rural exchanges from U.S. West, Inc. (now CenturyLink). Within two years, Blackfoot fully upgraded all outdated U.S. West systems, bringing the most advanced communications services to rural businesses and consumers in Western Montana.

"We're pleased to be in a position to build on the success of these past acquisitions which enables us to offer our exceptional products and services to our neighbors in eastern Idaho," said Squires.

Blackfoot Telecommunications Group (Blackfoot) offers advanced telecommunications solutions to customers in Western Montana including voice, data, IT and security services. Named after the Blackfoot River running through much of the territory it serves, Blackfoot was originally established in 1954 as Blackfoot Telephone Cooperative and is headquartered in Missoula, Montana. Today, the Blackfoot family of companies include Blackfoot Telephone Cooperative -- a member-owned cooperative; Blackfoot Communications -- a competitive local exchange company; and TeleSphere Software, Inc. a wholly-owned subsidiary offering professional services to the telecom industry. Read about Blackfoot products and services at Learn about Blackfoot in our communities on Facebook at

FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRP) is a leading communications provider of broadband Internet access, local and long-distance phone, television and other high-capacity data services to customers in communities across 17 states. Additional information about FairPoint products and services is available at You can also connect with FairPoint on Twitter ( and Facebook (

Company Contact - For General Questions
Joel Block
VP of Customer Care & Marketing
Blackfoot Telecommunications Group
V: 406-541-5400
M: 406-532-5400
Email Contact

Press Contact - For Media Questions
Lucy Beighle
Media Relations
Lucy Beighle Consulting
V: 406-239-3193
Email Contact

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

@ThingsExpo Stories
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound cha...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...