Every day, we hear from rural Kansans pleading to break free from the burden of slow internet. In everything we do, we’re removing barriers to progress – bringing customers, employees, and our communities the freedom to pursue greatness, and to have the quality of life and the opportunities they deserve.
Internet Freedom For All™. It’s why we do what we do.
Who We Are
Internet Freedom™ Fighters
We believe reliable, high-speed internet shouldn’t be a luxury, and we pledge to continue the fight for Internet Freedom™ in rural Kansas communities.
We’re small-town techies and Kansans at heart, passionate about helping rural communities thrive. If we can help make that happen by connecting community members and organizations with our fast, reliable internet, we are all about it.
We’re locals who care about you and your community. When you call, one of us–a real, live person–answers the phone. We love helping customers.
We’re a small crew with huge aspirations, one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing private companies.
We’re an entrepreneurial, bold, resourceful team–rolling up our sleeves and pushing ourselves to achieve the impossible.
How We Got Here
Bringing Internet Freedom™ to the far reaches of Kansas is no small task. The thing is, we didn’t get into broadband because we wanted to start a business in Kansas. We started a business because we wanted to provide broadband to Kansans. There’s a difference.
In 1999, with only $250, co-founder Daniel Friesen and four friends from Buhler High School started IdeaTek as a computer repair business. Daniel continued to run the business in college while the four others left to pursue other interests.
In 2005, Daniel led IdeaTek into telecommunications by purchasing and turning around failing dial-up and DSL companies. This success funded the first fiber-to-home service in Buhler in 2007, followed by Inman, Haven, Yoder, Mount Hope and Bentley.
Between 2012-2015, IdeaTek experienced exponential growth. That year, Daniel hired Jerrod Reimer, who had previously worked for a global manufacturing company, as CFO. From 2012 to 2014, we constructed 2,200 miles of fiber across the state under contract for Verizon, connecting more than 100 cellphone towers. During this period, the company saw an 89% sales growth and the near doubling of both the employee and customer base. Looking at other innovative ways to grow, we began to branch out into other ventures, including the dark fiber industry — a rare move for a telecommunications business at that time.
Our service area and employee base again expanded greatly from 2017 to 2020. A cloud-based phone system was added to the product line and, in 2018, the Federal Communications Commission awarded IdeaTek $6 million to deploy fiber to rural Harvey, Reno and Sedgwick counties.
In spring 2020, we acquired Skylink Wireless — adding wireless internet to our portfolio.
In October 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the vast need for everyone to have quality internet access at home, IdeaTek was awarded $13.7 million in federal funding to bring high-speed internet to 17 underserved Kansas counties. The company supplemented the project with $3.5 million in private investment.
We also were able to stretch the grant funding as far as possible by leveraging our existing large fiber network by 300 miles, then infilling all other underserved rural areas with 100 Mbps fixed wireless internet. This allowed us to reach more than 13,000 homes and businesses across central and western Kansas.
Today, we provide broadband to thousands of customers in nearly 50 Kansas communities. And, we are actively working on ways to bridge the digital gap and bring internet freedom to rural dwellers, businesses and schools across Kansas.
Headquartered in Buhler, Kan., Ideatek is a broadband service provider with the mission of “fighting for INTERNET FREEDOM™.” IdeaTek uses a unique and innovative approach to deploy scalable, long-term fiber optic infrastructures, bridging the broadband gap in rural communities. IdeaTek has long been a state and national advocate for broadband equity policy and has built nearly 4,500 miles of fiber throughout Kansas. They were recently named to Inc. 5000’s list of fastest growing companies for the seventh time.
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