Continued growth propels IdeaTek to Inc. magazine’s Regionals Midwest list

March 16, 2022

Continued growth propels IdeaTek to Inc. magazine’s Regionals Midwest list

BUHLER, Kansas — Inc. magazine revealed this week that Kansas internet service provider IdeaTek Telcom is No. 59 on its 2021 Inc. 5000 Regionals Midwest list, the most prestigious ranking of the region’s fastest-growing private companies.

This area includes 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The magazine has honored IdeaTek’s growth several times over the years. In August, IdeaTek was named to the Inc. 5,000 list for the eighth time, climbing to 822, its highest rank ever. That list honors the fastest-growing companies across the nation. 

“We are extremely honored to again be recognized by Inc. magazine for our continuous growth,” said IdeaTek Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer Daniel Friesen. “To be climbing higher on the Inc. Regionals Midwest list each year is a real testament to the hard work and dedication our team puts in. I’m incredibly thankful that the IdeaTek team is full of such caring, hardworking individuals. We believe that everyone should have the freedom to choose reliable, unlimited internet, and we strive to live out our mission every day to provide internet freedom to all. We’re looking forward to the growth we will see in the years to come.”

According to Inc, the companies on the Regionals Midwest list show a remarkable rate of growth across all industries. Between 2018 and 2020, these 150 private companies had an average growth rate of 147% and, in 2020 alone, they added 19,821 jobs and nearly $11.7 billion to the regional economy. 

Founded by Friesen and four high school friends in 1999, IdeaTek’s mission is to connect underserved communities with affordable, high-speed internet service. To date, the company has deployed more than 4,000 miles of fiber — plus built 100 fixed wireless towers — serving customers in nearly 60 Kansas communities. 

Significant private investment paired with several state and federal broadband expansion programs has expedited IdeaTek’s recent growth trajectory. The company has tripled its workforce to 133 employees, plus another six contract workers. Overall, IdeaTek has added more than 90 high-tech jobs in the past two years — making it one of Reno County’s larger employers.

In 2018, the Connect America Fund Phase II project gave IdeaTek the capital needed to deploy more than 600 miles of fiber-optic infrastructure to 3,000 premises in Reno, Sedgwick and Harvey counties.

In October 2020, the company received Covid-mitigation (CARES) funding from the Kansas Department of Commerce to provide relief from poor internet access for thousands of residents in central and southwest Kansas, including in the counties of Reno, Chase, Meade and Edwards. The award was the largest of Kansas’ broadband grants.

Meanwhile, IdeaTek’s growth continues into 2022 as the company explores new projects and funding opportunities to help close the digital divide. The company is finishing fiber builds in four Kansas communities this spring, plus has already added nearly two-dozen wireless towers across central and southwest Kansas.

“Our work to bring internet freedom to Kansas is never ending,” said IdeaTek Chief Executive Officer Jerrod Reimer. “We will continue to focus on growth and innovation so we can provide the best opportunities for Kansas communities to grow and prosper.”

About IdeaTek Telcom
IdeaTek Telcom, LLC, is a Buhler, Kansas-based 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. The company has already successfully built over 4,000 miles of fiber throughout Kansas. IdeaTek has long been at the forefront in Kansas on broadband equity issues and is committed to enriching the communities in which they operate. 


About Inc. 5000
Started in 1982, Inc. magazine’s list has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success. The Inc. 5000 ranks companies by overall revenue growth over three years. To qualify for the 2021 list, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2017. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies. The minimum revenue required for 2017 is $100,000; the minimum for 2020 is $2 million. Complete results of the Inc. 5000 Regionals Midwest, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, metro area, and other criteria, can be found at 

INC 5000 MAP 2