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TMCNet:  Blackfoot Completes Acquisitions, Welcomes New Employees, Continues Growth as Regional Tech Leader

[February 11, 2013]

Blackfoot Completes Acquisitions, Welcomes New Employees, Continues Growth as Regional Tech Leader

(Marketwire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) MISSOULA, MT -- (Marketwire) -- 02/11/13 -- Blackfoot Telecommunications Group (Blackfoot), a leading telecommunications provider based in Missoula, announced it has completed the acquisitions of both Cutthroat Communications (Cutthroat), a Montana-based provider offering wireless and fiber optic technologies, as well as Fremont Telcom Co. and Fretel Communications, LLC. Fremont and Fretel, now collectively called Fremont Communications (Fremont), were formerly owned by FairPoint Communications, (NASDAQ: FRP).

"I personally extend a warm welcome to our new employees and customers here in Montana and next door in Idaho," said Bill Squires, CEO of Blackfoot.

Squires continued, "Individually, and together, these acquisitions accelerate Blackfoot's vision to become the business and technology leader in the Rocky Mountain West. The combined talent not only redefines how our teams drive innovation to bring products and services to market faster, but also dramatically improves the way local businesses connect, communicate and thrive through more scalable bandwidth." Both acquisitions are part of the company's Smart Growth initiative which brings smart people together with smart strategies and efficient operations to create new value for customers. Blackfoot is uniquely positioned in a highly competitive market to deliver the best available communications and technology products and services to its customers.

Welcome to 26 Dedicated EmployeesSquires said, "This is a terrific group of well-qualified employees who are now part of Blackfoot and ready to ensure service continuity for our customers in all locations we serve. We're particularly pleased that J.P. Violette, former vice president of sales for Cutthroat, will serve as part of Blackfoot's executive leadership team in the same capacity, and the Fremont team will continue to be led by longtime employee, Corey Packer, as operations manager." Violette said, "I appreciate this unique opportunity to leverage the sales expertise already in play at Blackfoot with the proficiencies from Cutthroat and the talent from Fremont. Each group has their own strengths which will help us provide extraordinary benefits and experiences for our business customers. I value Blackfoot's stability, community leadership and pioneering spirit. It's an exciting time to be part of it all as we work to serve the Rocky Mountain West." Packer also commented, "I'm looking forward to the seamless merger of our two companies and networks. My goal is to maintain customer confidence by delivering the same quality of services from Fremont Communications while helping my eastern Idaho neighbors benefit from the world-class services that Blackfoot offers. I am excited about the future." Cutthroat employees have remained in the same locations throughout Kalispell, Helena, Billings, Great Falls, Bozeman and Missoula. Fremont employees continue to serve homes and businesses in Idaho Falls, Rexburg, St. Anthony, Teton, Ashton and Island Park. More info: www.fremontsolutions.com and http://www.cutthroatcom.com.

Expertise to Serve More Customers The combined acquisitions add approximately 5,000 business and residential customers to Blackfoot's growing network, more than doubling its high-capacity fiber backbone throughout all of Montana and eastern Idaho.

Cutthroat's expertise in wireless WAN technology and its statewide network integrate seamlessly with Blackfoot's all-IP environment. This enhanced network will serve multi-location businesses without geographic boundaries through advanced services like virtual server colocation, virtualized desktop and applications, disaster recovery, hosted business systems and more. Blackfoot will continue to be headquartered in Missoula, MT.

Fremont Communications continues to serve homes and businesses in Idaho Falls, Rexburg, St. Anthony, Teton, Ashton, Island Park. The Idaho acquisition also included a minority investment in Syringa Networks, LLC, a rapidly growing fiber transport and related services business. Blackfoot's top tier IP network will improve connectivity in eastern Idaho -- especially rural locations. More info: Blackfoot Acquires Cutthroat (Press Release) and Blackfoot Expands In Idaho (Press Release) Well-Managed Business With Strong LeadershipBlackfoot's growth is led by a team of experienced senior members with a proven track record to manage Blackfoot in ways that best serve its customers and deliver profitable growth. As part of its Smart Growth initiative, in early 2012 Blackfoot also purchased Modwest, a local web hosting company. A cornerstone of Montana business, next year Blackfoot will celebrate 60 years of serving customers. The company looks forward to building on its rich and successful history as a regional technology leader. More info: https://www.blackfoot.com/about-blackfoot/key-leadership 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 www.blackfoot.com. Learn about Blackfoot in our communities on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BlackfootTelecomm.

Media Contact Joel Block VP of Customer Operations & Marketing Blackfoot Telecommunications Group V: 406-541-5400 M: 406-532-5400 Email Contact Source: Blackfoot Telecommunications Group

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