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Fiber company leader hopes to bring more fiber-optic internet to rural southeast Missouri

3:17PM August 24, 2021

https://www.kfvs12.com/2021/08/23/fiber-company-leader-hopes-bring-more-fiber-optic-internet-rural-southeast-mo/ 

SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - The effort continues to bring broadband internet service to rural communities in southeast Missouri, and leaders with Go SEMO hope the state’s huge financial commitment to broadband means more resources to make it happen.

Last week Governor Mike Parson announced a $400-million broadband investment to bring connectivity to every corner of the state.

That’s welcome news to Go SEMO Fiber, now in its fourth year of a major project to bring hope of high-speed internet to its customers in six southeast Missouri counties.

“We’ll effectively wrap up our fiber buildout of 2,000 miles in our six county territory this September,” Loyd Rice said.

Loyd Rice is the fiber services manager for GoSEMO Fiber. His crews have spent the last four years bringing high-speed internet to thousands of people across southeast Missouri.

“We’ve effectively built past at least half of Stoddard County, all of Scott County, because its right here in the middle of the territory, all of Mississippi County, some of New Madrid, Cape and Bollinger Counties, that’s the six county territory,” Rice said.

Rice said it costs roughly $30,000 per mile to build out that fiber, so the governor’s multimillion-dollar-commitment to broadband is welcome news.

“Our hope is that some of that money will filter right on down to the broadband level,” Rice said.

“It’s very difficult to do your best in school when you’re focusing on your internet capabilities,” Suzanne Mosier said.

Three Rivers student Suzanne Mosier lives between Kelso and Benton.

“I have had the difficulty of getting enough internet together to my computer and running out of internet in the month to get all my homework done,” Mosier said.

“There has been a COVID grant through Go SEMO where they have most recently ran lines to my house within the last few weeks that has proven to be helpful,” she said.

“We really hope because what we see happen in our service territory, where we’ve already deployed every day, lives are changing, small businesses, work from home and more importantly as we head back to school, school from home,” Rice said.

You can see where they are in the project on GoSEMO.com

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