Internet Grant Winner
7:12AM July 13, 2021
As a homeschool teacher and mom of three boys, Kim Bunger knows her family needs to operate efficiently. For the busy lifestyle of the Bunger family, high-speed fiber internet has become a must-have, particularly in light of the pandemic. As members of SEMO electric cooperative for more than 20 years, all six members of the Bunger family – even Kim’s father, who moved into a camper on their property – were thrilled when their co-op delivered fiber internet via its subsidiary GoSEMO.
Before fiber service was installed in December 2020, the Bunger family knew exactly which spots in their house they could receive phone service in. When on calls, the caller had to stay in one of those spots for the duration of the call to avoid losing service. Their house was known as a 'black hole' by friends and work colleagues, who knew that trying to call, text or email anyone in the Bunger family when they were at home was futile, because the messages never made it to them. Once Kim's husband Rob left his office for the day, he was cut off from all communication with coworkers because of the lack of service at home.
At Kim’s request, GoSEMO installed a hotspot closer to the Bungers’ home, at a nearby church. The timing of the hotspot was truly a blessing, Kim recounted, because it allowed family and friends to attend a virtual memorial for Kim’s mother who had passed away. Service was enabled just a day before the service.
“I’ll never forget our son sitting his car participating in his class the morning of my mom’s burial, which none of us could attend due to COVID restrictions,” Kim said. “To see the dedication this kid had to his studies and what he would do to succeed in his classes was a lot to process. Knowing he could now drive just 10 minutes to get internet was a blessing on a very difficult day.”
A few months later, GoSEMO service brought fiber to the Bungers’ home. Now, the whole family uses its fiber internet to power their cell phones from the WiFi as well as for the many everyday tasks high-speed internet makes possible. Rob can work from home effectively and stay in contact with colleagues after hours as needed. Kim’s father is able to connect to his doctors via telemedicine visits from his camper on the property, saving him hours and miles of drive time. He is also thrilled to be able to stream his favorite TV shows and movies with his family without interruptions or buffering.
The entire family agrees that GoSEMO fiber internet has changed life most dramatically for Kim. “You know that saying about ‘happy wife, happy life’?” Rob joked. “It couldn’t be truer for our household. Kim is happy, so we’re all happy.”
“We’ve struggled with internet services at home since we moved here in 1998. We concluded that it was just the price we paid for our location,” Kim said. “After waiting since 2017, we have found good things truly do come to those who wait. We didn’t fully understand how GoSEMO Fiber would affect our lives. Thanks, SEMO Electric and GoSEMO Fiber, for making our lives better in so many ways.”