ARCHIE, Mo. — Some rural areas of Cass and Bates County will get high speed internet access for the first time next week. It’s part of a $1.5 billion FCC program to connect America to the internet.
Faye Wisker is now living in her childhood home on a farm 9 miles from Harrisonville.
“This farm has so much history,” she said as she bottle fed calves.
Though it is just a mile off the highway, she’s never felt so far from civilization.
“During COVID it’s been worse because we’ve had nothing, for a while nobody went anywhere you don’t have TV, you can’t download anything. I don’t have good internet to be on a computer. So you really are isolated out here,” Wisker said.
While others enjoy Facetimes with family, work meetings through Zoom and virtual schooling, Wisker and her neighbors in Adrian and Archie, Missouri, mostly have to rely on their phones, and hoping its a good day for the hotspot. She also relies on an old bin of DVDs.
“It’s just sad that in 2021 we don’t have internet. It’s just unbelievable to me as much as everything has advanced,” she said.
It’s created problems for her nieces trying to do virtual schooling one day a week. And there’s no sending over a simple attachment for the bookkeeping on the farm.
“Instead you have to make copies of things and send them by mail or run to Harrisonville and take them to them,” she said.
But as part of Connect America Fund Phase II, life is changing for 3.6 million Americans. Fixed wireless technology is being installed on existing towers and grain elevators, with a range of 3-5 miles.
“Before it was kind of an option now it’s almost a necessity to have it at home, just so you can work,” said Aaron Cooper, Wisper Internet Outside Sales Representative.
“I’m elated I haven’t been this excited for something in a long time, because it’s just something that everybody does now, everybody has it,” Wisker said.
Under terms of the government agreement for financial support, providers have to offer service at reasonable rates comparable to urban areas at a minimum speed of 10 megabits per second.
Wisper goes live Monday with speeds up to 100 megabits per second.