Faster, more reliable internet coming to Stone County, Mo. through FCC program
The days of sacrificing internet speed and connectivity for a quieter pace of life are disappearing in rural parts of Missouri.
Stone County is one of many places getting boosted broadband service.
Elaine Strope runs Dynatek Laboratory in Galena. The company tests medical equipment. It is a high-tech operation that requires fast, reliable internet.
"We are not near most of the big customers we have. Most of them are in California and New York," Strope said.
While there's a good connection in the building, taking business beyond these walls during the pandemic hasn't been easy.
"Makes it very difficult for us especially now to work from home. I need to be able to log into our file server, download files, meet with people," Strope said.
Strope and some of her employees still don't have strong internet options, even a few miles out of town.
"We are too far away for DSL, we've tried satellite," Strope said.
That's why she was happy to hear about a new broadband internet project happening in rural Stone County. It will provide service to her home by the end of the year.
"I just think it's so exciting to bring rural areas up to, you know, the minute," Strope said.
A CenturyLink spokesperson says the company is using the FCC’s Connect America Fund program to bring fast internet service to 33 states, including thousands of homes and businesses in Stone County, Missouri.
"If you're going to open and business and you want to run a business in a rural area, and I think there are going to be a lot of people leaving the cities after this whole thing, you have to have internet," Strope said.
Strope says connections like this will help bridge the gap between rural and urban America.
"This makes it possible for rural people to get a leg up and be able to fulfill their dreams, and also their way of life," Strope said.
CenturyLink added internet to 3,800 locations in Stone County by the end of last year and that work is still happening.
If you'd like to find out if your home or business has access to this faster connection, you can use CenturyLink's search tool by going to this website: www.centurylink.com