High Speed Internet coming to Rural Northeast Missouri - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

High Speed Internet coming to Rural Northeast Missouri

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Do you remember the days of dial up Internet service? For some rural residents, that's still a reality.   That's quickly changing in Northeast Missouri where Ralls County Electric Cooperative is about half way done bringing high speed Internet to thousands of rural residents. 

It's something people in the city take for granted.  Whether we want to get on the Internet on our phones or iPads, it takes no time at all.  Thousands of Northeast Missouri residents will soon have that luxury.  Because of state and federal grants, the Ralls County Electric Co-op is using the latest technology to reach its customers.

"If they had to go to what we were using, they would just be appalled. It would be like going back to dial-up," said Joni Coberly.  

Coberly is just days from getting high speed Internet at her rural home.  She said her current service isn't very reliable.

"It's just very slow, we would have to reboot a lot, especially at night it would knock us off, it was very frustrating.  It just slowed down to the point where you just give up," she said. 

There are many rural families who face Coberly's situation.  That's why Ralls County Electric Cooperative is rushing to get high speed Internet to all of its consumers. Economic Developer Lynn Hodges said just a few years ago that seemed nearly impossible.  

"We have 4600 members and of those 4600 members less than 3% had access to any kind of high speed data when we started this project," Hodges said.  

To do that, the Co-op is using the latest technology.  Glass fibers that are as thin as a stand of hair.  They run straight from your home into this room for high speed Internet.  But Hodges said the need for speed goes farther than getting on Facebook.

"It has gotten to the point here where we have had realtors calling us asking if this home has high speed Internet available to it yet and if it doesn't, they're not going to sell it," he said.  

Rural residents like Coberly are anxiously awaiting the time when they no longer have to wait to get online.

"I can't imagine. We're going to have to pay $200 to get out of our contract but it's well worth it," she said. 

The projected completion rate was supposed to be by 2015, but Hodges said it's possible for every Ralls County Electric Cooperative customer to have high speed Internet by the end of this year. 

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