Rural Missouri - February 2018 - 4
| C O O P E R AT I O N
AMEC CEO Barry Hart discusses one of many NRECA
resolutions during the 2017 annual meeting.
photo by Jim McCarty
Board members from SEMO Electric Cooperative learn how the cooperative's new GoSEMO Fiber project works. SEMO
Electric and Pemiscot-Dunklin Electric are the latest electric co-ops to bring high-speed internet service to rural Missouri.
Two more electric co-ops bring high-speed internet to rural Missouri
issouri's Bootheel will soon beneﬁt from
access to high-speed internet service
thanks to the efforts of two electric cooperatives.
SEMO Electric Cooperative, Sikeston, and
Pemiscot-Dunklin Electric Cooperative, Hayti,
recently launched ﬁber-to-the home projects that,
when completed, will bridge the area's digital divide
with speeds up to 1 gigabit per second.
The two electric cooperatives join ﬁve other Missouri co-ops that are now providing data, television
and phone service to their areas. These include
Barry Electric, Cassville; Callaway Electric, Fulton;
Co-Mo Electric, Tipton; Ralls County Electric, New
London; and United Electric, Maryville.
Broadband service has been a hot topic in just
about every co-op boardroom around the state in
Many studies have been undertaken to determine the feasibility of supplying ﬁber optic internet
service to unserved or underserved parts of rural
Missouri. In some cases the numbers just don't
work because of extremely low population density
or the presence of other internet providers already
serving key parts of the area.
Even if an electric co-op can't provide the service,
they are working behind the scenes to eliminate
barriers that prevent others from providing service.
This included pushing for funding from the Federal
Communications Commission, an action that paid
off in recent months. The FCC plans to auction $2
billion can be used to expand internet service into
"President Trump's focus on expanding broadband to rural areas is good news for Missouri farmers, ranchers and, most importantly, families," said
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee. "Today, an estimated 61 percent
of rural Missourians lack access to broadband. By
ending the digital divide, we will help our agriculture industry thrive and meet world food demand.
We will provide students and teachers access to
new learning tools and educational opportunities. We will enable small businesses to compete in
a global economy. And, we will expand access to
quality healthcare through telemedicine."
Adds Tim Davis, CEO of Pemiscot-Dunklin Electric Cooperative, "If we don't do it, who will?"
Hart to chair
arry Hart, CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, assumed a
new leadership role with the nation's electric cooperatives. Recently he was named
chairman of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's Legislative and Resolutions
member standing committees.
Hart was elected to replace former AMEC CEO
Frank Stork on the Legislative Committee when
he became CEO of the statewide association in
2004. He was serving as the committee's vice
chairman before his new appointment.
The Legislative Committee reviews existing
and new resolutions that have passed in various
regions of the country by electric co-op leaders
on issues that will be debated in the Congress.
The Resolutions Committee reviews resolutions proposed by NRECA voting members and
adopted by delegates from 10 regions during
regional meetings held across the country. The
committee considers new resolutions and changes to existing resolutions, then combines or
streamlines them before presenting to the members during the annual meeting of the national association. These resolutions then serve as
guidance and direction for NRECA's staff. On
behalf of the committee, Hart will present the
resolutions for voting delegates' consideration at
the 2018 NRECA Annual Meeting in Nashville.
"I look forward to working with these committees in my new role," Hart says. "I want to ensure
every electric cooperative has input into these
resolutions that guide the work of our national
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - February 2018
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Rural Missouri - February 2018 - Contents
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