Rural Missouri - June 2021 - 9

time behind the computer trying to upload client galleries, "
Dunklin Electric Cooperative was first organized.
Jason says. " Not only is the service incredibly fast, it's af " You can directly relate the fiber movement that's gofordable at just over $70 a month for the 1 gigabit connecing on right now in the 2020s with what happened in the
tion. Now I can upload a 900-megabyte client gallery in 30
1930s with the electric movement, " says Jack Davis, genseconds or less. It's literally done before I can even type
eral manager of Pemiscot-Dunklin Fiber. " Big companies
out the name of the client in the gallery. "
are not going to come in here and provide service in small
But the biggest benefits are yet to come for the cooperarural areas. They can't make a quick profit off of it. Our
tive's members on the electric side. Once the fiber network
main goal is to provide great service and pay
back what it took to build it - and eventuis completed, Jamie plans to use it to connect the coopally put money back into the co-op which
erative's electric substations. This will allow the engineering department to closely monitor its equipment
will keep electric rates in check. "
That focus on service and community can
and to shift power from one substation to another
be seen in what the cooperative did during the
following outage-causing storms.
" When we have an outage the system will be
early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. As
able to detect it before anyone knows it, " Jamie
schools shifted to virtual learning, many stuHayti
says. " It will pop up on a screen. Once it dedents from Bootheel schools found themselves
termines there is an outage it will start pinging
unable to do schoolwork because they did not
meters until it finds the first one that is out. So we
have access to internet service.
know where to start looking when the guys go out. "
" When the pandemic hit we went into the communities
" There's many other benefits that are coming, " Jack
we serve and put in public accessible hot spots anyone
adds. " We've made a lot of strides to modernize things. But
can use, " Jack says. " We picked spots with a parking lot
when the fiber project started we kind of switched gears
so people could use it. Here at the co-op we opened up our
and focused on that. This is going to modernize the co-op
guest network. "
in the coming years. We really look forward to that. "
But the cooperative didn't stop there. Working with
Jack often gets calls from rural people around the state
area schools, they identified students who couldn't afford
who want to know why their electric co-op is not providing
internet service. They provided those students with service
fiber internet service. He points out that Pemiscot-Dunklin
at no charge.
Electric is blessed with a flat terrain with sandy soil and
" It's something we felt like we needed to do to be a good
few rocks. " It's easy to work in, " he says. " Other co-ops
community member, " Jack says. " It was 10 or 15 kids, it
have hills, rugged terrain, national parks and things like
wasn't a lot. But these were underprivileged kids who rethat. You're not going to find a rock here unless it's on a
ally needed the service. "
gravel road. "
Pemiscot-Dunklin Fiber also joined the federal governThe sandy soil of the Bootheel allowed Pemiscot-Dunkment's Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which
lin to put its fiber underground. A local contractor offered
reimburses a portion of the internet bill for anyone who
a low rate to plow the cable into the ground, keeping its
qualifies. This benefit helped connect eligible households
crew close to home. That also is keeping the new lines off
to jobs, health care services, virtual classrooms and more
the electric poles, which will reduce stress on the poles
during the pandemic.
and make repairs easier for the co-op's linemen.
While the fiber-to-the-home service has benefitted many
Combined with the work
families, the biggest boost
going on to the north at
may be to local businesses.
SEMO Electric Cooperative,
Access to high-speed intera big chunk of Southeast
net allowed one local bank
Missouri will soon experiwith branches in several
ence all of the benefits of
Bootheel towns to set up a
the fastest available internet
private network between its
service, with speeds up to a
offices, while saving money
gigabit per second, ultraon its phone service.
high-definition TV and afA local photographer,
fordable, crystal clear phone
Jason Bishop from Hornservice.
ersville, discovered a night " I look at all the storms
and-day difference when his
I went on as a lineman, "
high-speed connection was
says Jamie. " You get that
installed. It used to take him
humbling feeling when you
6 to 8 hours to move his
turn people's power back on
digital photos to an image
and help out the commuprocessor. Now that effort
nity. And I see it now as my
takes just seconds.
neighbors are getting fiber. "
" Fiber has simplified my
life and has streamlined
You can learn more about
my business so much that
Jamie Vaughn, left, manages the electric side of Pemiscot-Dunklin while
Pemiscot-Dunklin Fiber at
I can now focus on growing
Jack Davis heads its fiber business. Both are lifetime residents of the
my business, not spending
Bootheel who understand the benefits of high-speed internet to the area. www.pdfiber.com.
JUNE 2021 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

9


http://www.pdfi http://www.ber.com http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - June 2021

Contents
Rural Missouri - June 2021 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - June 2021 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - June 2021 - Contents
Rural Missouri - June 2021 - 4
Rural Missouri - June 2021 - 5
Rural Missouri - June 2021 - 6
Rural Missouri - June 2021 - 7
Rural Missouri - June 2021 - 8
Rural Missouri - June 2021 - 9
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Rural Missouri - June 2021 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - June 2021 - Cover4
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