19 Years of Wisper

Happy Birthday Wisper: Moving Forward, Looking Back, Keeping Promises

In 1905, author George Santayana coined the phrase “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The same phrase or variation of it was made famous by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill decades later as he guided Great Britain through World War II.

The past can be both helpful and hurtful to everyone. It can evoke great memories, triumphs, regrets, or traumas from which we can learn. Good or bad, we can never forget the past and in a world of forward motion and progress, we must remember our roots and foundations.

Businesses must be incredibly careful to remember their past and not be blinded by future expansions and progress and let themselves forget the customers who have helped them build their business into what it is today. Without the past, there is no future.

Moving Forward

Founder Nathan Stooke on a tower circa 2003On September 18, Wisper Internet will celebrate its 19th birthday. Since 2003, Wisper has looked forward while never losing sight of the past. As you may guess, the wireless internet industry is changing and growing daily. Wisper has and will continue to be at the forefront of the technology wave with two decades of experience to navigate the internet ocean.

The $220 million Connect America Fund II (CAF) award has propelled Wisper to the forefront of the WISP industry across six states and Wisper is known nationwide for its groundbreaking work.

Since the beginning of this year (2022) Wisper has launched 108 new wireless broadband towers across three states. In Missouri, 74 new towers are serving households in 36 individual counties with some of those counties now hosting as many as seven Wisper towers.

In Illinois, 32 new towers have been launched this year in 12 counties with most hosting 2, 3, and 4 new towers each. Wisper also launched two new towers in Craig and Ottowa counties in Oklahoma this year as well.

In the last four months of 2021, Wisper launched 68 new CAF towers in 40 counties spanning four states. Those towers served more than 204,000 households.

As reported at the most recent companywide All Hands meeting, Wisper has 80,149 CAF obligations spanning six states including Missouri (68,269), Illinois (8,907), Oklahoma (2,443), Kansas (414), Arkansas (102), and Indiana (14).

As of August, Wisper has completed 176 total towers serving 33,292 of the CAF obligations. The completion rate in Arkansas is at 68 percent; 57 percent in Indiana; 48 percent in Oklahoma, 43 percent in Missouri; 42 percent in Kansas; and 29 percent in Illinois.

Looking Back

When a foundation of any kind is built, it cannot be forgotten in the fog of progress and the same must be true in any business, especially one as dynamic as the internet. Just think, 20 years ago we still had to dial a phone number to a modem or system somewhere and then listen to the screeching phone lines just to get “online”. Now, with Wi-Fi and wireless networks we can connect effortlessly in our homes, yards, cars, or anywhere.

Founder Nathan Stooke in front of original Wisper van, 2003, 20th anniversaryWisper Internet cherishes its roots and in addition to focusing on the CAF and forward-moving projects, they are laser-focused on strengthening the foundations and core values on which the company was built and follows.

In just the past six months, Wisper crews have completed 83 system upgrades and retrofits across its networks in Missouri and Illinois.

These upgrades span locations served by Wisper’s headquarters in Mascoutah, Ill., and the spokes in Smith, Joplin, Osage, Smithton, Forsyth, Washington, and Kansas City, Mo. These upgrades and retrofits are proof positive that Wisper and its employees are committed to our existing customers who had faith in the company and have helped it reach its current success.

Everything Wisper does is for our customers both new and old. The CAF builds are driven to connect the unserved and underserved in our coverage areas. Wisper is meeting those mandates and is committed to having the best network for our current and future customers.

In furtherance of those goals, Wisper has joined with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to assist households with the Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs to get people connected and stay connected to the world.