A key takeaway from the COVID-19 Pandemic is the prevalence of technology in today’s workforce and education system. Because of the important role technology plays, rural Americans are facing a crisis known as the digital divide. Without access to reliable, high-speed Internet like their urban counterparts, residents of rural communities have fewer opportunities available to them, putting them at an economic disadvantage. This includes America’s farmers.
At the end of the day, farmers are running a business and access to a reliable, high-speed Internet connection allows them to operate more efficiently. You may be thinking to yourself, “Don’t farmers spend all day outside in a field? How would they use the Internet?” The Internet allows farmers to use more innovative technology, which provides them with the capability to better track supplies, equipment, incoming weather and much more.
Stevie Scates of Scates Valley Irrigation in Carmi, IL, has been a customer of Wisper Internet since fall of last year. When asked about his service, Stevie said, “I use Wisper Internet for my irrigation business, but I also have cousins up the road in New Haven that use it to monitor our grain bin remotely. I’ve tried several types of Internet service, from satellite to dish to hot spots. Wisper is more reliable and faster than any of those options. I can actually run Zoom meetings now to meet with customers! It also helps us send aerial map photographs, order equipment, and communicate with our accountant. It has helped improve the overall efficiency of my business, so we can better serve our farmers.”
“Farmers are America’s backbone,” said Wisper CEO and Founder, Nathan Stooke. “Wisper Internet is proud to be helping America’s farmers and the businesses that serve them.”
The entrepreneurship journey is different for everyone who chooses it, but most are faced with an encompassing (overwhelming) ‘on the clock 24/7’ experience. Entrepreneurs in rural communities face an even tougher challenge; figuring out how to operate in a world made for reliable, high-speed Internet.
Terry Wassam is the owner of Wassam Farm and Fence in Sedalia, MO. Wassam Farm and Fence is a Ma & Pa Brick and Mortar Store offering an array of agricultural supplies as well as custom welding work. Terry recounts his frustration when he started the business 7 years ago, “The only option available to us was a landline phone. Every time we had to run a credit card, it would tie up the line and take forever to process.” Terry’s business changed dramatically when he found Easy Net Wireless, now Wisper Internet 3 years ago. “It was a game changer. Most, if not all of our business involves the Internet. A reliable, high-speed Internet connection is very important for rural businesses like mine.”
Since these businesses don’t market themselves as ‘cash only, they can’t fault their customers for an issue with their own operating system. Consequently, many times businesses just have to eat the cost. In business, every sale counts and they can’t afford to be losing revenue.
Michael Rice is a farmer in Green Ridge, MO and a Wisper Internet Customer. When asked how he uses his reliable, high-speed Internet connection through Wisper at his farm, Michael said, “I mostly use it for my Ring Security System. It sends a notification to my phone if someone pulls up or walks through the door while I’m out in the field. I also use it for looking up parts and equipment. Due to Wisper’s high-speeds, I am able to search for anything, from tractors to semis to hopper bottoms and more with ease. I’ve been known to find a deal or two on Facebook Marketplace.”
Wisper ISP, LLC is a Wireless Internet Service Provider with 180 employees and 20,000 subscribers across Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Wisper is based out of Mascoutah, IL, in the St. Louis Metro Area, with regional offices in Joplin and Washington, MO. Wisper customers in rural and metropolitan communities receive fast, reliable service and friendly, helpful customer service.
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