Wisper Pledges $500,000 to Improvements in Fairmont City, IL

What were you doing in 2003? More specifically, do you remember something you bought in 2003?

I’m betting, unless you had a major life event (marriage, graduation, children) or made a major purchase like a house or car, the answer to both questions would be…No.

Let’s break it down even more. If you answered yes to the question about purchases, do you still have that item or product? And to drill down even deeper, is it still as good as it was (or better) 19 years ago?

I may be wrong in assuming (because we all know what that does), but I’ll go out on a limb and say the answers to that last set of questions are also a big…No.

fairmont city logo 'city of good neighbors'In 2003, Wisper Internet was created by Nathan Stooke because his neighbor a couple of miles away needed internet service. This doesn’t sound like such a big deal today when everything we do is connected to the internet. Our entertainment, education, work, and even some refrigerators. Look it up, I’m not sure if I should be excited or terrified. I mean, have you ever seen Transformers?

After maxing out credit cards and months of research, wireless internet came out on top as the best option for Nathan’s neighbor, and just a few months later Wisper was born.

Also in 2003, as one of Wisper’s first ambitious projects, the community of Fairmont City was equipped with wireless internet, and about half of the households in town have been Wisper customers ever since.

In recent weeks, Wisper has doubled down on its commitment to Fairmont City with a $500,000 upgrade and retrofit of equipment on both the broadcast towers and customers’ homes. This also included major work on Wisper infrastructure in St. Louis which serves Fairmont City.

Now tell me what other product or service you’ve had for 20 years is going to set you up with all-new, state-of-the-art equipment with no new costs. Not going to happen!

Last week I had a great phone conversation with someone who has worked in and with Fairmont City for 20-plus years. She was blunt, frank, and honest about the needs in the community and the pros and cons of Wisper for the people she interacts with every day.

As a public relations agent for the company, some of what she said was right in line with what I would want to hear from a community advocate. On the other hand, some of it was quite a gut punch.

She was by no means being mean. Instead, she was being real, and to be honest, I am grateful to her. In an industry based on customers and serving them (which Wisper takes very seriously), this type of feedback is good. Any person or company can pat themselves on the back and say how great we are, but who purposely looks in the mirror and comments on their warts?

Wisper started with one neighbor who needed internet, and now in 2022 has grown to the top wireless internet service provider in the nation providing service to “20,000 neighbors”. As we continue to grow our network across six states using hundreds of millions of dollars through Connect America Fund, we can not forget our roots and the towns that put us on the map, like Fairmont City.

I’ve written before about our love of small towns and I’ve mentioned that Wisper is a company with a soul. Our success in the future depends on not forgetting the past. A customer or community from 2003 is just as important as customers and towns we connect in 2023 and 2033 for that matter.

It’s easy to get complacent when things are going well, but it only takes one spark to reignite a fire and help a company, employees, and customers stay focused on the past and the future.

As the year progresses the Fairmont City project is just the first of about 40 planned for 2022. Add to that, the launch of as many as 20 new wireless broadband towers each month. The snowball is rolling down the mountain. Wisper and its workforce are growing larger every day.

Fairmont City, Wisper is sticking with you, thanks for sticking with us.

And we promise…no Transformers.


Wisper’s Towers are located at:

  • 2905 N 61st St, Fairmont City, IL 62201, USA
  • 2553 N 44th St, East St Louis, IL 62201, USA