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Wisper Internet tower technicians Max Henry (left) and Clayton Sanker go through a safety checklist before Henry put on a climbing harness and climbed a 65 foot tall pole to switch out a repeater radio. Wisper Internet recently won $220 million in federal subsidies in an FCC auction for bringing high-speed internet to rural areas. Photo by Tim Vizer

Wisper Internet of Mascoutah, which provides internet service in hard-to-reach rural areas, is expanding its satellite service to Missouri and four other states.

Most of Wisper’s customers access the internet through fixed-wireless technology, which transmits a signal from antennas attached to a tall structure such as a building or water tower. The company has also offered satellite service in Illinois and now will expand it to Missouri, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Spokeswoman Alison Tupiri said the satellite service would enable residents to get internet access while Wisper continues to build out its fixed-wireless network. Wisper has been awarded a couple of rounds of federal subsidies to help bridge the digital divide in rural parts of 13 states.

Wisper’s satellite internet plans range from $60 to $200 a month, depending on speed and usage. Tupiri said prices are similar for the fixed-wireless service.

Wisper, founded in 2003 by former professional swimmer Nathan Stooke, has 162 employees and serves 162,000 subscribers.

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