Gascosage Electric Cooperative worked and continues to work with Sho-Me Power Cooperative, our power supplier, to install fiber optics throughout our rural territory. The project was initiated to install SCADA connections to our substations, providing real time monitoring for our distribution system and thereby improving outage response time as well. The improved communication that developed has broadened the opportunities for our consumers to raise their standard of living through connectivity while maintaining the benefits of the rural lifestyle.
Gascosage Electric recognized that the excess capacity existing in the fiber required to transmit data to the Cooperative could provide Distance Learning opportunities to our local schools. Gascosage and Sho-Me Power officials assisted the schools by funding the writing of federal and state grant proposals to assist in financing the project. The Cooperative was instrumental in obtaining additional funding through Missouri state grants, the Educational Rates & Universal Service Fund, and RUS Distance Learning grants and loans. The Cooperative also helped fund the installation and maintenance of the equipment. All of these efforts have brightened the future of local children by raising their standard of education to meet the curriculums of better-funded, urban schools. The Missouri State Department of Education regards this Distance Learning Program as a standard of teaching innovation.