Collaborations between business and government create opportunities for workers to be able to computer work from home in rural areas.
New Wave Broadband, LaHarpe, is one of those businesses.
New Wave Broadband has collaborated with the City of Fort Scott and Consolidated Rural Water District #2 to put broadband antennas on top of water towers to transmit from.
That allows employees to work from home, on their computer.
There is a New Wave antenna on towers four miles west of Fort Scott and also eight miles west at Redfield; east of Fort Scott on 260th and Kansas roads; and there is one coming to a rural area knows as Porterville, southwest of Fort Scott.
In town, there are New Wave antennas on top of towers south of the hospital, at the water treatment plant at Ninth and Burke streets, and at the middle school.
Mercy Hospital gets internet provided from the same company that New Wave does and “We share a communications closet,” David Lee said. “We have separate equipment.”
New Wave Broadband has its beginnings in the La Harpe Telephone Company, according to its’ website http://newwavebb.com
Joyce and Harry Lee, the owners, raised their family in La Harpe, and the family still operates the company today.
La Harpe Telephone was one of the owners of Kansas Cellular, which was sold in 1999 to Alltel.
Today, they are one of the 29 owners of Kansas Fiber Network, a communication system that delivers broadband connectivity to rural Kansas.
“Some people can work from home now, that couldn’t,” David Lee, son of Harry and Joyce Lee, said.
David Lee negotiates contracts and does installations for the business and “everything in between,” he said.
Lucretia Simpson, Marie Guss, and Jillian McAdams are some New Wave customers who work from home on computers, 8-12 hours a day, from a rural location.
Simpson and McAdams live just south of the Fort Scott city limits, Guss lives east of Fort Scott.
Simpson had a satellite set-up prior to New Wave, two years ago.
“After you used it so much, the company slowed it down,” she said.
Now she can work all day and still have data available to enjoy movies with her family, Simpson said.
Simpson paid for a wireless router.
“Our phone, tv, tablets are wireless, except my computer for work. It’s plugged in,” she said.
Guss switched companies “because it was accessible and they have faster internet speeds than where we had.” she said. “We were looking for download speeds so I could produce more at my job.”
The prior company would lose their signal frequently and take one to four hours to get it corrected, she said.
“I would have to work later in the day when the internet came back up,” Guss said.
Since signing onto New Wave in October 2017, the internet has not been working twice “and two hours at the most.” she said.
“David Lee is very good to respond and give an estimated time when it will be back up.”
McAdams moved to her current location about a year ago and tried another company. Weather conditions caused the internet go down, she said.
She then purchased a router from New Wave.
“We hard wired it into my computer and the phones are connected wirelessly,” McAdams said.
“New Wave has the best customer service I’ve ever had,” she said.