If you are not signed up to receive text messages, it is highly recommended to do so. Follow the link below!

Fiber to Fatima - Internet Connection Project


In February of 2018, the Osage R-3 School District submitted a request for grant funds to establish fiber connectivity to the Internet from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), some may refer to it as E-rate.   USAC gets it's funding from the "Universal Service" fee found on your phone bills and is a branch of the FCC.   Fatima routinely requests funding that typically covers 60% of the costs of obtaining an Internet connection, helping to reduce the direct cost to the district.   The district also occasionally uses such funds to help pay for internal connectivity equipment and services.   This year the district made a substantial request to connect to the Internet via a fiber optic connection to support future plans for increased technology use.   We have always had difficulty obtaining a fast and reliable connection to the Internet which classified our district "bandwidth deficient" and targeted for assistance in rectifying the situation.   In concert with this request, the district also utilized an additional source of funding through the Missouri Connect & Learn Initiative. The Connect & Learn Initative was introduced last year to establish fiber connectivity to those school districts in the state that were lacking in adequate bandwidth capabilities.    The state's funding increased the USAC's funding from 60% to 70% and the state in our case covered the remaining 30% to fully fund the construction of fiber to the district.   This is to be a potential $380,000 project from the schools perspective.   The district also was assisted by a national organization for educational broadband deployment, EducationSuperhighway.org.  On October 5th we were officially notified that our funding request was approved and that we could proceed with our project.

What does the project entail?   We have contracted with Sho-Me Technologies, LLC out of Marshfield, Missouri to construct a fiber connection from the junction of 50/63 north of Westphalia, along Hwy 63 to the junction of 63 and Maries Ave in Westphalia.   The line will proceed down Maries Ave and then down Main St until it reaches Fatima.   Once the fiber is constructed and "lit" up we will have a 1Gbps symmetric and dedicated Internet connection with the ability to go beyond 1Gbps in the future as the need arises.  Sho-Me will also be providing the Internet connectivity portion as well.

We will use this page to keep the community informed.   It will likely be several months before we receive the Internet speeds we are in dire need of, but we now know that it's on the way.

Current Status:  Connected to the Internet via Fiber - 1Gbps

October 5, 2018 - USAC approves funding, Sho-Me notified to proceed with project.

October 10, 2018  -  Sho-Me is currently working to obtain bids and projected timelines from various underground construction companies.  We hope to get more specifics around the 1st of November, once they collect responses from prospective sub-contractors.

October 17, 2018 - Sho-Me's fiber construction manager visted the site at school to go over possible fiber routes into the school from Main street.   They will be meeting with the City of Westphalia soon to go over construction through town.   At present, planning involves directional boring and micro-trenching which is dependent on other utilities location, right of way corridors and subcontractor consultation.  The biggest problem will be of course the weather over the next several months, whether its damp and muddy or frozen and frigid.   Sho-Me's intent is to cause as little surface disruption as possible and not tear up to much ground, making bigger... muddier messes and adding to restoration costs.   As such, timelines for completion will be highly dependant on the weather and mostly ground conditions.

November 30, 2018 - Sho-Me awarded the underground construction portion of the fiber build to a local firm.   The work is about to begin and locate's and permits are being obtained.   Currently you may notice little white flags or painted arrows marking the planned path for the fiber.  Weather permitting, portions of the underground construction may commence as early as next week.   Work is likely to be done in sections, work hopping along the planned route to areas where working conditions are favorable at various times during the winter construction season.   The work is due to be completed in March but is still dependent on the weather. 

December 6, 2018 - Underground construction has started.

January 4, 2019 - At present, approximately 80% of the underground construction is complete as far as distance covered.  What remains involves drilling or sawing through solid rock and will take time.   Overall the project is slightly ahead of schedule and rock was anticipated.  Today the portion under the school parking lot to Main Street was completed.

February 4, 2019 - The underground construction portion of the project is almost complete, should be finished by the end of the week.  All the physical fiber cable should also be blown-in throughout the project route.   Once complete, Sho-Me Technologies will connect all the fiber segments together to form a complete path to their facilities.   The end result will be a massive improvement in Internet connectivity for the district.  

February 12, 2019 - The underground construction portion of the project has been completed.  Sho-Me is scheduled to splice the fiber to establish connection sometime next week, weather permitting.   Fatima should be on fiber with 1Gbps of available bandwidth shortly thereafter.  Project completion on or before March 1, 2019 looks likely.

February 22, 2019 - At 1:45am this morning, the fiber connection was established.   Over the next couple days, services spread out over 4 Internet connections will be consolidated into the single fiber connection.   Fatima is no longer bandwidth deprived.