November 2017

Sean Vanslyke & Son

Preregister for GoSEMO Fiber: 100 Mbps with unlimited data for $50

By Sean J. Vanslyke


As we enter the Thanksgiving season, prayers for you, your family and your friends to have a blessed and safe holiday season. It seems to arrive sooner and sooner each year.

2018 Energy Rates

As mentioned in last month’s column, rates will slightly increase for 2018. Effective with bills due February 10, 2018, the Residential Grid Availability Charge (GAC) will increase from 67 cents per day to 80 cents per day. For rates other than residential, the cost per kWh will increase two percent with no change to the GAC or demand charges. The last time we increased energy costs was in 2013.

No one wants to pay more for goods or services. All organizations – even not-for-profits like SEMO Electric – need adequate revenues to cover necessary expenses. Efficiency improvements and cost-containment measures have allowed us to keep rates stable. Since the last kWh increase in January 2013, overall costs have risen. One big example is wholesale energy – up about $2 million for 2017 as compared to 2013. Furthermore, the revenue will help pay long term debt (specifically, debt from the 2009 ice storm) and enhance SEMO Electric’s tree trimming for more than 2,600 miles of lines. Our focus is to keep the lights on.

What is FTTH?

Wow! Thank you for your response to the announcement of GoSEMO Fiber. We definitely share in your excitement, and cannot wait to start providing fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) services to our communities. One of the biggest questions we know most people have is, "what does FTTH actually mean, and why is it important?" We thought we might help shed some light on this game-changing technology and the benefits it offers.

Fiber-to-the-home means that a fiber optic cable, which carries internet, TV and telephone services, runs directly into your home. How is this different from what you may have now? It's pretty simple. Most likely, your current provider uses fiber optic cable, but only reaching a pedestal or hub in your neighborhood. Maybe even farther away.

Then, a copper wire carries service to a box on the outside of your home, and then to ports/jacks inside, where you connect your devices. This is where significant internet speed and reliability is lost. Fiber optic cables are made of glass and each strand is capable of carrying vast amounts of data in each color of light. And with many different colors of light, it makes the capacity almost limitless. Copper cables have been around more than 100 years and aren’t built for today’s needs. They are also susceptible to signal deterioration due to age and environmental conditions.

In a FTTH network, the fiber optic cable runs into your home and directly to a device called an optical network terminal (ONT). The ONT then provides service directly to your devices via wired or wireless connection. So, in essence, you're getting game-changing internet speeds, full HD television and crystal clear phone reception, through a single cable, directly into your home and to your devices.

The fiber optic cable runs directly from our network hub sites, located at substations across our service area, directly into your home and to the ONT.

Our internet will be among the fastest in the country. No more fighting with family members over bandwidth. Now everyone in the house can use a device connected to the same network at the same time without lag.


What’s the cost per month for FTTH?

It’s simple. We are going to keep it simple with pricing you can understand. And appreciate. We want to keep things simple. No gimmicks. No tricks. And no promotional pricing.

It’s perfect symmetry. With the same download and upload speeds. Posting a video, sharing photos, sending large files, video chatting, and gaming online will be faster than it’s ever been.

For $50 per month, residential members will receive up to 100 Mbps (100 MB speed –upload/download) with unlimited data. For $80 per month, residential members will receive up to 1000 Mbps (1 Gig speed – upload/download) with unlimited data. Plus, you will be able sign up for HDTV and phone services. More details are forthcoming and will be available at our offices or

When could I get FTTH?

In order to minimize risk, SEMO Electric’s Board of Directors chose to move forward in a phased-in zone approach to protect co-op ratepayers and the financial integrity of the electric cooperative. Before fiber connections to a home or business are installed, a specific number of members per area must preregister. This set number of members is called a take rate and it ensures that SEMO Electric will not spend money to build a FTTH network in areas where members do not want it and where it cannot be financially sustained.

In September, we started phase one construction in Miner. Now, we are ready for SEMO Electric members served by the Miner substation to preregister so we can plan for home installations. We expect to start connecting homes in January and/or February. As construction phases move forward over the next few years, we anticipate following the same preregistration process.

By preregistering you are expressing interest in service. When construction begins in your area, we will contact you to complete an order for service. There is no payment collected during preregistration. This process just allows you to complete a simple form to let us know what services you are interested in. By preregistering now, all connection and installation fees, including all wiring, will be waived with no contract. When the time arrives to install fiber at your home, you will simply sign a service agreement and make a $50 payment that will be applied to your first month’s bill. 

We encourage members to visit and express your interest in FTTH. Interest will help drive the construction process. If a community shows little to no interest, GoSEMO Fiber may not be installed to that community. You are encouraged to preregister now at and/or visit or call us if you are interested in receiving service from GoSEMO Fiber.

Why choose us?

GoSEMO Fiber, a subsidiary of SEMO Electric Cooperative, is answering the call to bring solutions at the speed of light: Fiber to the Home. We're working to ensure that every member of SEMO Electric has access to the many opportunities having internet brings. GoSEMO Fiber is dedicated to delivering connections that allow residents in southeast Missouri to flourish and thrive whether they own a business or use internet recreationally.

While it may be a few months or a few years before GoSEMO Fiber reaches your home or business, be cautious not to sign or verbally agree to a long-term contract with other service providers who may not offer speed of light service with simple pricing with no gimmicks or tricks. As a cooperative, our business model is simply different – simply better.

Book of the Month

“Great team players lack excessive ego or concerns about status. They are quick to point out the contributions of others and slow to seek attention for their own. They share credit, emphasize team over self, and define success collectively rather than individually. It is no great surprise, then, that humility is the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player.”  Patrick Lencioni – The Ideal Team Player 

Be smart. Act safe.


Vanslyke is general manager and chief executive officer of SEMO Electric Cooperative. The photo is of Sean and his son Parker.