(CHILLICOTHE, Mo.) The internet highway is getting a lot wider in Chillicothe.
Tuesday, leaders in the Livingston County community came together to celebrate the arrival of 10G broadband internet service
"10 gig is a very big deal. It's a rare network availability," said David Adams, general manager of Green Hills Communications, which invested $5 million over several years to set up the fiber optics system in Chillicothe to provide the services. The upgrade will allow residential broadband speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second.
Chillicothe becomes one of the first communities in Missouri and one of the few in the nation to offer 10G to its residents, a goal they've had there for several years.
"This is just as important to us as the railroad, as the highway as the river, the airport. This is what allows us to expand well beyond the city limits," said Darin Chappell, Chillicothe's city manager.
Governor Mike Parson was in Chillicothe for the celebration. He says rural access to broadband has been a priority of his since he took office.
"The pandemic really exposed us and how we were, especially where it comes to telehealth and telemedicine," Parson said. "We just took for granted we could go get.those services all the time. Then all the sudden you get shut down and you have to rely on broadband."
Now with expanded broadband, business leaders say Chillicothe is no longer limited by being a smaller community in west central Missouri. They say that they are no longer competing only with like-size cities around the midwest, but others both large and small around the nation and beyond.
"We can now be competitive anyplace on the planet and if there's a reason for somebody looking for a reason to relocate, Chillicothe is a fantastic option," Chappell said.