The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


October 3, 2007

Empire sells Fast Freedom

Derek Spellman 10/3/07 flair at bottom

By Derek Spellman

Empire District Electric Co. in Joplin has sold its Internet service subsidiary to a Granby company, officials said Wednesday.

Empire had purchased Fast Freedom Inc., a provider of wireless broadband, DSL and dial-up Internet service, several years ago. Empire now has sold Fast Freedom to Stouffer Communications Inc., which has been providing dial-up Internet and high-speed DSL service to Granby, Diamond and bordering rural communities since 1995.

“It should be completely seamless for the customers,” said Jon Stouffer, president of Stouffer Communications, of the transition.

Amy Bass, a spokeswoman for Empire, said Fast Freedom had 5,000 customers. She declined to disclose the sale price of Fast Freedom, citing company policy.

Bill Gipson, president of Empire, said the utility bought the Internet business at a time when Empire and other utilities were studying the broadband-over-power-line concept, which allows a customer to receive Internet service through a power outlet.

“One of the things we wanted to understand was the customer side of that technology,” Gipson said. “Now, a few years later, we find ourselves in a place where there are plenty of other places to invest our money. The Internet business has taken a back seat to our mission. It is no longer core to our business.”

Stouffer said Empire approached him about selling Fast Freedom several months ago.

He said his company has been trying to carve out a niche as a provider of high-speed Internet in areas that currently lack that service, especially rural areas.

Stouffer Communications acquired The Net Advantage, a Joplin-based Internet provider, several months ago. Net Advantage and Fast Freedom provide high-speed Internet, Web development and hosting, and other technology support services in Southwest Missouri.

“It is the first time we have expanded on this scale,” Stouffer said of the two acquisitions.

Text Only
  • Business US stocks close higher for third day in a row

    Investors drove stock prices to their highest level in a week Wednesday,

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • China’s growth slows to 7.4 percent in 1Q

    China’s economic growth slowed further in the latest quarter but appeared strong enough to satisfy Chinese leaders who are trying to put the country on a more sustainable path without politically dangerous job losses.

    April 16, 2014

  • A look at 3 minority business mentoring programs

    A look at minority business mentoring programs, called accelerators, in three metropolitan areas.

    April 16, 2014

  • Why high oil prices are actually good for airlines

    Airline executives frequently complain about fuel costs. But the truth is higher prices actually have been good for business.

    April 16, 2014

  • Business US stocks open higher; Yahoo soars in early trade

    U.S. stocks moved higher in early trading on Wednesday, extending their gains into a third day. Investors welcomed solid earnings from Yahoo as well as some encouraging news about China’s economy and U.S. factory production.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Detroit strikes second deal with its other retirees

    The city of Detroit reached tentative agreements to preserve pensions for retired police office and firefighters but cut monthly payments for other former employees, key deals that could accelerate the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history, officials said Tuesday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Missouri court expands legal rights for injured workers

    The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned 30 years of precedent with a ruling that gives greater legal protections to injured workers who are fired from their jobs.

    April 15, 2014

  • Immigration activists urge Obama to act boldly

    Latinos and immigration activists are warning of political peril for President Barack Obama and Democrats in the fall election unless the president acts boldly and soon to curb deportations and allow more immigrants to remain legally in the U.S.

    April 15, 2014

  • Farmers off to slow start planting corn crop

    Spring planting across the nation’s Corn Belt is sputtering because the soil remains too soggy or cold for effective seeding.

    April 15, 2014

  • Schreiber Foods schedules Carthage plant expansion

    Plans to expand a Schreiber Foods plant to eventually add 160 new jobs have been endorsed by a Carthage committee working with the company. Andrew Tobish, director of combinations for Schreiber, which is based in Green Bay, Wis., confirmed the project, which he said would be complete by late spring or early summer in 2015.

    April 15, 2014


The Supreme Court may take up a challenge to an Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign. Do you think false accusations made in the heat of an election should be punished as a crime?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
NDN Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge