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West Plains is one of the many population centers of rural regions that have been left behind by big cable and telephone companies. Located in the scenic Ozarks of southern Missouri, they are taking their digital future into their own hands with a modest fiber-optic investment.City Administrator Tom Stehn strolls by our podcast this week to discuss what they are doing and why with a municipal fiber network that will connect anchor institutions and local businesses with high-quality Internet access.We discuss the need, how they are financing it, and why the state legislature should not enact new barriers to local solutions. The community has already been placing conduit as part of a larger undergrounding effort, which will help them to expand the network over time.Read the transcript of the show here.We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.This show is 17 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or via the tool of your choice using this feed.You can download this mp3 file directly from here. Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index.Thanks to Break the Bans for the music. The song is Escape and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.