Asset 12

Connecting community one link at a time.

Much of our community did not have access to even a basic internet connection. We decided to change that.

Why we began.

We started Critical Links to make a difference.

This far southwestern corner of MO is our home. We moved to the area in 1998 when dad got a job in the area, and the relationships we’ve developed since that time really comprise the foundation of what we consider to be our community.

One night at a weekly poker game in Monett, a friend was complaining about his poor “high-speed” internet and how it was only 1 Mbps and expensive – ”highway robbery,” he called it.

One night at a weekly poker game in Monett, a friend was complaining about his poor “high-speed” internet and how it was only 1 Mbps and expensive – ”highway robbery,” he called it.

I began to hear more and more dissatisfaction expressed around town. Clearly, it was impacting the lives of the people in this community. I wondered if there might be an opportunity to serve our neighbors while also nurturing my entrepreneurial spirit.

Coincidently, or maybe it was serendipity, Dad had recently been hired as a consultant to a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) in rural Oklahoma to solve network quality issues. He redesigned the architecture of their network so that adding customers didn’t slow the service down. They were using a wireless system designed specifically for WISPs and Dad was very excited about the potential of the technology.

Given that the demand seemed to exist, I started sketching out a bootstrapped business plan just to see if I could find a solution—something sustainable that would solve the problem for my friends and neighbors and maybe bring in a little extra income on the side. I figured out my threshold for losses in year one and what I hoped we could achieve in year two. As I continued to refine the business plan and talk to people, I began to realize the demand for a fast reliable Internet service in the rural area around Monett and neighboring communities far exceeded anything I could do by myself or in just my spare time.

I talked to Dad and the rest is history. He moved back to MO and designed and built Critical Links. We launched in March of 2020. Our goal was to deliver fast, reliable Internet service to just 100 people in the first year. We are on target to exceed that goal by the end of December.

I talked to Dad and the rest is history. He moved back to MO and designed and built Critical Links. We launched in March of 2020. Our goal was to deliver fast, reliable Internet service to just 100 people in the first year. We are on target to exceed that goal by the end of December.
We didn’t get into this to make a ton of money. We are compelled to serve our community. We believe high-quality customer service is as important as a high-quality signal. Dad is passionate about quality. He will not leave an installation until he is satisfied with the signal and is confident our customer will be happy.

We know Critical Links may not be the solution for everyone. The line-of-sight signal from our tower in Monett to rural Monett and beyond to Pierce City, Verona, Purdy and more works great because there is a lot of open space in rural MO. With the current location of the tower, we struggle to penetrate the heavy growth of old trees in the city at signal levels that we feel are needed to deliver good service. The only way to know for sure if we can get you connected is to call us or send us a site survey request with your specific address. Even if it may not look like we can get to you, or even if other companies have told you you’re out of luck, we have gotten VERY creative to deliver service and always enjoy the challenge. You and your Internet needs deserve personal attention and that is exactly what you will get with Critical Links.

The only way to know for sure if we can get you connected is to call us or send us a site survey request with your specific address. Even if it may not look like we can get to you, or even if other companies have told you you’re out of luck, we have gotten VERY creative to deliver service and always enjoy the challenge. You and your Internet needs deserve personal attention and that is exactly what you will get with Critical Links.

Our goal for 2021 is to add at least another 100 customers to the Critical Links community, and our ambition is to have another tower active by the end of the year to cover even more homes that are in need. We will do that without compromising the signal quality or the customer service for our existing customers. That is Critical Links bottom line. If you’d like to be one of those 100, give us a call.

Dale & Jonathan Baltzell
Founders of Critical Links

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