In 1994, Socket’s founders saw a need for a local Missouri internet provider. They ignored some initial skepticism from friends and family – the internet was, after all “just a fad” - and started Socket, providing basic dial-up internet service out of a small office in Columbia.
Demand for internet access grew rapidly. By 1999, Socket had more than 30,000 customers and relocated to two office spaces on Cherry Street in downtown Columbia. (Those spaces are now Glenn's Cafe and studio apartments!)
As dial-up internet peaked, Socket knew there was still a need for high-quality telecommunications options in Missouri, even if dial-up wasn’t the best option anymore. The company began offering high-speed internet (at the time, it was DSL) and later became a CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier). With the expansion of business telephone and other advanced services, we grew rapidly, and Socket was named one of the nation’s fastest growing companies by Inc. Magazine.
2007 was another big year at Socket – the office moved (again) to its current location on Clark Lane in Columbia. In addition, we introduced Residential telephone service and Naked DSL internet resulting in more expansion.
Socket started providing fiber connections to customers in 2011 and currently provides fiber connections to over 14,000 customer locations. In the residential and small business market, Socket delivers up to 1 Gbps broadband Internet, voice, and video service. Socket also offers more advanced data services to business, critical community institutions, and non-profit customers. The privately-owned fiber network is now comprised of over 1,700 miles of fiber across 19 counties in Missouri.
Socket’s Network Operations Center operates an extensive network throughout the state of Missouri which features redundant connections to the internet from both Kansas City and St. Louis. Socket’s fiber network is built with a combination of in-house and contracted underground and aerial construction crews that have experience working across Missouri. Socket employs in-house Utility Locators that are available 24/7 for emergency locates, if necessary, and are responsive to the needs of contractors and residents through Missouri One Call.
Socket provides a full range of services from residential Internet and phone service to advanced data and telecommunications services to large, enterprise businesses and critical community institutions. Socket is a well-established competitive local exchange and interexchange carrier regulated by the Missouri Public Service Commission and the Federal Communications Commission to provide telecommunications services. As a utility, Socket has legal access to the public Right-of-Way and utility easements for placing its network facilities.