Wondering what’s the best internet for rural areas? This article will help you choose the best ISP for your rural household.
The Internet is undeniably one of the best technological advancements mankind has witnessed. Nothing is the same anymore and the comparison between today and a few decades back leaves us in awe of how far we’ve come. This simple yet complex and powerful invention has transformed the way we’re connected to our friends, family, and businesses. Staying connected has never been easier thanks to the internet.
The Federal Communications Commission pledges to bridge the digital divide and is consistently making sure to ensure quality internet access to the citizens of the United States. Cable-based ISPs have contributed significantly to the widespread availability of the internet in the United States. These providers have worked relentlessly hard to provide the ideal infrastructure to deliver reliable and fast internet connections across the country. These cable providers are equipped with the right technology and tools to deliver the fastest connection possible in conjunction with the best networking protocols.
However, with that said, there are still millions in America who don’t have access to a healthy broadband connection or lack access to reliable options. While residing in a rural area has its own set of pros that include an unpolluted environment and scenic views, it also comes with a huge disadvantage that is impossible to overlook – the lack of internet options in rural regions. The statistic is alarming considering it’s America.
The urban centers of the country have adopted a fast-paced life because of several reasons, but rural communities also have needs that need to be met with a fast and reliable internet connection, just like urban communities do.
Availability of the Best Internet for Rural Areas
Unfortunately, rural regions in the country face an inconsiderable lack of high-speed internet options compared to their metropolitan and downtown counterparts. Available rural internet options are limited so picking out the best internet provider for rural areas can be difficult. We have few providers operating in rural regions, delivering slow to nominal speeds with capped data and limited availability. This leaves little room for those residing in such areas to explore and choose. While the urban lifestyle is heavily dependent on access to high-speed internet connectivity, the rural lifestyle isn’t.
However, connectivity is a basic necessity in this time and age. Fortunately, technological development is constantly becoming bigger and better and the latest technologies are constantly enabling providers to expand their coverage maps as well. And therefore, we have a few more options to explore besides an obsolete dial-up connection. We can find a faster internet connection in rural and remote regions with the help of Wireless Internet, Satellite, and DSL options. The need to bridge the digital divide in America is pushing providers to invest in incredible infrastructure upgrades and expansion, especially to enable rural communities to experience high-speed internet in all its glory.
The likes of the biggest names in the ISP industry – AT&T, CenturyLink, Windstream, Rise Broadband, and HughesNet are focusing on powering rural households with high-speed internet options that suffice the digital needs of this time and age. cable broadband ISPs are investing a lot of money and dedicating a lot of time to diminish the digital divide between the rural and urban centers and we’re about to help you out on your quest to pick the right internet service provider in your rural abode.
If you’re residing in rural and remote regions, and are on the lookout for the best internet for rural areas, keep reading. This brief and concise write-up is written to help you find the best internet speeds in your area! As long as you’ve done your homework and know your data and speed needs, you may find it less difficult to find your best bet.
Also, see: What is a Good Internet Provider In My Area?
Internet Types Available In Rural Areas
Some of the most commonly available internet types in rural and remote regions are Satellite, DSL, and cable connections. You can also find dial-up connections available for super-cheap rates, but they’re obsolete and unreliable or mobile hotspots which can be a bit pricey. Fiber optic internet on the other hand is not available easily in rural and remote regions.
Here is how you can pick the right rural internet provider:
- DSL Internet
Compared to a satellite connection, DSL connections are more affordable. Against cable internet, they provide faster speeds, higher data limits, and wide coverage too. It’s a great option to go for when you have easy access to a landline phone service nearby since it won’t interrupt your phone communication, unlike dial-up.
Rural localities can enjoy a consistent internet connection without breaking their bank account. DSL networks connect around 92% of the US, making it the most readily available option in the country. AT&T internet, Windstream, CenturyLink, and Frontier are the top DSL rural internet providers in remote and rural regions.
- Satellite Internet
If DSL or cable connections aren’t available in your area, you can enjoy the fastest internet speeds in your rural abode with the help of a satellite connection. The widespread coverage of a satellite connection makes it a good option for those living in hard-to-reach rural regions. However, it’s definitely pricier than other options and comes with low data limits that will drive you nuts in the long run. The typical satellite speeds fall within the 12 to 100 Mbps bracket. HughesNet is doing an incredible job at delivering fast satellite connections and low latency to rural internet users. It uses the fifth generation satellite networking technology to deliver reliable and stable connectivity.
- Fixed Wireless
Fixed Wireless connections are more affordable than satellite connections; however, you might not get speeds as fast as a satellite connection, or unlimited data like with cable connections. If DSL and cable internet is unavailable in your area, going with a Fixed Wireless option is a smart move. You also save up a lot from spending money on a huge satellite internet bill. However, do keep in mind frequent interference that may occur.
Rise Broadband is the largest fixed wireless provider in the country. Thanks to its widespread availability, rural internet users can easily find a Rise access point nearby!
- Mobile Broadband
A Mobile Broadband connection works best for when you’re on the go and need a temporary fix. Mobile Broadband allows users to freely browse, stream and play with 3G/4G, 4G LTE, and 5G speeds. You can make use of download speeds up to 140 Mbps with AT&T Wireless. The only downside of this type of connection is the lack of signal reception and strength which is based on location.
What to Know Before Picking out A Rural Internet Provider
Picking out the best internet in rural areas is no easy task. However, it’s important. The rural landscape makes it difficult to identify the best options when it’s performance-based. This is why knowing your digital data and speed needs is vital. You must take into account all the factors before you pick a rural internet option and plan. Don’t rush the process and keep the following in mind:
- Connection and Availability
Internet availability in remote and rural regions is a huge issue that is underlining the digital divide significantly. If you’re a part of rural America, you know what we’re talking about. You know the struggles and difficulties of picking the right internet connection based on availability. The type of connection you choose plays a vital role in your rural internet experience. You don’t have many options. And this is where HughesNet kicks in to save the day. The Gen5 Satellite Internet connection is independent of wired networks and works anywhere since it only uses existing copper phone lines in place in almost every rural region. Moreover, fixed wireless networks are also becoming more popular and available.
The availability of an ISP in your area does not mean the availability of any particular promotions and plans. Confirm the availability of the provider and their plans before settling down on one.
- Speed and Data
It’s important for you to observe your internet speed needs and choose the plan that suits your needs the best. Take a look at your internet usage, or in simpler words, the online activities you perform. Learn how much speed you typically need in a day to perform those activities. Also, keep in mind the number of internet users or devices connected to the network as that also has a direct impact on internet speeds.
Providers offer a variety of plans with multiple speed tiers and data limits. It depends on what you need and the availability of the plan at your location. Rural internet plans often come with data limitations regardless of connection type. But you will find AT&T and CenturyLink to be more than generous with their data allowance. Compare available options before settling on one.
The cost of the service is a prime factor when shopping for the internet. Unfortunately, the lack of options and limited availability make a reliable and trustworthy internet connection seriously expensive. Some internet types are more expensive due to the infrastructure and network costs, for instance, satellite internet is more expensive than dial-up. Explore and learn about available rural options and prices and weigh them against the value you receive with each plan.
High-Speed Rural Internet Options
The table below highlights the top rural internet providers, the type of connection, and the speeds they deliver.
Type of Connection
To Wrap it Up
Lack of options, limited availability, slow speeds, high prices, and capped data are not what you want to run into when internet shopping. But rural internet users have it hard when this is all they have. However, with few of the biggest names expanding their infrastructure in rural areas, there is still hope. You just have to explore what these biggest players offer in your rural abode and decide if that’s what you want!