Although the old dial-up connection may seem outdated to most people, it is still a reality for many Americans who live in rural areas.
There are some positive signs about broadband connectivity for rural residents.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in its 2020 Broadband Report, states that the digital divide in broadband service continues to close. In fact, Americans who live in rural areas have seen their access to broadband services increase by 85% since 2017.
However, it is still difficult to find an internet service provider in some country areas. Census data indicates that 75% of urban households subscribe to an Internet service, but only 65% of rural households subscribe.
Related Article: Unlimited Wireless Internet
Top Rural Internet Providers
The internet is rapidly expanding and improving in rural areas. This is good news for rural families who live in areas far from the cities. This overview provides a list of some available providers and further information.
There are many types of internet available for rural areas.
Rural America is making progress and improving internet access conditions. While dial-up is a viable option for basic internet access, it’s not the only choice. Let’s look at the other options for internet access in rural areas.
- Digital Subscriber Line (DSL).
- A DSL connection sends data over your existing phone line. However, it can be up to 10x faster than dial-up. It allows you to use your phone while connected to the internet. However, connection speeds may be slow or spotty.
- satellite internet can be found in many areas, even rural ones, but the weather could affect your connection.
- Providers of wireless internet service
- Wireless internet service providers are mobile broadband services that transmit internet signals to your home. However, it requires equipment installation and a clear line to the tower. Stormy weather can disrupt a connection.
- Although 4G cell networks are available in rural areas, it is best to use smartphones for all your internet needs. The cost per gigabyte of data can be high and limited coverage.
- Rural areas are more expensive for fiber optic internet, which can be slow in these areas. Fiber optic internet is available in some rural areas of the United States.
Rural Internet Buying Guide
The best type of internet for you depends on many factors, including availability, speed, pricing, and other considerations. These sections will help you choose the best plan for you.
What to Expect in Rural Areas
Internet Access in Rural Areas
Access to internet service is not available in rural areas. You will normally have DSL, satellite, or fixed wireless options. Below is the list of all types available nationwide:
- DSL: Up To 80% of the population
- Satellite internet: up to 100% of the population
- Fixed wireless: Providers such as Verizon offers 99% nationwide coverage
Internet Speeds in Rural Areas
As we have already mentioned, the location you live in will determine which internet providers are available. This determines what internet services you will have access to. Below are the download speeds for each type.
- DSL: 1-200 Mbit/s
- Fixed Wireless: 1-1,000 Mbit/s
- Satellite: 12-100 Mb/s
Price Ranges in Rural Areas
When choosing the right internet type, speed is not the only factor to consider. Here’s how much each type of internet could cost you.
- DSL: $19-$49.99
- Fixed Wireless: $29.99 – $70
- Satellite: $50-$59.99
Compare Rural Internet Service Providers Prices & Plans
Rural internet access will increase as more people move away from cities. This provides a better overview of all the available providers and more detailed information about each of them.