Rural Internet Providers
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About Rural Internet
Like gas and electricity, the internet is essential to modern life. It’s so important, in fact, that a federal court determined that high-speed internet is a utility—not a luxury. Despite this, internet options for rural areas can seem few and far between. But don’t lose hope! If you live in a rural area, you may have more options than you think.
Rural Internet Service: Buying Guide
ISPs vary by region. When you’re looking for rural high-speed internet providers near you, the fastest way to find your options is by checking our database. To find what’s in your area, enter your zip code in the zipfinder tool.
Find internet providers in your community:
How much of the rural US has access to high-speed internet?
According to a 2016 survey by the Federal Communications Commission, only 61% of rural Americans and 59% of Americans living on tribal lands have access to internet download speeds of 25 Mbps or higher. By contrast, 96% of urban Americans have access to those same speeds.
Why is it difficult to get internet in rural areas?
Laying cables for internet services is an expensive process. The geographical distances and topographical barriers make it even more expensive, and low population density means ISPs may not get a strong return on the investment. So rather than spend money to expand to rural areas, many ISPs focus instead on maintaining and building in densely populated metro areas.
How many satellite internet providers are there?
Currently there are only two satellite internet providers: Exede and Viasat. Many former satellite providers either merged with current providers or switched to fixed wireless internet service. Learn more by reading our “The Best Satellite Internet Providers” post.
How can I find fixed wireless internet where I live?
Some widely known ISPs like AT&T and Windstream offer fixed wireless and may survey your area to see if it’s suitable to expand into. Also, this directory can help you see if there are any independent fixed wireless internet providers already available that can provide internet service in your area.
Aside from DSL, satellite, and fixed wireless internet, are there any other ways to get rural broadband?
Mobile hotspots are another option in some rural areas. These small gadgets convert a 4G LTE connection into a Wi-Fi signal for your home. If you don’t get cellphone service, it won’t work. But if you do have cell service, consider purchasing a mobile hotspot and data plan. Check out Amazon for prepaid options.
How can I save on rural internet?
The Lifeline program helps low-income consumers afford telecommunication services, including internet, with a subsidized monthly price. To see if you qualify, enter your zip code below, find a provider in your area, and ask a customer service representative about your discount options.
Best Internet for Rural Areas Summary
|AT&T||Fixed Wireless||10 Mbps|