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Closing the Digital Divide: The Importance of High-Speed Internet in Rural Communities

High-speed internet saves time and is crucial for all telework. However, research shows that 19 million Americans lack broadband access, most of whom are in rural areas. The lack of high-speed internet in rural communities affects the locals and potential entrepreneurs planning to establish a business in the communities.

If your business is in a rural setup or you plan to start one, you may need fast and reliable internet. Wireless networking is efficient, flexible, and can cover a wide area if you work with the right provider.

Similarly, you can use a Meraki MX68W router/security appliance to get unlimited Wi-Fi with seven-layer switching. The appliance offers a comprehensive network suite and eliminates the need for multiple Wi-Fi devices, increasing efficiency in your business.

This guide discusses high-speed internet in rural areas and how people living in rural setups can access high internet. Keep reading.

The Connectivity Gap: Why Rural Internet Is Bad

The Internet is no longer a luxury meant for the few but a right of everyone, considering the current increase of remote working. Whether living in an urban or rural setup, everyone deserves a reliable and fast internet speed.

The digital divide is real, and you may be wondering; why the internet in rural areas is so bad. There are various reasons why rural setup remains overlooked when it comes to broadband services, and here are some of them:

Broadband Installation Is Costly and Complex

Many houses in rural areas are inaccessible, making it costly to install broadband and other fast internet appliances. Also, most places have uneven terrains and harsh weather conditions, which increase the difficulty of installing internet cables. Internet providers incur more costs in rural areas than in urban areas when installing high-speed devices in rural setups.

Not Many Internet Users/Potential Customers

Customers are a significant determinant when installing high-speed internet in an area. Internet providers prioritize areas with promising users, and most urban setups tend to have the highest customer base. Some rural setups provide a small or no customer base, which has been a significant cause of the digital divide.

Closing the Divide: How Can Rural Areas Get High Internet Speed?

Here are a few effective internet options for people in rural setups.

Consider Wireless Internet

Wireless internet does not use cables or wires. Instead, it uses radio waves to transfer high-speed data within two fixed points.

Your wireless internet provider may fix an antenna in your roof or any other high point near your house. That antenna will receive signals from a nearby tower and convert the signals to the internet.

Wireless internet is a great option in rural setups which do not have traditional wire lines. You can use the internet on your computer, smartphone, tablet, and any other electronic device. If you decide to go wireless, ensure there’s a straight/clear line of sight between your home antennae and your provider’s antennae.

Consider 5G Mobile Broadband

5G internet is an excellent wireless technology that delivers high peaks of cellular data. 5G is speedy, cheap, and does not need a complicated setup process. If you currently use a 2G/3G or 4G network, you can find an internet provider to upgrade it to 5G. However, your mobile device should have robust battery power, because it consumes a considerable amount of battery power compared to the rest.

Upgrade Your Router

Newer router models can handle high internet strength, while older ones may not. When you are in a rural setup, you will need to explore the fastest and most reliable internet options, and upgrading your router may be one of them. The most common signs that your router needs an upgrade include old age, slow internet connection, worsening wi-fi range, or router running excessively hot. When buying a new router, take note of the frequency and antennas for better internet coverage.

Consider Fiber Optic

Fiber optic is another reliable internet technology that promises up to 1,000mbps internet. Fiber optic works well for people in rural areas working for fast and efficient internet. If you intend to use this option, you should have fiber cables which are usually made of copper. The initial installation can be costly, but you can join hands with other people, like your neighbors, and choose the single-mode fiber which works well for longer distances.

How to Choose the Best Rural Internet Provider

Choosing an internet provider is vital to ensure you get the best rural internet. Here are a few helpful tips to ensure you work with the best provider:

Availability: Ensure the provider's internet is easily accessible in rural areas

Speed: Confirm that the provider promises high-speed internet to avoid usage disruptions

Costs: Every provider has some charges and expenses for the internet. Choose the internet you can readily afford.

Reliability: Choose a reliable provider with excellent, 24-hour customer service.

Final Remarks

High-speed internet in rural areas is less developed than in urban setups. As such, you may have a frustrating experience if you run a business in a rural setup. Thankfully, there are many reliable options, including the ones discussed above, that you can consider. Explore the options, and find a reliable provider for the best internet service.

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