Living out in the country away from the big city has its perks. Less traffic, a more peaceful outdoor experience, and of course a front-row seat to those big, beautiful Texas sunsets. You know your neighbors and everything only takes about 10 minutes to get to, unlike the city which takes about 30 minutes to go a mile.
For all the perks of a quiet life, there are some drawbacks. One such drawback is the availability of high-speed internet access for rural areas. Companies put fiber cables down in the cities first because, let’s face it, more people equals more money. Eventually, they may make it out to where you live, but what if they don’t?
How do you get high-speed internet access in rural areas?
It turns out, it’s not impossible. There are several options for great internet service available to you whether you live in the heart of Houston or if directions to your house include “turn onto the dirt road.”
Let’s talk about your options and how TISD can give you more rural internet options!
High-Speed Rural Internet Options in Rural Areas
Fixed Wireless Broadband – Line-of-Site
When you live in an area that lacks the infrastructure for fiber internet, one of the best alternative solutions is fixed wireless broadband, or line-of-site. In our case, a TISD technician will set up your home with a modem and wifi device similar to a standard setup.
Next, we will install another receiver device on a local tower that will connect with a network of towers nearby. You can expect faster speeds than satellite or DSL and a much more reliable connection during bad weather.
If you have a satellite dish for TV, there is a good chance your cable provider also offers satellite internet service. Depending on your internet provider, you can get decent speeds out of satellite internet, but there are big drawbacks.
Many customers experience service interruptions during bad weather as well as a higher latency due to the fact that it takes longer for data to travel between the provider to the satellite and then down to your dish.
This is why we promote fixed wireless broadband over satellite internet services.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
This type of internet service uses the existing telephone lines to connect you to the internet. Even in rural areas, there are probably phone lines hooked up and easily accessible, so that is a plus of DSL.
However, due to the type of wiring DSL uses, the maximum speed most can reach is 20-25 Mbps, and you’ll be lucky to get that. We believe that line-of-site fixed wireless broadband is superior to DSL as well.
Mobile Broadband Hotspots
A mobile broadband hotspot is a handy thing to have when you’re traveling on vacation or out in the elements and need internet access. With 5g speeds available to many people now, the freedom of movement these hotspots offer is more and more attractive.
However, the drawback is that you’re using cellular network data rather than traditional wired connections. Cellular data is typically more expensive and can only offer limited speeds, depending on your location, plan, and device. Also, cellular networks don’t all cover rural areas well. You could lose a lot of accessibility if your cellular provider network doesn’t reach your vacation location.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Internet Provider
In the event you’re not in a place where you can upgrade your service yet, here are a few things you can do to get the most out of your current internet provider.
Determine Your Current Speed Capabilities
A good place to start is to get a real-time reading on what speed you’re actually receiving from your current service. Go to a site called speedtest.net or just type “speed test” into a search engine and run a quick test.
Do Your Research
Find out what internet service providers there are in your area and what they offer. Is fiber even available? What speeds can you get and at what cost? We invite you to check out our internet packages for home or business and compare.
Check for Government Programs
There are a few government programs that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has created to help families who cannot afford internet access to receive funds or discounts towards internet plans. One such plan we are proud to partner in is the Connect America Fund (CAF). You can contact the local FCC office to see if you qualify or just talk to one of our representatives at TISD.
Ask about Community Broadband
Some communities set up their own broadband networks where they all pay into the network and broadcast the signal for a fee. Contact your Chamber of Commerce to find out if you have one or how to get one set up.
Buy Your Own Networking Gear
When Internet Service Providers set up a home or office with internet access, they give you good equipment to use such as a modem and a wifi router. However, there are many after-market versions out there that offer great features you may want to take advantage of.
While nothing is as fast as fiber internet, you’re not abandoned just because you live in hard-to-reach places. TISD is proud to offer strong, reliable, and fast line-of-site internet that won’t go out of you at the first sight of a rain cloud.
In the meantime, we offer fast and reliable internet service to the greater South Texas area so you can stay connected to the people that matter most!
Check to see if we are available in your area with our easy-to-use tool on our website. We are working to install fiber for many neighborhoods all over South Texas, so contact us to find out if we’re bringing fiber to your area.
What is fixed wireless broadband?
Fixed wireless broadband is a type of internet service that uses radio waves to provide high-speed internet to areas that lack fiber infrastructure. It requires a line-of-site connection between a receiver device on a local tower and a modem and wifi device in your home.
What are the drawbacks of satellite internet?
Satellite internet can be slower and less reliable than fixed wireless broadband due to service interruptions during bad weather and higher latency. Data also has to travel a longer distance between the provider, the satellite, and the dish, leading to slower speeds.
Can DSL provide high-speed internet in rural areas?
While DSL uses existing telephone lines and is accessible in many rural areas, the maximum speed it can reach is typically around 20-25 Mbps. Fixed wireless broadband is often considered a superior alternative.
Are there government programs to help with internet costs in rural areas?
Yes, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has created programs such as the Connect America Fund (CAF) to help families who cannot afford internet access to receive funds or discounts towards internet plans.