The Internet Options Available to Rural Residents

Table of Contents

  • Rural Internet Connection Types
    • DSL
    • Satellite
    • Fixed Wireless
    • Dial-Up
  • Features to Keep In Mind
    • Speeds
    • Price
    • Data Limits
    • Hidden Fees
  • In Conclusion


Country life is much slower-paced than city life. In many rural areas, internet connections can tend to be slower than those that are available in urban areas. However, there are various types of technology that can let you enjoy a high-speed internet connection, even when residing in remote or rural areas. Some of these types are discussed in this article, to help you choose which one is the best for you. 

Rural Internet Connection Types

While it may seem that rural areas are devoid of many options, that’s not true. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a vast majority of the population has access to at least two providers around them. In these underserved areas, you can access the internet through a DSL, a dial-up, a satellite, or a fixed wireless connection. 

How do you know which one is the right one for you? We will get into that as soon as we explain each of these connections to some extent. 


A DSL connection is similar to fiber and cable connections, in the sense that it uses the pre-installed telephone lines to provide a connection to households. A DSL connection makes use of the phone lines to deliver internet services to rural subscribers. If this technology is available in the area, residents prefer to pay for it because the connection is fast and reliable, in comparison to the others. You do not have to worry about a line of sight or weather conditions disrupting your connection at any point. 


Satellite connections are, at times, the only option available in rural areas. If your household is too far from providers you can still access the internet with the help of satellite internet. All you will need is a satellite dish installed on the roof of your house, and you can access the internet if you have a clear sight of the southern sky. The connection can be expensive, despite being slower than other connections, and has severely limited data allowances. The equipment is expensive as well, so expect to pay a significant amount for its limited features. 

Fixed Wireless

A fixed wireless internet also requires a dish or antenna to offer your household an internet connection. A cell tower broadcasts its signals around a given area and the receiving dish catches these signals to establish a connection. You can get speeds up to 100 Mbps. This connection is mainly offered by local providers only, giving you the chance to support a rural business in your community. However, renowned provider, Rise Broadband, is also a viable option for subscribing to an affordable yet reliable fixed wireless connection. 


Dial-up connections are one of the oldest connections in the market. Like a DSL connection, it uses the phone line to connect to the internet. This connection keeps your phone line occupied so you can use either the internet or the phone at any given time. The connections can be pretty slow, usually having speeds of 1 Mbps. However, if you need a connection for simple activities such as browsing the internet occasionally or checking your email, this will suffice. 

Features to Keep In Mind

Once you have understood the different ways in which you can access the internet in rural areas, you need to look at a few other factors. Keep these in mind, along with your requirements, when you make your final decision. 


Understandably, the speed of your connection is the most important factor when you are making a choice. Everyone requires a high-speed connection that can help them do some basic activities online. Online shopping, working from home, and studying online are made much easier if your internet can download content quickly from different websites. While fiber internet may not be available, you can enjoy watching TV shows and movies in your spare time, if your connection is fast enough. 


Another important factor is the monthly price of the internet connection. You need to look over how much the connection would cost you every month, if you have to pay additional installation or rental fees, and if the price can hike up a year into your membership. Be vary of promotional deals, because the discount may be applicable for a limited time only, after which you will have to pay a significantly higher subscription fee. 

Data Limits

Data allowances are quite common with providers. Unlimited data is a desirable feature, but if it isn’t available, you need to check your usage. If you have a family who likes to stream movies, you will require a lot of data to last the entire month. Also keep an eye out for additional fees, if you use up all the data in the month. 


Hidden Fees

Hidden fees are one of the biggest factors that can significantly hike up the price. The ad may display the promotional price in bold lettering, but the hidden fees are listed in small fonts that customers regularly ignore. 

In Conclusion

Rural internet doesn’t have to be slow. If you look around, you can find a connection that makes it easy for you to do everything you need. Just shop around before making a final decision. 

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