While it has been more than three years since the last time a rural area of the US didn’t have a high speed internet connection, that still doesn’t mean that all Americans live in an internet wonderland. The past decade has seen rural areas struggle for access to high speed Internet. For years, rural areas were seen as a probable last mile bottleneck for high speed Internet, keeping people, businesses and governments from getting the technology needed to function as efficiently as their counterparts in more densely populated areas. As more people adopt the technology, however, it’s become clear that the last mile is not the last mile at all, but the first mile.
As we all know, broadband is a vital component of every modern society. The cost of broadband services, however, is a barrier for many rural Americans that are stuck on the slowest broadband speeds. As rural America struggles to connect, many are forced to use what little they have as best they can. For many, that means only having one connection available at a time on a shared modem, or even worse, no connection at all.
The United States is a country of extremes. We have the highest rating of broadband speed in the world, but the lowest level of high speed internet. The result is that a large percentage of Americans lack access to high speed internet, and those that are lucky enough to have access are often facing unacceptable levels of speed.
Broadband began to replace dial-up communications at the turn of the last century, but two decades have passed and many rural Americans still lack access to reliable high-speed internet. The difficulties associated with this situation only increased during the pandemic, when so many people needed the Internet to work and study. This is an all too familiar story. Newsy, a Mississippi-based news network, recently published an article about the struggles of Alexandra Melnyk, a high school teacher. Her personal internet connection is so poor that she has to travel two miles to a friend’s house to take her virtual classes. But many of his students do even worse. In fact, she lost about 10% of her class due to distance learning. Because these students live in the small town of Leland, they did not have access to the Internet and could not participate in the project. millions of Americans This is not just a problem for a few people. According to recent estimates, approximately 42 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet, and Mississippi ranks 10th in the nation in internet access. One of the key points of the Biden administration’s proposed infrastructure plan is the expansion of high-speed Internet in the Mississippi Delta and similar areas. Indeed, there is bipartisan support for this expansion, but determining how to fund it remains a stumbling block. Costs of access to rural areas Expansion in areas like the Mississippi Delta is not cheap. Internet service providers like Spectrum Internet predict that the cost to connect all homes and businesses to the network will be about $50,000 per mile. Without federal funding, this is unlikely to happen in the near future. Connectivity to rural and urban America is critical to the American economy for at least the next 50 years and beyond. Proponents say this funding is not a handout, but an investment in our future. Municipal internet providers Before the pandemic, community-based PHI was the subject of much controversy. Proponents saw it as a way to deliver locally what local ISPs couldn’t. Opponents felt that the government had an unfair advantage over the companies it competed with. It seems that the skeptics have become less active in the post-pandemic period. Even states like North Carolina have begun to relax regulations for community-based ISPs because of all the logistical challenges associated with distance learning. In addition, Covid’s recent debt relief bill provides funding for grants that municipal ISPs, as well as public-private partnerships like Spectrum, can use to expand internet coverage in rural areas within their reach. Internet access is not the only problem In rural areas without access to reliable broadband Internet, instability of cellular services is also a common problem. To address this problem, Congress recently passed a bill that, along with several Internet bills, would require the FCC to establish a national standard that all operators would have to adhere to. Those who have not done so lose access to federal funds intended to help them develop. Lack of competition Another problem America has with broadband is the lack of competition. Many Internet service providers in the United States operate as de facto monopolies, which also explains the slow expansion of networks in rural areas. Competition not only ensures that more Americans get better services faster, but also helps ensure that services are affordable and that consumers get value for their money.
For years I have been hearing this phrase “there is no high speed internet in rural areas of the USA.” These statements have been around for so long that I have come to take them as true, as I have failed to find a high speed internet system anywhere in the country. I have even tried to find out where the fast internet is, in the hopes to prove it doesn’t exist. But the truth is that high speed internet in rural areas of the USA does exist.. Read more about viasat internet and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why can’t rural areas get high-speed Internet?
High-speed internet is often portrayed as a connectivity tool that brings the entire world to rural America—but studies have found that in reality, many rural counties are actually worse off than the national average in terms of broadband access. The availability of broadband Internet is an indicator of standard of living, but in rural areas, the slow speeds can be a major hindrance to economic development. Twenty years ago, the rural areas of the United States were just beginning to take off. Residents of these areas had their own unique challenges to overcome when it came to connecting to the Internet. By the turn of the millennium, this pace of change had transformed these areas into a new reality: broadband connectivity had arrived, and it wasn’t just available to big cities.
Why is rural internet so bad?
As many of you know, the internet was created to be a 24/7 resource, used by all people, regardless of location. Nowadays, most people can only access the internet via a mobile hotspot, which provides a connection to the internet but is limited to the devices you have with you at that moment. This may be a problem if you live in the country, where many people do not have fast enough internet to download content and apps. Yes, the Internet is a global thing, but sadly, a lot of rural areas still don’t have access to it. When you think of web design, it’s typically associated with cities, but in reality, much of America is still unconnected. According to the FCC, just over one-third of rural Americans have access to broadband Internet, even though Internet is available throughout the country. And that’s a problem, since it means that many people still don’t have access to the technology they need to see the world as it really is.
What percentage of rural homes in the US lack access to high-speed Internet?
Unfortunately, the percentage of rural homes that are without access to high-speed Internet is still too high. Although rural areas are a great place to live and raise a family, it can be frustrating to be stuck without fast access to broadband Internet. It was reported last month that almost three-quarters of rural households in the US do not have access to broadband at home, while a full 16% of these are in rural Alaska. This is a slightly smaller percentage than the year before when the provision of broadband internet was still at 67%, but is still a large statistic.
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James Gordon is a content manager for the website Feedbuzzard. He loves spending time in nature, and his favorite pastime is watching dogs play. He also enjoys watching sunsets, as the colors are always so soothing to him. James loves learning about new technology, and he is excited to be working on a website that covers this topic.