Bridging the Digital Gap between Urban and Rural Areas
Living in a far-off rural area is akin to living in a place where technology is nowhere in sight. Although, rural areas are often labeled as the sanctuary of peace and nature, but living in such areas come at the price of having poor or no internet connections. There is a digital gap between rural and suburban areas in the US and it is understandable since rural residents have fewer mobile devices and, they go less online than the suburban ones. Lack of connectivity will only continue to expand the digital gap between the urban and rural areas. This the age of digitization and everyone should be connected with the help of reliable internet connection, period!
It was until the late 00’s when the only internet connection that the rural residents could use was a dial-up internet connection. Dial-up internet connection is the slowest internet that works with the help of a telephone line. Of course, there was a time, many years ago, when the speed of these dial-up connections was considered a breakthrough. However, now, since most of our activities on the internet require short-latency, including streaming, gaming, it was inevitable to upgrade to the latest internet speeds.
24% of rural Americans believe that a reliable, high-speed internet connection has become a necessity for households. Thus, to meet with their increasing internet needs, the best type of connection for rural residents would be a broadband internet, also known as Digital subscriber Line (DSL). Speaking of which, Frontier internet has an array of bundles with high-speed broadband internet, crafted specifically for rural areas.
However, sometimes even the best broadband connections can fail to work in remotely located rural areas, causing agitation and confusion. So, if you or someone you know lives in a rural area, then here are some internet options that can be used as an alternative to broadband connection:
1. Satellite Internet connection
After DSL, the second-best option for rural areas is a satellite internet connection. A satellite internet connection requires installation of a satellite dish, which catches broadband signals. Unlike cables that are sometimes hard to install in remote areas because of the infrastructure required, satellite internet is far more convenient, since it works only on signals from satellites. With improved broadband speeds, rural residents can stream, play games and use other applications that require the ‘juice’ from an internet connection.
2. Mobile Broadband internet
Thank God, cellular services are easily accessible in rural areas because that can give rural residents the ease of accessing the internet using a MiFi or a USB dongle. A MiFi device uses signals from cellular carriers and acts as a mobile hotspot. The same goes for the USB dongle. However, both of these options require a monthly top-up, which acts as a fee for the monthly service.
3. Tethering Hotspot
Tethering hotspot plans are offered by cellular carriers. Tethering is basically when you use your phone as a modem, to provide internet access to devices that don’t have internet access. It would suffice to say that with tethering enabled, your cellphone or laptop can act as a makeshift modem.
4. Wi-Fi Antenna
Wi-Fi Antenna, also known as the long-range Wi-Fi antenna, is another way of accessing internet in rural areas. This type of internet connection is pretty straightforward, as it requires no fancy installation; all you need to do is place an antenna outside your home and you would be able to access high-speed internet, in a remote, rural location. This particular type of Wi-Fi connection has been considered as a go-to alternative for rural residents. People also use a Wi-Fi booster, also known as a repeater, to amplify internet signals and increase the radius of its reach.
WiMAX or, Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access is a faster and upgraded version of the conventional DSL connection. AT&T is known as the top provider of WiMAX. This type of internet connection works in a similar way to cell tower. However, the only thing that sets WiMAX towers apart is their capability of providing internet connection to a larger area.
Wrapping it up
Getting an internet connection in a rural area can sometimes be a daunting task. Since there are a lot of limitations associated with installing a high-speed broadband connection, you can choose from the aforementioned type of connections and make your life easy. All the internet-connecting possibilities mentioned above are not exhaustive. There are many new technologies like Google Internet Balloons and others, still in the works. That time is not far when rural areas will also have access to the top-notch internet connection and the gap will finally begin to fill up.