broadband

Broadband in rural areas

broadband

If you live in rural Wisconsin, there’s never been a more exciting time for internet access. Rural broadband solutions are starting to see speeds that rival those in big cities, and they may be available in more areas than you’d think. If you think a high-speed broadband internet connection might be a great addition to your life, let’s look at how broadband internet works, and how you can get it delivered to your home or office.

What is broadband?

The term broadband has been thrown around a lot these past couple of decades, but many of us don’t know exactly what it means. Broadband is simply a high speed, always on internet connection. Dial-up internet required users to turn off their phone service when they wanted to use the internet. An “always on” connection means you have a dedicated line providing internet service, and you don’t have to limit your other activities to sign on.

As far as speeds go, the term broadband generally defines connections that provide download speeds of at least 25Mbps, and upload speeds of at least 3Mbps. Most broadband services outpace those numbers by a considerable amount, though, with the average user in the US getting download speeds of well over 100Mbps. It all depends on the type of broadband service you have.

What kinds of broadband are available in rural areas?

As the need for reliable internet access grows, so has the availability of broadband internet services to everyone from urban to rural environments. There are currently four major types out there. Each sends and receives internet signals a little differently, and that results in different speeds from one type of broadband connection to the next. Let’s look at each of the major broadband solutions available to rural residents, and how to get better internet in a rural area.

DSL

Digital subscriber lines, also known as DSL, served for years as a pretty decent upgrade from dial-up service. Like dial-up, it utilizes the phone lines that are already connected to our properties but uses different frequencies for phone and internet signals. With DSL, you have  the ability to make and receive phone calls, even while someone is on the internet.

It’s considerably faster than dial-up and technically meets the specifications defining a broadband connection, but newer technologies have quickly eclipsed the speeds delivered via DSL connections. The first step up is going to be satellite.

Satellite

When satellite internet was introduced, it was a godsend for rural residents looking for broadband internet in the country. Even if you lived on a quiet plot way out in the woods, relatively fast internet service suddenly became available to you. Information passed from satellites orbiting the earth down to the satellite dish on your property, and you had access to all the internet has to offer. While it’s an option for those who live beyond the reach of other forms of broadband, its relatively slow speeds and susceptibility to outside factors can be a headache for those who want a reliably fast connection day or night, rain or shine.

Cable

If your home was set up for cable television, you’ve already got the infrastructure for cable internet built into your home.The coaxial copper cables deliver pretty decent bandwidth and internet speed, and the internet service is provided by the same company that provides your cable television service. 

The cable company transmits broadband internet service that is shared amongst the neighborhood. Each home and business is connected into the main bandwidth pipeline, and during the times of day when everyone logs on and starts streaming, the result can be a slowdown in internet speeds for all customers.

While tried and true, the copper cables that make up cable’s infrastructure is a technology of the past and is rapidly being phased out, making room for fiber optics.

Fiber Optic

Fiber optic broadband internet is delivered at the speed of light through cables made of glass. Lasers pulse internet bandwidth through the cables at incredible speeds, and don’t suffer the same signal degradation issues we experience with copper cables and electronic signals. It also achieves nearly identical upload and download speeds, so it’s a great solution for all customers, no matter what your specific internet activity looks like.

Fiber optics has been deemed the 4th Utility. It’s increasingly available to rural customers and delivers unmatched bandwidth and internet speeds to underserved communities. It’s the best of the best, and it’s finally available in rural Wisconsin. If you’re wondering how to get fiber optic internet in a rural area, we’d love to help you out.

broadband internet in the countryWhat kind of speeds do you need?

When searching for rural broadband, the first step to take inventory of what your internet activity looks like and what kind of speeds you will need to accomplish the things you want. Someone who simply pays bills, checks email, and browses the web needs less bandwidth than a household that streams video on multiple devices at the same time. Both these groups may also use much less bandwidth than an online gamer or someone who works with large video files for a living. Be realistic about the way you use the internet, and you’re sure to make a good choice as far as your required speeds go.

How rural are you?

The term rural may refer to pretty much everything located outside of a big city and its suburbs, but there’s a big difference between living in a small town and living way off the grid. Most rural towns and villages now have access options, and those options are rapidly expanding, so the only real way to know what’s available is to reach out to your local broadband providers and see what they can do. 

How many devices do you and your family use?

Your internet speeds are largely dependent on how many devices you have connected. If you and your family use a lot of bandwidth, you could be due for a boost. The more smart TVs, phones, and tablets your family uses at once, the more bandwidth you need if you want your video and music streaming services to provide the seamless entertainment experience we all love. Going with broadband is a must if you’ve got multiple users.

Do you use the internet heavily in your business?

If your business relies heavily on a fast and reliable internet connection, a broadband connection is an essential part of standing out in the crowd. Don’t let a slow internet connection cause delays in serving your customers and clients. It’s becoming more and more affordable to give your team the bandwidth it needs to make your business run smoothly and deliver timely results, so look into your options.

How to get fast internet in remote areas

For those wondering how to get faster broadband in rural areas, it’s finally time to take that serious inventory of the options available to you. When was the last time you looked at all the internet service providers in your area? How do you know if you have the best internet provider in Wisconsin if you don’t look around to see what’s available? 

The fastest internet in Wisconsin

If you live or work in rural Wisconsin, you’ve got fantastic options available to you. Rural Wisconsin broadband access is rapidly expanding, and  24-7 & West Wisconsin Telcom is the regional leader in providing broadband access to those in western Wisconsin. We can deliver high speed internet to meet your specific needs, whatever they may be.

Need an affordable broadband solution to keep you in touch with your loved ones and pay your bills? We’ve got you covered. Interested in fiber optic internet? 24-7 & West Wisconsin Telcom has it. Don’t assume your current plan is delivering all the internet has to offer. We’d love to help you get set up with a plan that works with your lifestyle and your wallet.