Across the Carolinas and Virginia, many rural communities don’t have access to high-speed internet, which can make it difficult to keep up in today’s digital world. With more and more workers and students operating from their homes, the residents who call these areas home need fast, reliable internet to connect to new learning opportunities, keep in touch with family and friends and give up the long commute to work. Discover how fiber optic internet provides faster and steadier connections for rural areas.
Why Is It Hard to Get Internet in Rural Areas?
There are several reasons why superfast internet isn’t available in rural communities. Internet providers are limited, and the services available are slow and unreliable. Some internet service providers don’t want to invest in expensive infrastructure over a wide area, forcing the residents that live farther out to settle for less bandwidth than what they need. Here are a few other factors that limit internet access in rural areas:
When a home is located far away from a main service line, data has to travel a lot farther to get to its destination. This causes significantly slower speeds for the user, so they may experience more buffering while streaming, delays in file transfers or longer upload times.
Laying the groundwork for high-speed internet is not a small investment. With fewer potential customers in rural areas than urban and suburban communities, cable internet providers don’t see profitability in digging miles of trenches for cable lines.
In some areas, it’s logistically impossible to run traditional wired lines that provide a reliable internet connection. This can cause homeowners to settle for fixed wireless internet that uses an antenna to receive signals from a nearby tower. Since this type of internet service requires an unobstructed line of sight between the antenna and the tower, it doesn’t work well in wooded or mountainous areas.
DSL, dial-up, mobile hotspots and satellite are often the only alternatives for many rural communities –and all come with frustrations. DSL and dial-up use existing phone lines, which is convenient for rural homes, but their sluggish speeds can be aggravating and impractical for households with multiple internet users. Mobile hotspots are dependent on having reliable cell service, and data overage fees make this a potentially expensive option. Satellites require data to travel to outer space and back (a process that takes even more time if heavy rain or thunderstorms interfere with the signal).
What Fiber Internet Can Do for Rural Communities
Allow Rural Residents to Work Remotely
Many are choosing to skip the commute and work from home, creating more job opportunities for those in rural communities. However, slow and unreliable internet can make it difficult to perform your job effectively outside of an office building.
Fiber internet’s ulta-fast speeds are crucial for getting crystal-clear audio and video during meetings, collaborating with coworkers and sharing large files. Fiber cables also experience less disruption from extreme weather, so you don’t have to worry about your Wi-Fi going out right before a big meeting. Plus, fiber internet is more secure, making it easier to protect sensitive data.
Support Remote Learning and Increase Educational Access
It’s never been easier to get a quality education from home, but unreliable internet impacts productivity and learning. Slow speeds cause buffering and lagging while watching lectures and submitting assignments. And if the Wi-Fi goes out in the middle of your studies, you may miss important due dates.
Fiber internet delivers a more seamless learning experience. Equally fast upload and download speeds make watching lectures, researching new topics and submitting assignments easier. And with whole-home Wi-Fi, you can now do your homework from anywhere –the dining room table, the home office, the bedroom and even outside!
Why Lumos is the Best Provider for Fiber in Rural Areas
At Lumos, we believe communities of all sizes deserve high speed internet. Our 100% Fiber Optic Internet2 makes remote work, learning and connecting with friends and family easier for rural households. Ready to say goodbye to slow, unreliable internet of the past? Check availability in your area and contact us today to experience the internet of the future.