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Rural Internet in the US

Written by
Dec 20, 2023

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Provider Types

Internet Providers in the United States of America

We've found internet service providers in the USA. Below are statistics on their coverage and download speeds. Enter your address above to see which internet providers offer service in your area.

HughesNet 330,449,668 53 100 mbps
Viasat Internet 326,965,502 51 150 mbps
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet 324,330,407 50 245 mbps
Always ON 324,330,407 50 100 mbps
AT&T Wireless 306,461,488 53 10 mbps
Verizon 305,552,896 51 10 mbps
Xfinity 122,350,395 41 10000 mbps
AT&T Internet 120,303,183 21 5000 mbps
Spectrum 110,551,034 42 10000 mbps
EarthLink 99,191,941 26 5000 mbps
Cricket Wireless 94,688,250 37 6 mbps
Metro® by T-Mobile 54,308,583 5 1.5 mbps
Verizon High Speed Internet 45,169,487 13 15 mbps
Verizon 5G 42,977,871 34 1000 mbps
Verizon Fios 38,193,059 10 2000 mbps
CenturyLink 34,940,556 20 940 mbps
GeoLinks 33,203,058 3 1000 mbps
U.S. Cellular 25,083,868 19 195 mbps
Cox Communications 23,295,442 19 2000 mbps
Optimum by Altice 20,585,604 21 8000 mbps

Rural Internet in the United States

Rural internet customers face a few challenges when it comes to the internet. The most prominent issues are slow internet speeds and a lack of options compared to urban and suburban homes. Internet connections are often less reliable, too, with weather-impacted options like satellite internet. Rural customers often pay more for lower speeds and face more data restrictions because of bandwidth constraints of satellite and mobile broadband internet.


Internet Options in Rural Areas

Dial-up and DSL

DSL is available in rural areas with access to landline phones. It is usually the fastest and cheapest wired internet type available in rural America. Dial-up also provides internet access through landlines, but at much slower speeds.

Fixed Wireless Internet

Using radio waves, fixed wireless internet offers consistent, low-latency speeds to rural customers. You can expect similar speeds from fixed wireless and satellite internet, but it is not as available as satellite for rural customers.

Satellite Internet for Rural Homes

Satellite internet offers the most widespread coverage for rural residents. Your internet will travel from a satellite in orbit to a dish installed on the roof of your home. While its speeds are fast in some areas, satellite internet has tight data caps that can limit how often you’re able to get online.

Mobile Broadband

Rural Americans in areas with good cell signal can use mobile broadband to connect their home. Like fixed wireless, mobile broadband uses radio waves from cell towers to deliver service.


Rural Internet Data Caps

Data caps are common with rural internet providers, but they’re much smaller, often providing 250 GB or less each month. There are unlimited data plans available for rural customers, but not all of them are truly unlimited. Instead, providers like Viasat offer “priority data” plans. Once that data is used, your internet speed will decrease significantly. This is the alternative to paying overage fees or losing internet access after reaching your data cap; however, it is not preferred as rural internet speeds are already limited.

While they may cost more, rural Americans can find unlimited data plans with mobile broadband providers, as well as some fixed wireless and DSL providers. Be sure to check each plan’s details as some providers call their plans unlimited when, in fact, they have a “priority data” cap.


Frequently Asked Questions about Rural Internet

  • How to get internet in rural areas?

    Internet options in rural areas are limited to a few internet types: DSL, fixed wireless, satellite, and mobile broadband. Satellite internet may not be the fastest rural internet option, but it is often the only available option for homes and businesses.

  • What is the best internet service for rural areas in the US?

    DSL and fixed wireless internet provide rural areas with the fastest internet speeds, but they aren’t as widely available in rural locations as satellite internet services. Satellite internet is typically more expensive than fixed wireless and DSL, but it may be best for people in highly remote locations.

  • Which rural internet option is best for gaming?

    DSL and fixed wireless internet are the best rural internet options for gaming. Latency, or “ping”, for these types is much faster than other rural internet options.

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