The State of Rural Internet

I live in a rural area in eastern Tennessee, and I love it. The views are amazing, there aren’t too many people, and the climate is generally pretty nice with the exception of January.  But the Internet is complete dog shit. Here’s an example of what I put up with if I want to download and play a video game in the same day.

I’m not alone in my Internet struggles. The max speed offered in my area by the only ISP around is 10Mbps down, and 1Mbps up. According to this map via the FCC, most of America’s rural areas (most of the country’s landmass) are covered by the same measly 10Mbps down, 1Mbps up Internet connection.

usa-broadband-speed-map
Source: FCC 2016 Broadband Progress Report

At the moment, 10Mbps down and 1Mbps up is fast enough to get by, but just barely. It’s enough to work from home if needed, complete homework, fill out applications and online forms, and make Face Time/Skype calls and VoIP calls. But as technology advances further every day, Internet speed and reliability struggles to keep up. What may be acceptable today may not be tomorrow, with more and more devices demanding an always on connection.

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