Contrary to popular belief, there is still a significant digital divide between urban and rural areas of the United States. Recent lifestyle trends have made the importance of the internet more pronounced as everything is shifting online, yet many people in rural areas still lack basic broadband access. Many internet providers and Federal Communications Commissions are looking to bridge this gap by expanding broadband connections for rural areas. Where satellite internet remained the only option for several years, now other options like DSL, Cable, and even Fiber are a possibility in some rural areas.
Georgia ranks 5th in the overall internet access rankings, offering 150.6 Mbps average speed with 35.8% of its population having access to fiber internet. Compared to the national average, Georgia’s statistics are much better, but some rural areas in Georgia still face low broadband coverage despite the state having a better infrastructure. Among 232 operational internet providers in Georgia, we will be looking at providers with the best internet speeds in rural areas
Rural Internet Options in Georgia
Rural areas mostly depend on satellite internet connections provided by HughesNet and Viasat. The extensive availability is due to the wireless delivery that doesn’t depend on infrastructure. With the gradual expansion of the internet in Georgia and efforts by the ISPs, other options like DSL and fixed wireless internet are also available for the rural population now. DSL internet speeds may vary, but some providers provide better DSL speeds.
High-Speed Internet Services in Rural Georgia
High-speed internet is important for everyone in this increasingly fast-paced modern world. To find a reliable internet connection, the rural population in Georgia should be informed of their available options. We have made a list of some of the best high-speed internet service providers to help you find the most reliable and consistent option available.
The rural population is familiar with satellite internet connection as it has been their only plausible option for a long time. It is not bound by cable wires or towers and provides extensive coverage. Viasat is one of such satellite internet providers, known for providing higher speeds than its counterpart, HughesNet. Viasat is an ideal option because of its higher internet speeds and data caps. The notable thing about this service provider is that its plans come with data restrictions, and it throttles your speed from 1 to 3 Mbps after you exceed that limit.
Data restriction is an unfortunate aspect of widely available satellite internet connections, but it is the only option for areas where other connection types aren’t available yet. Viasat internet provides a range of speeds from 12 Mbps to 100 Mbps. Its plans start at $30 and go all the way up to $170 per month, and these prices are subject to change after the promotional period. Viasat’s plans go up by 33% after the first three months. If you have a plan with sufficient data, you will experience fast internet speeds for your daily internet activities. A major drawback of this type of connection is its ability to get affected by bad weather and high latency, but fortunately, Viasat is working to release new satellite systems. It claims that this new system will have reduced latency and much higher speeds.Pros:
- Nationwide availability
- High speed
- High latency
- Gets disturbed by the weather
Kinetic by Windstream
Windstream offers its services mainly in rural and suburban areas, and it is also available in Georgia. It provides both fiber and DSL services as a fifth of its network uses its fiber services. If its fiber internet is available in some rural areas, Georgians can access speeds ranging from 25 Mbps to 1000 Mbps, which are much higher than speeds offered by other rural internet providers.
Rural areas where fiber service is unavailable can still get Kinetic DSL service with broadband level speeds of 100 Mbps or higher. Kinetic internet’s DSL speeds are also much better, and rural residents can complete their daily internet tasks with absolute ease. Its costs range from $37 to $67 per month, and you can stream, watch movies, play games or even browse the internet to your heart’s content as it doesn’t enforce any data caps. The prices aren’t fixed and tend to change after the promotional period.Pros:
- No contract
- No data caps
- Fiber Optic service with high speed
- Limited Fiber Optic service
- Scattered coverage area
While the urban and suburban areas of Georgia enjoy AT&T fiber network, DSL and fixed wireless internet are available for the rural population. Georgians in rural areas can access DSL internet with speeds up to 100 Mbps costing around $55 per month. This speed is more than enough to stream HD movies, download files and even play games.
AT&T fixed wireless service was launched as an alternative to its wired internet services. It mainly focuses on rural areas where people cannot access its DSL or fiber services. It doesn’t depend on complex infrastructure, and it is a viable rural internet option. You can connect multiple devices on the network. With 25 Mbps speed, you can engage in your internet hobbies easily. It costs about $59.99 per month, and you can even bundle it with AT&T TV to get the full entertainment experience.Pros:
- Decent network coverage
- Reliable connection
The local government of Georgia is looking to expand the internet connections and bridge the digital divide between urban and rural Georgia. Brian Kemp announced an initiative to provide high-speed internet access to more than 12,000 homes and businesses in rural Georgia
A utility operating in middle Georgia, Washington EMC, would partner with a rural high-speed internet Conexon Connect to build a 3000-mile fiber network to provide up to 1 gig internet to the rural residents. The government wants rural Georgians to have equal opportunities and benefits from high-speed internet, including job opportunities, education tools, and access to healthcare facilities.
Lack of infrastructure is a major cause that prevents ISPs from venturing into rural areas as the costs for installation and operation can be extremely high. The reason why satellite and fixed wireless internet are so common in rural areas of Georgia is that they don’t require physical cables for signal transmission. You can also see DSL because of the existing phone lines. The government is doing everything to bridge the digital divide and bring the rural and urban populations of Georgia on the same footing. So, there is definitely some hope that the situation will get better in the future.