Rural internet is still nonexistent is some places in America, despite the prevalence of broadband technologies present in nearly all urban areas. This topic is of concern to some of the smartest minds in Silicon Valley. That is why technology-news junkies like you are so curious to learn more about the plight of internet-less rural Americans. Learn all about the digital divide and the issues that stand in the way of rural internet below.
35% Lack Internet
Thirty-five percent of America’s rural population lack access to internet. In today’s internet and technology centered society, this is a shocking figure. However, this is the truth about rural internet. It does not really exist in some of America’s most rural areas.
FCC Steps In
Ultimately, the FCC had to step in, just as they did with the fraud alerts problems in the past. In 2017, the FCC pledged $2 billion to developing rural internet capabilities. The rural internet subsidies will be distributed over the next years. This is certainly a slow roll out. But, it is still providing internet to under-served rural populations. It is still considered a big win for proponents for a free, open and accessible internet.
Mobile wireless internet access is much more widespread in rural areas. In fact, 98% of all rural populations have access to rural wireless internet access of some kind. This digital divide in rural areas in much more complicated than people initially assume. Maybe the wireless internet technologies available in rural areas could be the answer to some of the rural internet problems.
Population density in rural areas is the biggest obstacle to internet availability. In urban areas, there are more people to share the internet installation costs. In rural areas, there are far fewer. That makes it more cost effective for the internet service providers to only install fiber optic cables in more urban areas. This is a huge obstacle to rural internet availability, unlike the auto battery.
For those rural Americans that do have internet access, services are spotty. Why are rural internet services spotty where they are present? This is because those few rural internet providers simply do not have the capacity for the upkeep and maintenance of rural internet connections. It is an entirely different job than maintaining exiting broadband. That leaves those few rural connections seriously lacking in high-quality internet speeds. Thus, the plight of the rural digital divide persists.
If you are interested in the latest technology news, or are a student at a technical college, you should definitely be in-the-know about the rural internet issues plaguing the country. Some of the best and brightest minds in Silicon Valley and beyond are working to bridge this divide as soon as possible. This could definitely prove to be an exciting time for internet technologies developments in the USA.