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Read this if you live in a rural area and want faster internet service

Read this if you live in a rural area and want faster internet service
© Paura | Dreamstime

If you live in the city, you probably take high-speed internet service for granted. Whether you have it at home or access Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, chances are you’re not having to wait long for a connection or to access information.

For many folks in the rural areas, it’s a different story. In some places, internet access isn’t even available. If you think this doesn’t impact you in the city, it could the next time you go camping or go on a road trip to the country.

Wireless home internet

Fortunately, AT&T is bringing wireless home internet to nine more states for a total of 18. It offers rural and underserved customers a little faster connection as opposed to the old DSL lines.

In fact, the Fixed Wireless Internet service offers “download speeds of at least 10Mbps and upload speeds of at least 1Mbps,” according to AT&T.

The internet service works by attaching a wireless tower to a fixed antenna on a business or home. It’s an efficient way to deliver high-speed, high-quality internet to those living in remote areas.

The service is now available in parts of Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin.

The wireless internet was already serving customers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Right now, 160,000 residential and small business locations are receiving AT&T’s fixed wireless internet. The company plans to boost the number to more than 400,000 by the end of the year and to over 1.1 million locations by 2020 in these 18 states.

Cost

With a one-year contract, standalone wireless internet service costs $60 a month. Without a contract, $70 a month. AT&T is offering a $10-per-month discount on home service if it’s bundled with DirecTV or AT&T smartphone service.

As far as installation fees, you’re looking at $99 for the outdoor antenna and indoor gateway. You can get the fee waived if service is purchased with DirecTV.

You could be looking at some added costs if you go over the monthly data cap of 160GB. On average, customers pay fees of $10 for each additional 50GB that goes up to a maximum of $200 a month.

Government funding

Whether you realize it or not, you’re probably helping to pay for this service in rural areas since it’s being funded by the U.S. government’s Connect America Fund. It basically draws from surcharges on your cellphone bill to subsidize rural internet service.

Recipients such as AT&T are required to meet 40 percent of their buildout requirements by the end of this year in order to receive funding. The fact that the company plans to boost the number of residential and business locations to over 400,000, they’re on track to meeting this goal. They actually need at least 440,000 locations.

Why Verizon is pulling out of rural America

While AT&T can’t wait, it seems, to serve as many customers as they can in rural areas, Verizon feels just the opposite.

Why rural America should avoid Verizon. 

Verizon is cutting service to thousands of customers in 13 states.

Click here to find out why and to learn which 13 states are on the list.

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