For this Sunday’s post on looking back five years I thought I would give you an update on rural Internet service.
Five years ago I had imagined that by now I would have an improved Internet connection. It is now apparent that the Internet is an essential tool of the 21st century. Anyone without an adequate connection will be disadvantaged. As mentioned below I was five years ago I was getting a fraction of the speed from AT&T as those that live twenty miles away. To bring you up to date, I am still getting that speed for about twice the cost of those now getting fifty times my speed.
Here are the selected words from five years ago:
Here I am five years later with no progress other than the connection only goes out a dozen or so times daily. But I have found an alternative that sometimes approaches 20 mbps! That alternative is Consumer Cellular using my iPhone as a hotspot. The downside is that I have to ration it as the bandwidth provided by them doesn’t begin to cover all my usage.
At least now, there are several alternatives on the horizon. REMC is offering 50 mbps near their headquarters with promises to expand it in the future. But, when the future is, is very uncertain, at least for my neighborhood.
The most likely scenario seems to come from Amazon. They are now in the process of launching numerous satellites in low earth orbits to bring up their service. They promise 1,000 mbps when the system is fully functional and it will basically provide service to everyone in the world! Amazon doesn’t do anything half-way or at half speed. I am looking forward their progress in the coming year.
So, there is hope on the horizon for those of us in rural communities but little progress in the last five years.