Half of the world's population doesn't have access to the internet.
People without internet service are those typically living in developing countries or rural areas. Without a reliable connection, rural homes and businesses are getting left behind, even in Southwestern Ontario.
The internet is an integral part of our daily lives and a digital divide has started to form between those who have it and those who don't.
Developed countries like Canada, France, Germany, and the United States have the highest access rates in the world, but there's still a lot of work to be done.
Half of rural Canadians say they struggle to get the internet they need for daily life.
Are you trying to find home internet for rural areas? Keep reading below to find out what's available to you and how it all works.
We'll discuss why it's important to have rural internet options, how fixed wireless internet connections work, what issues people living in rural areas may encounter, and how to get your connection set up.
Today's modern world requires people and businesses to have a fast, reliable connection to the internet. Using the web is no longer an option.
The fact is less than 40% of rural Canadians with an internet connection have enough download speeds to stream a video.
By comparison, 97% of Canadians living in a city have access to that speed or higher on a daily basis.
Why does this matter? The internet isn't just chat rooms and silly videos. It's used for online banking, e-commerce, healthcare, education, and more.
Without a reliable connection, rural areas aren't getting access to important services.
Many rural residents depend on telehealth services. A doctor can diagnose their medical conditions without having to drive hours to make it to an office for an appointment.
The COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools and demonstrated how important it is for students to be able to access the internet. And during this period businesses have only been taking online orders.
One-third of Canada's economy is agricultural. People living in rural areas are increasingly dependent on the internet. New communications technologies help them conduct business.
The Canadian government has started an ambitious $6 billion plan to provide high-speed internet to the entire county by 2030.
So many rural Canadians are struggling to get service, but high-speed internet is available for them in certain areas.
Urban dwellers don't have to worry about their signal because cables deliver the internet directly to their homes.
But, this type of wiring isn't feasible when someone lives hundreds of miles away from a city. Or lives in a small town with only a handful of residents.
High-speed internet demand is increasing and more companies are setting up fixed wireless internet (or fixed wireless) to service new customers.
Fixed wireless uses towers to transmit the Internet signal as radio waves to country homes and businesses. Customers have to install an antenna—like a satellite dish— on their roof to receive the signal.
Many providers now offer unlimited internet as well, which could prevent you from paying overage fees each month if you use a lot of internet bandwidth.
Canadians are now investing in fixed wireless towers to boost access. Some companies are mounting this technology on existing cell phone towers to maximize the benefits for all.
As mentioned above, satellite internet is also an option for rural communities. This type of signal is prone to lag, though, as data is sent over 35,000 kilometers into space. Rough weather can also affect it.
What is a good internet speed exactly? To understand this, you should look at both download/upload speeds.
Internet companies may advertise their higher download speeds but not point out how their upload speeds aren't cutting it.
Your internet speeds will determine what activities you can do online and how many devices you can use at the same time.
Also, consider what you'll be doing online. Are you taking online classes? Teleconferencing? Gaming? Or streaming movies?
You'll want to make sure you have a good speed to handle any of these online activities.
Experts recommend that homes with multiple users should have about 25 mbps or megabits per second.
But, what are the advantages and disadvantages of rural high-speed internet for you?
Fixed wireless internet services have high usage caps (100GB or more). In many cases, there is no cap. Customers also get download speeds as fast as broadband.
Nothing is perfect, of course. Fixed wireless internet has been a savior for many communities, but there are disadvantages.
Rain, fog, or weather can affect your signal strength. This is similar to what happens with satellite internet.
In order for fixed wireless internet to be effective, there must be a clear line of sight between the base station and receiver. Anything blocking the signal—trees, bushes, houses, or hills—can wreck your connection.
The final disadvantage to consider is the price. Fixed wireless internet continues to be more expensive than broadband.
The reason for this is simple supply and demand economics.
More people are using broadband and this brings the price down. And in cities, the infrastructure is already in place so nothing needs to be installed.
Do you live in the country? Are you reading this article for more information on home internet for rural areas?
WaveDirect is the solution for rural homes and businesses needing a fast, reliable, and affordable internet service.
We use fixed wireless internet technology and offer customers a 30-day free trial to experience the difference. Unlimited internet plans are also available.
WaveDirect customers have access to 24/7 tech support and our customer service department can address all of your issues. Our services are available in parts of Southwestern Ontario, and Essex County.