If you live in a rural community, you might think that slow internet is the norm. You're probably used to poor connections, lots of lag, and no feasible alternatives. Away from the city, accessing the internet at a reasonable speed seems like a pipe dream.
It doesn't have to be so.
Because of increased demand, more and more internet providers are offering high-speed and even unlimited internet for rural areas.
If you live in rural Ontario and you'd like to know more, read on!
Before we explain how we can help you access the internet at a faster pace, no matter how far away you live from the urban world, we need to explain two terms.
The first is fixed wireless internet or fixed wireless for short. Unlike cable and fiberoptic internet (which require wires that feed into your home), fixed internet relies on frequency signals that carry the internet from the tower to your home. This also is very different from satellite internet (which is way off in space) which makes it prone to problems like lag.
With satellite internet, there is a base station that has to transmit your requests (internet data) as signals far into outer space. The signals have to travel 35,786 kilometers out to the satellite in space and back before you get the information requested.
It is much like listening to the radio on long car rides, you've probably had some experience with this. The farther you drive away from home, the shakier your favorite radio station gets. Eventually, it disappears, and your car radio picks up the next nearest signal for a new radio station in the next town.
Radio signals aren't just used for car radios, though. Nowadays, they're more commonly used for a lot of different technologies like cell phone access. These cell towers are the gateway to fixed wireless internet because we can also mount our wireless equipment on them. Instead of relying on a direct connection with a satellite—which is impossible in areas surrounded by trees and mountains—fixed internet uses radio signals to power customers' access to the web.
Related Article: Line of Sight Internet Services
The second term is unlimited internet. This is also related to your internet usage. Capped internet plans (also called a bit cap), have a limit set for customers for data usage, if a customer goes over the allowed bit cap, they get charged an overage fee for going over. With unlimited internet, customers have limitless access to the internet data they need, for a set price each month, regardless of how much they use the internet.
Traditionally, unlimited internet has gotten a bad rep for its not-so-positive trade-offs. In return for no internet bit caps, customers had to put up with sluggish load times and internet throttling.
Related Article: How Internet Latency Affects Speeds
Data caps are a thing of the past. In the last few years, both cell phone companies and internet service providers (ISPs) advertise unlimited data plans as their signature offerings. Other data plans exist for customers who don't need unlimited data, but most providers will try to sell those customers on unlimited data anyway.
Historically, this kind of upselling presented a serious problem because of how much more expensive unlimited data plans were. This is no longer true. Unlimited data plans are now more affordable than ever. Even the most expensive cell phone companies and ISPs charge only $5 more than their most expensive data plan for unlimited data.
Another problem of the past is data access. Having a cheap unlimited data plan is pointless if you can't access the internet at all. Because rural internet access depends mainly on fixed wireless towers rather than cable networking or satellites, this is no longer an issue. Depending on your ISP, you may have a weaker signal in certain areas, but it is very rare that you'll have no service at all.
Unlimited data is definitely possible. It's cheap. Thanks to fixed internet capabilities and advancements in technology. It's even accessible in the most remote regions. The real question, then, is whether or not unlimited internet has to be slow.
For ISPs who know what they're doing, the answer is "no".
It might come as surprise, but internet speeds aren't actually calculated by how quickly you can access data. Rather, it describes the amount of data you receive per second, measured in megabytes per second (Mbps). For this reason, internet speed is bettered described as download capacity.
Before ISPs started taking full advantage of fixed internet technologies, internet speed relied on slow satellite access and signal strength. If you had internet in the 90s, you probably still have nightmares about dial-up ringtones, and still, to this day the digital divide is a major issue for rural Canadians. Meaning... internet speeds in urban areas are far faster than in the rural countryside.
As more and more ISPs have purchased the rights to mount new fixed wireless equipment on radio towers for data transmission, this problem continues to shrink. In Canada, the National average for download speeds from most ISPs delivers an average of 20.5 Mbps to their customers, even in the most remote areas (Ontario still has one of the lowest delivery rates). Most internet companies try to at least guarantee up to 10 Mbps or higher for their internet plans.
If you live in Ontario, you've come to the right place. Wavedirect has just what you need to get high-speed, unlimited internet for rural areas. With download speeds up to 25 Mbps and packages for every type of customer, we guarantee we have what it takes.
Not completely sold? No worries: you can try our internet services for a whole month at no cost. Click here to get started.