Your Guide to Rural Internet Service Options

There are benefits to living in a rural area — peace and quiet, clean air, and open views, just to name a few. However, there are also some downsides, among them the lack of high-quality internet service. Affordable high-speed internet is a given in many urban areas, but options are limited in regions where there are fewer potential customers. In today’s blog, we’ll be discussing what options residents of rural areas have when choosing an internet plan.

Are you looking for a better way to bring high-speed internet to your community? Partner with Clarus Broadband. We want to bring fiber optic internet to towns across rural America, and you can add your hometown to the list by contacting us today. Not sure fiber optic internet is the best choice? Continue reading to learn more about the pros and cons of your other options, and then fill out our online form with any comments or questions you have!

Dial Up

Dial-up internet may be seen as old and obsolete in many parts of the U.S., but it’s one of the only options available for many rural residents. The downsides of dial-up internet are well known: it’s very, very slow, and sharing bandwidth with a phone line is inconvenient, especially for family households with several members. It can be an economical option if you want to embrace a low-technology lifestyle and limit your internet time, but it’s not the best choice for someone who wants the best of both rural and urban communities.

Wireless Broadband

Also known as fixed wireless, this internet plan makes use of a receiver dish or antenna to receive a signal broadcast from a centrally located tower. It’s often utilized by rural residents when cable or DSL internet plans are not available. It’s a good option if it’s offered in your area, with an acceptable compromise between price and speed, but the antenna or dish needs to have clear line of sight to the broadcast tower.

Mobile Broadband

Mobile broadband is another fall-back for many internet users in isolated communities. This is an internet plan offered by mobile phone service providers like Verizon or AT&T, allowing you to connect to the web through a cell phone network. It’s not available in all regions, and it is typically more expensive than satellite, with speeds averaging between five and 12 megabits per second. Often, the cost of these plans are determined by the amount of data you use and the speed at which that data is transmitted. You may be able to buy an unlimited data plan, but it’s often a pricey option, and some providers may slow down your speeds after you reach a certain data limit.


Satellite internet is a very popular option in rural communities where it is available. This internet plan utilizes a connection delivered by a satellite in orbit rather than a fixed line. Satellite typically offers the fastest download and upload speeds out of all the options listed here, although it can be slower and more expensive than wired options. Like wireless broadband, it also requires a line-of-sight connection. You likely won’t have to worry about anything but treetops or tall buildings getting in the way, but bad weather can degrade the connection.

Community WiFi

For those who can’t or don’t want to invest in a home internet connection, there is the option of utilizing whatever free WiFi connections are available in your community. As many rural librarians can attest to, some patrons simply sit in the parking lot to take advantage of the free WiFi rather than coming inside to check out books. Fast food restaurants are also a common option. If this is your fall-back, then check out our blog post on where to find WiFi connections.

Invest in Fiber Optic Internet Today

There are better internet plans out there — fiber optic internet offers lightning fast speeds that aren’t affected by your neighbors’ streaming or download habits, and it’s a great choice for households with several enthusiastic internet users. How do you bring fiber optics to your community? Contact Clarus Broadband today! We want to bring rural Texas towns all the benefits that come with fast and easy connections, from economic growth to better social opportunities, but we need pre-committed customers before we can start building. Explore our site to learn more, and contact us online or by phone to learn how you can get started!