Many Rural Americans Lack Access to High Speed Internet in Their Area

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. GMcDougal

    GMcDougal Gawd

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    My poor mom and dad can only get 28.8kbps dial up. The sad part? Several years ago they ran a fiber line right infront of there yard and cannot tap into it.
     
  2. Dayaks

    Dayaks [H]ardness Supreme

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    Do they get cell phone service? If so get an unlimited plan and hotspot it?
     
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  3. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    And right here is the issue. The fact that you think $40 is overpriced. When battling against people that think anything over free is fucking them over most companies will decide to just fuck you over by not investing in your area.
     
  4. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    USF only covers phone service not internet. Also the government does whatever they can to not actually give that money out. It is kind of like charities. They collect the money but then suddenly, oh we need to keep X for processing fees and management. We also need to take some out to cover the cost of figuring out who gets what. They also have been cutting who can get money for what.
     
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  5. Nobu

    Nobu 2[H]4U

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    So if I just payed $80 a month for their 60mbps internet package they would upgrade their service in the area and offer gb for $200 a month? And then would they expect me to upgrade because that's now available? No, the reason is because median income in the area is low and most can't afford $200 a month for internet, nevermind $60. Dialup was free or less than $10 a month. Yes, 10mbps is overpriced at $40 a month, and so is 20mbps broadband dsl.

    Edit: here's a map showing median income near where I live...$20-40k a year. That's not just low, that's poverty level.
    Screenshot_Chrome_20180910-221813.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  6. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    Same here. Only cable. (I don't consider cell phone wireless a viable option at this time), and I'm in the middle of large population center in south orange county, California.
    I can't even get slow 1.5mbit DSL anymore.

    Could be worse. Several years ago we visited some old family friends of the wife.
    They live about 20 miles past the middle of nowhere.

    They where still using dialup, and it was a toll call. :eek:
    Only cell phone access was about a mile away at small town with about a dozen buildings. Cell was voice only, no data.
     
  7. Private_Ops

    Private_Ops [H]ard|Gawd

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    This is even becoming a problem for those on faster connections.

    I feel todays websites are getting lazy and fat. Lets not even mention the "cameras" everywhere.

    Reminds me of the episode of South Park with the creepy dude watching everyones toilets on cameras.
     
  8. Shaten

    Shaten [H]Lite

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    Websites are way way too fat.

    Running noscript and adblockerplus at least brings them down to overloaded.

    Most of the se websites could be cut in half and no one would notice (from a display point of view)
     
  9. Doc Doc

    Doc Doc n00b

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    When Starlink gets deployed, it should be ideal for real rural internet connections. Not so good for near suburbs, since you will be sharing with potentially too many people in the area.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Starlink/

     
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  10. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

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    Part of the problem is redefining broadband. The ISPs near my cabin stopped expanding DSL because 1.5-3mbs no longer met the definition of broadband leaving us with essentially no choices. Sure I couldn't support my hulu and netflix habit with it, but I would have been able to live and work there.

    Now the only options are god awful Satellite packages with stingy data caps or dial up speeds. Or ridiculously expensive hotspots with stingy data caps. Neither of which are consistent enough to work remotely.

    I hope the SpaceX system lives up to the hype, I would move in a heartbeat if I could get a decent connection.
     
  11. Jagger100

    Jagger100 [H]ardness Supreme

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  12. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You got to be kidding. I understand, wishful thinking that you could have comparable service to South Korea, but that is what it is, wishful thinking. A country of 50 million, over 10 million of which live in one city, another 10 million commute into the same city every day, so 2/3rds of the population of the entire country is in Seoul at least 5 days a week. A single city that sits on a river with mountains all around it perfectly suited to a dense tower network and the towers don't have to be in anyone's back yard.

    And the rest of the country is like the size of Rhode Island so how expensive is it to run infrastructure in a country so small and has the 10th largest economy in the world.

    It's just not even remotely the same situation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
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  13. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It's not the same argument because it's not the same problem. The Fed "raising" tax dollars to expand basic electrical service into remote and sparsely populated areas doesn't equate to this situation where anyone can get satellite internet service which is perfectly capable of supporting information and education needs. No it's not the best, and Netflix won't be so great, but it get's the job done for what people need. And if anyone thinks the answer is to "raise" more tax dollars to push infrastructure to these areas I'd offer a much cheaper alternative, just subsidize their satellite internet bill instead, much cheaper.
     
  14. ccityinstaller

    ccityinstaller 2[H]4U

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    I am lucky that my town of 5K people (extreme NW coast of Oregon and 4 miles from a city of ~10k) and we have 3 wired providers and of course the 4 big cell networks...I have 100/10 from Charter for $44.99 a month with no other costs. I get 125/13 consistently. I am kinda mad they haven't enabled Gigabit speeds here, despite the network being ready for the last 2 years, according to a network engineer I have spoken with a few times.

    My parent's live in a community with the highest median income in the Eastern shore of Virginia. There is a local town 1.5 miles away that has gigabit fiber from the Easter shore Broadband Authority (which sells wholesale access for any local ISP that needs it to stimulate growth)...

    My parents "development" does not have anything worth noting. At the gates, VErizon/ATT will give you 60~100Mbps down/25-50 up, but if you go the half mile to my parents, Verizon has 2 bars on any phone, and will get 3 Mbps/.1Mbps up, with latency so high it just chokes most speed tests. ATT doesn't work at all.

    Charter provides cable tv, but refuses to provide cable internet of any sort (despite serving the "town" in which they live). There are 2 wireless providers. One offers 10/2 with a data cap of like 50GB for $69 a month plus the equipment. The other is 5/5 with no cap for $49, but their service is so bad it has less then a 40% uptime yet the customers pay anyway since many cannot get the 10/2 service due to line of sight issues.

    The only real "option" is Hughesnet 25/25 for $100 a month. It has a whopping 50GB cap, at which point they throttle you to 5Mbps both ways (but is really about 3 with speed tests). It is just insane. My parents have hit their cap 4 days into a billing cycle, despite not using any streaming service or any downloads. This is a very common issue according to their forums, but their tech support is basically useless and just blames the customers. I would go insane if I had to live there.
     
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  15. Wierdo

    Wierdo [H]ard|Gawd

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    And those rural communities by extension lack access to modern well paying hightech jobs - barring places like Chattanooga TN that have municipal 1gps fiber for example.

    No good net, no good jobs, coincidence?

    Solution: Move, get better paying job on the coasts and such. Come back later for cheap retirement homes. Unlike high population centers the rural areas are not gonna grow in estate value as fast as you're making money elsewhere, so win win.

    Or they can fix their infrastructure and bring good modern jobs locally, but odds are not good considering the political climate and the local mindset lol.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
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  16. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    Considering rural America isn't going away, they should just roll out fibre and invest in their next 50 to 100 years already...
     
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  17. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
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  18. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It would be smarter to take that money the subsidize Elon Musk's Starlink program.
     
  19. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

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    This. Even more than that. You know it's a problem when a single website is eating up 1GB or more of memory, and when it gets cut down to under 100MB with ┬ÁBlock Origin and NoScript the experience doesn't suffer (actually improves).
     
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  20. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I ended up with the opposite problem. When I lived in Forney TX, I could get Gigabit internet from AT&T for $110 a month. Its become cheaper since then. Now that I'm in Rowlett, I'm paying about the same for 300Mbps. I can only go up to 500Mbps here but its $300 a month. I fucking hate Frontier FIOS.
     
  21. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Agreed on all points.

    Competition has really been the driver for all positive change in the markets I have lived. Comcast was OK and all for years when I had 25/5 service, but it was pretty amazing when Verizon came to town, and all of a sudden my bill got much cheaper, and my bandwidth went way up. I still switched to Verizon, but yeah, competition is key, and most markets lack it. :(

    Also agreed on the gigabit thing. Its great to have because you know no matter what you will always have enough bandwidth for a house full of activities. You'll never have a download causing another persons gaming ping to go up, or Netflix stream to buffer or drop quality.

    Same here when it comes to utilization. Pretty much only Steam has the ability to max it out. (Well, that and my torrents for, uh, Linux Distributions.)

    It's best for many concurrent connections, either from one client on something like a torrent, or a houseful of independent users.

    Steam is pretty much the only thing I've seen that can push it with a single connection, which is pretty impressive:

    23659342_10105050411546662_9139451912800138535_n.jpg

    I took this screen shot the first time downloading from steam when it hit over 100MB/s. I have since seen it max out at about 115MB/s
     
  22. harbingerofdoom

    harbingerofdoom Gawd

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    yup- that was pretty much the jackassery that i was referring to :)
     
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  23. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    Half of the people that live on my street (suburb of the "DMV" area (DC, VA, MD)) where the average property value is 400k (for a townhouse) cant get broadband. The best they can get is sub 1MB DSL which one of them told me that they were told is being discontinued. Comcast wont run new lines they had some but they were cut about five years ago when an idiot hit a pole on the main road. Fios runs right by them but wont service them. Yet on the federal map? 100% coverage.

    Our infrastructure sucks blue donkey balls.
     
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  24. Gigantopithecus

    Gigantopithecus [H]ardOCP Case Reviewer

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    Actually, rural America is going away. https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-wave...fting-regional-patterns-of-population-change/

    Modern information-based economies need modern information infrastructure.

    When rural areas were being electrified a century ago, we created massive programs like the TVA and regulated these utilities tightly. Now, we install corporate stooges like Ajit Pai to let ISPs have their way with the country.
     
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  25. Paladin21

    Paladin21 Gawd

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    When my wife and I were shopping for our first house, she asked me how far out of town I was willing to live and drive (she grew up outside of town, I've always lived in town). I told her to call up Cox and see if they had broadband at that address; if they didn't, it was too far to drive.

    I think at the time she was slightly annoyed with it. Nowadays with two kids, both of us being teachers, and a million and one IoT/video streaming/gaming things going on at once on our gigabit connection, she probably sees the light. ;p
     
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  26. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I'd be tempted to get together with the neighbors and share connections from the houses that have it to the houses that don't, and split costs
     
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  27. PCMusicGuy

    PCMusicGuy [H]ard|Gawd

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    I agree that it is overpriced. But the sad truth is that the companies don't feel that they could make a return on their investment in the area in what they consider a reasonable amount of time. Without knowing the projected subscription rate, that could totally be true. Most people have cell phones which they feel are impossible to live without. If they already have that, it makes complete sense to market the cell phone data/mobile hot spot philosophy to them. At the same time, I do not consider cell phone internet access to be worthy of being called broadband. I still believe in designing to the 5 nines rule for telecommunications and cell networks fail horribly in that regard.

    Infrastructure costs are sometimes reasonable and sometimes crazy. All of the rural areas would need to be services by stringing cable up on the poles as many of the communications companies already have the right of ways secured and the necessary easements on the pole. Even with that advantage, I would guess cost would be in the $10,000+ per mile once you factor in all of the supporting costs. If you need to go underground and access right of ways and obtain easements, it becomes crazy. I was involved with LUS when they were getting their fiber to the home project designed back in 2005. There was a study to see what it would take to bury the power and communication lines along a stretch of West Congress, and it was over $1 million for about a 2000 ft stretch.


    PS. It's a small world. I lived the first 22 or so years of my life in that zip code in Indian Bayou. Parents and brother are still there. I still think Acadiana is one of the best places on Earth with some of the best people.
     
  28. Nobu

    Nobu 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, unfortunately a cell plan is about the same or more in my area, and not unlimited unless you get the $60+ plan (and then, still not really unlimited). I can bundle home and mobile internet, but it'd end up costing even more (though not as much as if I got them separate). Cox probably has the best deal in the area (unless you can get lus), but only for the first 12 months, and I refuse to get on a contract that I plan to cancel or have to renegotiate as soon as it ends.

    And I agree, the people are really nice.
     
  29. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    And violate your terms of service and get disconnected?
     
  30. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Only if they figure it out, which is unlikely if you do it right.
     
  31. The_Capulet

    The_Capulet n00b

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    Anyone who offers current tech satellite internet as a solution to this has never once used satellite internet. It's just flat out not a viable alternative. It's modern day dial-up with low caps, insane prices, and constant outages. Hell, there's a lot of sites now that wont even serve traffic to connections with those ping times.
     
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  32. Shadowed

    Shadowed Limp Gawd

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    Because my DSL will remain at 1mbps due to 0 competition, I pay for a 10GB (per month) plan for Satellite. I use about 500GB of data in reality. When within the 10GB cap, I get 50/3. When throttled I get 3/2. The upload rate is barely throttled so I can still use it. My DSL is 1mbps/96kbps so I cannot really use it for what I want.

    I can pay 4x more a month for a 50GB data cap, but that would be useless. At 2am-8am they give all users a separate 50GB data cap.

    Satellite is worth it for me since there will never be any competition here. There simply isn't enough people to entice Comcast; or make my DSL provider (went bankrupt 3 times since it launched) to even think about upgrading the lines unless the home owner pays out of pocket.

    Comcast quoted me $20,000 to install at my house. I am seriously considering this vs the 12k to get 2mbps for my current ISP.
     
  33. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

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    Unfortunately Satellite varies a lot by region. In my area you are promised similar speeds \ caps, but are lucky to get several megs down. During peak times or after hitting your cap you are relegated to dial up speeds.

    If you currently have a dsl option, and Comcast even gives you the option to have a line run, I suspect your zones are much less congested.
     
  34. brc19

    brc19 n00b

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    I live in a rural area. The only terrestrial ISP is Frontier - I'm sure most of you know how much that company sucks.

    I get 3mbps down (if it's not raining) for $60 a month. Congestion is horrendous! Lucky if I can stream a movie without interruption.

    Satellite is not an option (data caps, weather kills the bandwidth and latency is literally sky high), cellular hotspot is expensive + data caps + bandwidth problems most of the time, wireless ISPs over promise and under deliver.

    The solution is a Rural Internet Association much like the REA in olden times. With the lack of competition ISPs have no incentive to provide true broadband in rural area.
     
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  35. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Actually, no it isn't. Remember that every so often you need to launch new satellites into orbit; they don't stay up there forever. And I argue satellite doesn't even support todays bandwidth needs, let alone what they are going to be going forward.

    So, you either subsidize FOREVER, or you just pay for the infrastructure once.
     
  36. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You are going to argue that satellite bandwidth isn't future-proof while Elon Musk is planning on putting over 4,400 of them into orbit for a long term world wide internet solution?

    As long as the target consumer / user is the 16 million we are talking about who live in the sticks, I think the bandwidth will suffice.
     
  37. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Satellite simply does not have acceptable bandwidth/latency. It's literally worse then 56k AOL. 5G is a better option (I said "better", not "good"). Hell, even 2G is a better option (again, comparatively).
     
  38. drklu

    drklu 2[H]4U

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    I also live in a rural area about 30 minutes from the nearest small town which is pretty much a school and 1 store. They were installing a fiber line to connect between that small town and another so the service became available. I get 100 mb/s for $130/month and that also includes a lan line which is not optional. It is expensive but the service is good so I can't complain much especially when my parents who live about 5 miles away cannot get this because they live down a road that did not receive the new line. I would love to see some competition but I'm not sure how that could be done because the company owns the fiber line they ran which is the only line in the area. I have also heard they have to rent other parts of the line from another ISP to make the connection so that is also why the price is a bit high. All the comments really show the diversity of the connections that Americans utilize. It varies so much from area to area.
     
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  39. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Maybe for you it's no acceptable. For someone who has nothing, a little latency is not an issue as long as the data makes it there and we are not talking current satellite capability like what Hughes Net offers. Elon Musk's offering is a step up from that and was listed above;

    Yes, these are very rough estimates, hopes, goals. I can't say that they will ever get there. But I would rather see support for this than support to push out existing tech to fixed areas that will just lead to more of the same bullshit from the same corporate actors.
     
  40. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    But what about the fact that a satellite only stays in orbit 24 hours before it falls out of the sky and has to be replaced. Until they can get one to say in the sky for weeks, or even over 10 years we can't be expecting people to use that for data. Do you know how hard it is to lock onto a satellite for anything with the constant plummet they are in. It is terrible. That is why we don't use them for anything yet. They just haven't proven to be a viable solution to transmit data for anything yet. ;)