Technology continues to improve, thus enabling the existing ones to carry more and more data. There is a well-documented digital difference between the rural and the urban areas when it comes to internet access. It is quite clear that big ISPs don't offer high-speed internet to rural areas.
In the US, only very few of the people living in rural areas have access to the speeds that currently qualify as broad, while more of the urban population does. We are looking into the main reasons why rural communities remain underserved when it comes to broadband internet services.
- Distance matters
It is more likely for the ISPs to install new communication lines in the areas where population density is high. Which is usual economics that is related to how many customers are there to share the fixed installation costs? Also, we don't want to ignore how high the demand for the service is affecting as well.
Often said, there is quite a competition among the broadband providers in the urban areas. More than 60% of the urban population has at least three internet providers, and not much diversity of choice is available to the rural residents. Such competition can lead to lower prices and improved internet services for the consumers, which, when they tend to happen, ultimately raise adoption rates.
- Mobile wireless is not the same
Wireless is still not the same as wired yet. The wireline broadband technology is still dependent on the expensive act of laying the wires physically. It might seem that wireless coverage that covers broad areas from antennas across the cities rather than connecting cables to each home could be the answer for the rural areas.
There is no doubt that mobile wireless coverage has seen dramatic improvements over the years. Sometimes the wireless coverage can be spotty and can vary by the service provider and also the environment.
- Difficult laws and regulations
While different communities and cities have tried to overcome these obstacles by building and deploying their networks, but different Government laws and regulations make it difficult for these independent and local efforts for the network building to work.
- Not enough potential customers in rural areas
The major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are always concerned with maximizing their profit. Therefore, they look over more sparsely populated locations. Even when rural customers do reach out to these ISPs, they usually offer them cellular options like LTE sticks and MiFi, and this means typically limited data at high prices.
- Unclear and inaccurate internet service mapping policies
The internet service providers have to report to the Government on coverage areas and speed. However, these reports are not double-checked and usually paint a situation in a better light than it is. Having such a dissonance between data and reality makes it quite difficult to allocate the resources to the places and the people that need them most.
While most of the telecom companies, internet providers, and politicians advocate for and claim that they are working towards universal access to high-speed internet, especially the rural areas, yet this is far from reality. Well, we need fast and efficient solutions to providing internet access to the rural areas to bridge the digital divide and bring reliable, affordable, and fast internet access to underserved rural communities, and that's where Nomad Internet comes in.