If you are in the process of purchasing a home in a rural area for the first time, then you might be surprised to discover inexpensive high-speed internet service may or may not be available. For this reason, before you sign on the dotted line of a home purchase offer, first, you should take the time to determine what home internet package options are available in the area using these tips:
Tip: Check the FCC's Fixed Broadband Map
If you need highspeed internet and want to connect to a DSL or fiber-optic cable, then the FCC has a searchable, nationwide map of broadband availability on their website. The map shows the fixed broadband available in every area of the country and is easy to search to find your local area.
If this map shows fixed broadband is available in an area, then you can either connect to using DSL or fiber-optic cables in that area and should have fairly inexpensive internet service options. For a fixed broadband connection, contact the local phone and cable companies for more information.
Tip: Search for a Local Fixed-Wireless Internet Provider
In many areas of the country, smaller phone companies or local internet service providers offer fixed-wireless internet access. For a fixed-wireless connection, the provider will mount an antenna on your home's roof and it will communicate wirelessly to an antenna on a local hilltop. This type of internet is fast and reliable even in bad weather.
Tip: Consider Satellite or Cellular Internet Service Providers
If the area you want to live in does not have any fixed broadband or fixed-wireless internet options, then you will need to use either a satellite or cellular provider. Both of these options have their positive and negative aspects.
Satellite internet providers install a small satellite dish on the side of your home and you use a WiFi router to broadcast the signal throughout your home. Satellite internet service is fast and reliable, but it can also be pricey and if you use too much bandwidth in a month they will slow your connection down with a process known as "throttling".
Finally, cellular phone companies also offer internet access through their networks. These connections can also be throttled and some areas have better coverage than others. However, cellular internet connections are reliable and if you live in the right area they can be a lot faster than satellite internet and often are less expensive.