Tag: Rural

12
Oct
2020
Posted in internet

Haenisch: Dependable internet access might save rural Texas – Opinion – Austin American-Statesman

As Texas educators redesigned teaching on the fly in the spring of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the frustration level among educators and parents was high. For families there was the stress of being together 24/7 along with the day-to-day issues of schooling: homework, inconsistent internet and, in many cases, no internet at all, establishing a routine for home-school, and too many more to count.

The stories educators can tell about the challenges remote learning presented for them and their students. Talk about blended learning – schools became responsible for producing paper packets with lessons for those without internet or computers and online lessons for students with internet connectivity.

Many parents and educators can tell of slow internet where at times students might watch a screen with a spinning circle for 45 minutes waiting for the internet to connect. A lesson planned for 30 minutes might take hours to complete as the signal would fade in and out, and the child would still have three more classes to complete.

The Texas Association of Community Schools is an organization that works with small and mid-sized school districts in Texas. While our members come from all parts of the state, it is fair to say that the majority of our members are from rural communities. The pandemic has been cruel for all Texans, but especially to those in rural areas. Let me tell you why:

According to Connected Texas, approximately 300,000 rural Texas families do not have access to broadband internet connectivity which is defined as a minimum of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speed. What does that mean to the 300,000 families without broadband internet connectivity? It means that even if a school district provided a laptop or Chromebook with a hot spot to every school-aged

08
Oct
2020
Posted in internet

T-Mobile is expanding its rural home internet service to 450 more areas

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T-Mobile is bringing its LTE home internet service to more people.


Angela Lang/CNET

T-Mobile has announced an expansion of its Home Internet pilot to 450 more areas, which it says covers 20 million households. The service uses T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, and was launched as an invite-only pilot in rural areas in March last year, with the carrier saying it’s now opening the service to non-T-Mobile customers.

T-Mobile’s home internet service is $50 per month, with a $0 hardware lease and no data caps.  

“We’re understanding this massive expansion … at a time when our connection to the Internet is so vital — for work, remote school, connection with family and friends,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert.

You can see a list of the new cities and towns online, but it’s now live in certain areas of 27 states.

Read more: The best internet providers for 2020: How to choose cable vs. DSL vs. satellite and more

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06
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

AT&T Just Screwed Over DSL Customers and Rural America

Illustration for article titled ATT Just Screwed Over DSL Customers and Rural America

Photo: Alastair Pike/AFP (Getty Images)

As of Oct. 1, AT&T has stopped offering DSL as a new service, according to USA Today. Existing DSL subscribers, who connect to the internet via copper phone lines, will be grandfathered in. DSL is definitely old technology, but many people, especially in rural areas, still rely on it for internet access. Internet service providers have mostly focused on expanding cable broadband and fiber networks in wealthy metropolitan and suburban areas. Basically, if you don’t already have DSL service and you need to connect to the internet, you may be completely out of options.

AT&T has seen the number of DSL subscribers slowly decrease over the years. The telecom reported 653,000 total DSL connections at the end of the second quarter of 2020, compared to nearly 14.5 million fiber customers, USA Today noted. That low DSL subscriber number is not surprising considering how broadband has grown and expanded since the ‘90s, but cutting off service without providing another option leaves many customers in digital darkness.

According to a joint report from the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDLA), AT&T has been installing just the fiber foundation in some unserved and underserved areas, but not actually installing the rest of the equipment needed to connect it to other homes outside of a specific area. About 18 million U.S. households do not have broadband of any kind, including mobile or satellite, and 14 million of those households are in urban areas—the remaining 4 million are in rural areas. Of the 53 million households in AT&T’s home internet service areas, only about 15 million of them have access to fiber.

The report notes that households with fiber internet tend to be wealthier, with a median income about 34%

05
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Verizon 4G LTE-based Home Internet maximizes rural availability edge

  • Verizon extended the availability of its 4G LTE-based Home Internet, and is now available in 189 markets
  • This allows Verizon to further capitalize on its advantage over the other major US wireless carriers in offering rural 4G.
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Verizon announced that its 4G LTE-based Home Internet service is now available in 189 markets across 48 states. In July 2020, Verizon began rolling out the service in a handful of markets across the Southeast.

4G cellular availability in remote US areas by carrier

Verizon extended the availability of its 4G LTE-based home broadband.

Business Insider Intelligence


The service will cost $60 per month for non-Verizon wireless customers, or $40 per month for those with Verizon mobile plans (but only if they already pay more than $30 per month). Verizon promises typical download speeds of 25–50 Mbps. 

By extending the range of services available to rural customers, Verizon can capitalize on its competitive advantage in rural service availability. Though Verizon has mostly focused until now on rolling out 5G in urban areas, it’s placed a heavy emphasis on making 4G service available for rural markets. 

According to Opensignal data collected between March 16 and June 13 of 2019, Verizon had the highest rate of 4G availability in rural regions of all the major US wireless carriers. Verizon’s advantage is more pronounced in the most rural areas: In “remote rural” areas (defined as territory that is more than 35 miles from an urbanized area) Verizon customers experienced 83.5% 4G availability, compared with 77.4% for T-Mobile, 75.5% for AT&T, and 67.3% for Sprint.

The LTE-based Home Internet service will appeal most to those in the rural US who don’t have an option for high-speed fixed broadband

05
Oct
2020
Posted in internet

Verizon Launches Unlimited 4G Home Internet for Rural Users: Here Are the Maps

(Image: Getty)

Rural home internet options in the US can be rough. If you’re not in reach of the local cable company, you’re relegated to slow DSL, or worse—cap-throttled satellite connections. While some small towns, like the ones in our 15 Small Towns with Gigabit Internet feature, have glorious connections, others struggle to get online.

Wireless phone companies have offered low-key solutions from time to time in unlimited home LTE plans. Most 4G LTE service plans, even “unlimited” ones, are capped in terms of how much you can use them as hotspots for home PCs and televisions. In some places, from time to time, each of the carriers have offered wireless internet solutions.

AT&T currently offers its rural “Fixed Wireless Internet” for $49.99/month with a 250GB monthly cap. It gives absolutely no clues as to where that’s available. BroadbandNow has a map, but doesn’t explain its sources for the data.

T-Mobile has a similar deal: $50/month home internet, but for even fewer people. According to Satellite Today, that offer is only available by invitation, or in three counties in Michigan. As part of its merger with Sprint, T-Mobile said it would cover millions of people with wireless home Internet—but not before 2024.

There are also several rather shady resellers that advertise unlimited LTE hotspots by evading the carriers’ usage limits by various means. They’re great as long as the carriers don’t crack down on them.


Verizon Rural Home Internet Maps

Last week Verizon launched its own option across the US, and its prospect is more compelling because it’s much more widely available. Verizon’s rural home LTE is truly unlimited, with speeds averaging 25Mbps, the carrier said. It costs $40/month for people with Verizon Wireless service, and $60/month for people without. You need to buy a $240 router.

Verizon’s 4G system,