Satellite Internet Providers have been doing their best to connect rural America to the Internet at an improved speed, and with 7.2 Billion dollars in Fed Stimulus Money set aside to help rural areas to acquire Broadband Access the speeds offered at the moment may see a significant increase. There has also been an increase through cell phone providers to add Internet usage via their cell towers using what is known as an air card.
Currently the speeds offered by Satellite Internet start at 512 kilobytes and range up to 1.5 megabytes. This seems slow to some areas of the country who have cable or DSL connections. However the average speed of a dial up connection is between 30 and 56 Kilobytes. With today’s Web Pages designed with Flash Players and Media Players a dial up connection can take at a minimum 20 minutes or longer to load. When a customer begins service with a satellite provider the starting speed of 512 Kilobytes is a major improvement comparing to dial up. However, those moving to rural areas from cities or towns well equipped with cable or DSL providers have had difficulty accepting the fact the maximum speeds satellite Providers offer is 1.5 Megabytes.
With a request of 300 million in Federal Funding from the stimulus, Wildblue and HughesNet plan on sharing a Satellite that could provide speeds up to 10 Megabytes to present and future customers of the Satellite Internet Providers. Although WildBlue services approximately 400,000 customers, there are an estimated 11 million households that currently have limited access to the Internet.
Pricing does play into some decisions of attaining the Satellite Internet Service; a majority of rural America just does not live in an area that has the infrastructure to acquire Broadband Internet. Part of the problem is that those without Internet include schools, businesses, and libraries. The stimulus is an attempt to bring Hi Speed Internet to those mentioned who cannot connect at speeds faster than dial up. The first round of funding will be rewarded within the coming months.