Internet Usage: Urban Areas vs. Rural Areas

Internet Usage - Urban vs Rural

Is internet consumption different in rural areas than in urban areas? Why do they have lesser options when it comes to internet connections compared to the urban areas? The people of urban areas use the internet differently than people living in rural areas. Also, in rural areas, internet availability is way less than you usually see in urban areas. The internet is no doubt a public service and every individual on the planet has the right to use it. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is heavily emphasizing the ISPs to expand their internet service. It is the only way to help every individual access the internet.

Internet Usage - Urban vs Rural

Why rural areas don’t have the same ISPs as urban residents? 

It all comes down to demand and supply. Businesses do market research before investing millions of dollars and the results don’t cover the cost because the demand is not enough. It’s usually the cable internet services serving the masses in urban areas. However, providing cable internet requires not just money but months-long construction of underground infrastructure. The labor work and network of cables bringing from one place to another is a tedious job and has its own financial risks.

In metropolitans, the additional options and features are so irresistible that they at times overshadow everything else. Getting no-contract packages, free installation, contract buyout option, and wide-ranging channel line up for the entire household to name a few. You can explore Spectrum TV packages to testify to it.

Rural areas do not have a lot of options to pick from and have basic or highly-priced packages because of less completion.

Difference between the internet speeds:

In this modern age, there is still a difference between internet services in rural and urban areas. Today, the internet with downloading speed of 25 Mbps and uploading speed of 4 Mbps is the least that you should consider today. These standards were set in 2015. You will be surprised to know that it is six times more than the previous standard of the least internet speed.

In rural areas, satellite internet is the only option mostly. However, this internet is not good enough for YouTube streaming or online gaming. In addition, the ISPs in rural areas cannot manage to serve their schools with a reliable internet connection. In 2013, FCC set a speed of 100 Kbps per student (at least). Moreover, surprisingly, 77 percent of the schools met this standard of the internet until 2015 – but this is not the same case in rural areas. According to an estimate, the schools there have to pay twice more than the bandwidth they get for their students. This is the reason why students from rural areas lack in terms of facilities and opportunities.

What is the solution? Can we expect any difference? 

In rural areas, there is a low population of people. FCC has worked to let ISPs offer their service in rural areas. Nevertheless, because of the low population, ISPs are forced to charge heavily to fulfill their cost of expenditure and service. In addition, laying fiber optic cables in rural areas requires a lot of time and investment. With the Connect America Fund, the FCC is ready to provide subsidies to the internet service-providing companies so they can cover the entry costs when introducing their services in the rural markets.

Conclusive Notes

The internet is the need of people in both rural and urban areas. FCC has to ensure that the ISPs get everything they need to ensure quality internet in both areas. FCC is looking forward to expanding the Connect America Fund to help over 7 million customers so they can easily access high-speed internet. However, it is a long-term hence time-consuming plan that might take more or less around 6 years. Ideally, FCC should sort out this division between urban and rural areas sooner than expected, or it will remain the same as it is today. Besides that, rural areas are not without internet (at all), they have satellite internet services which have improved significantly in the past couple of years. Cable internet is the fastest certainly but DSL is also accessible in some rural areas.