Most of you reading this probably take wireless broadband for granted. After all, the internet has become rather ubiquitous, right? Still, there are a lot of people who live in remote communities who are living with unreliable or no internet. The result? A tech and information gap between urban and rural communities.
78% of people surveyed in rural communities had some form of internet access in 2015. In rural areas, just over 85% reported having internet access. Sure, it doesn’t seem rural communities are lagging too far behind, but these numbers don’t reveal the biggest problems in rural America.
For example, reliable and fast internet access is far more uncommon in rural communities versus urban areas. Just over half of rural residents reported speeds of 25 Mbps broadband quality, which is far less than urban dwellers at 94 percent.
One of the issues facing rural consumers is that their market is often dominated by one internet provider. Without competition, internet providers have less pressure to upgrade their networks to improve speed and reliability.
The disparity is magnified in rural schools. Without the internet, teachers are unable to integrate the rich resources on the internet into their lessons, which leaves them at a disadvantage when compared with urban schools.
In the absence of reliable, broadband internet, residents in these rural communities are somewhat compromised. Imagine, for example, relying on a slow dial-up connection for shopping and entertainment.
How would your life change without internet access? Let us know in the comments below.