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Elizabethtown, KY

Cost Effective Internet Options in Rural America

I'm trying to find a cost effective Internet option for my parts of my family that live in rural America. I'm not finding a whole lot of options, was was wondering if I am missing something.

They have no options for DSL or the likes from the phone company. They are no cable lines run down their road.

Unless I'm forgetting something, that would mean their options are limited to satellite or cellular based Internet, but those get fairly expensive.

I'd really like to find something around $30 to $40 per month, although I may just be expecting way too much for that price. All of the satellite and cellular options have very low monthly usage limits. Ideally, I'd like something around 20 to 30GB per month (that would average out to about 1GB a day) but may have to settle for something in the 5 to 10GB range.

Millenicom would seem to fit, and they get pretty good Verizon coverage where they are at. But the $70/mo is a bit steep. Through all of my research, I've found Millenicom to be the best value. But instead of 20GB at $70/mo, I think 10GB at $35/mo might be a bit more attractive.

As far as cell coverage, T-Mobile is out completely they don't have any footprint at all in the area. Sprint might have some coverage, according to Sprint's coverage map, where they live it's covered by Sprint 3G but it's in a wrap around hook according to their map, so I'm not sure how much I trust that information. AT&T and especially Verizon should be fine.

What do other people in rural America use for their Internet? Surely not dialup. Maybe my price points are just too unrealistic, but it's going to be a lot harder to sell them on something that costs $50/mo vs. something that costs $40/mo or below.

I'm just wondering if I'm missing something.

Expand your moderator at work

Bernie, MO
reply to sparek

Re: Cost Effective Internet Options in Rural America

I survived Hale-Bopp!


Jacksonville, NC
reply to sparek

Not to be snarky, but choosing to live in any rural area is gonna have its drawbacks, when it comes to modern convenices. If its not cost-effective (i.e. payback period is absurdly long) to run cable or install a tower, then a company is not going to do it, no matter how much begging or pleading is done.

Perhaps you could lobby for the local government to build it, but they probably won't have the money for the investment needed.

I do hope you find something that can meet your needs though, but I'm not sure you will.

NW Minnesota
reply to sparek

Since "rural America" covers so much real estate, it would be helpful if you provided a ZIP code for the family members you are shopping for. If a WISP is out of the question, have you checked to see if a regional cell carrier serves your area? My son and daughter-in-law live just on the Tennessee side of the state line in the Land Between the Lakes area have use a regional carrier for their home internet and cell service. They claim it's quite a bit less money than VZW or AT&T. I seem to recall the carrier was Kentucky based but, for the life of me, I can't remember the name.


Elizabethtown, KY
reply to sparek

@Rhaas - No WISP is available in the area.

@JimMcCoy - I don't take your comment to be snarky. I realize that it's part of living in rural areas. I just figured there are a lot of other people that live in rural America, what are they using for their Internet? Is there any one thing in particular that I have overlooked? Or is it just a hodge-podge of what is available for each particular individual? I'm really hoping that as LTE rolls out across the country that you'll start to see more "fixed" wireless LTE services that are a bit more cost effective, offering DSL speeds to a swath area, with a decent amount of monthly bandwidth, for a reasonable price. But that's probably a few years down the road, and I'm not sure what the incentive would be for cell companies to offer reasonable price as long as they hold the cards and can charge whatever you want.

@Zach1 - It's actually in Marshall County KY, just west of the lakes and LBL area. I don't know of any regional cellular providers in the area. Everybody I know of has AT&T (or an AT&T MVNO) or Verizon. Is there any list of regional cellular providers?

I did find - mygetsetgo.com - which unfortunately doesn't offer service in the area, for the most part they don't provide coverage west of the lakes. I can't remember where I saw the prices, I can't seem to find it now, but I seem to recall them being around $30 to $40/mo for their basic plan which I believe offers 100GB of monthly data. Companies like that is what I'd like to see more of, I even think the 100GB is overkill.


Queen Anne, MD
reply to sparek