Today’s Adventures In Internet Connectivity

After more than a month of dealing with substandard (even for me) internet connectivity through CenturyLink, in which my already-slow internet connectivity slowed by a two-thirds, and neither a “repair” nor a new modem did anything to fix it, I decided to try something else. Sprint, as it happens, has an “unlimited” plan that features 100GB at 4G speeds, after which the speed drops to 3G speeds, i.e., not any slower than what I’m currently getting out of CenturyLink. All of this is cheaper than what I’m currently paying CenturyLink, and cheaper (in setup and monthly costs) than what I would have to pay for satellite Internet, which would not be any faster and has similar data caps than Sprint, and also sucks, because satellite Internet is inherently laggy and drops out in a rainstorm.

So, hey, look, here’s the very cheap phone I got basically to act as a hotspot. The plan is to use it primarily for the television for streaming, and to see how that works, in terms of data usage and whatnot. If it works pretty well, then I’ll be ditching CenturyLink entirely, since I’ve become tired of giving them money for genuinely shitty service that has not improved in a decade. The only downside as far as I can see is that it means I’ll likely be done downloading video games for a while, as most AAA games these days are 15+GB downloads to start and their frequent updates are now multi-gigabyte affairs as well.

Now, in point of fact this is kind of a shitty way of having to do things. I should be able to have a decent wired Internet connection without data caps. But I live in rural America, and where I live CenturyLink doesn’t have any competition for providing wired Internet, so it hasn’t bothered to upgrade its services, ever, which is why I was already puttering along at 6Mbps at best before the connection went to hell. So here I am, testing a Sprint phone as a hotspot so I can maybe watch Netflix without it pausing to download every half minute or so. I’ll let you know how it goes.

59 Comments on “Today’s Adventures In Internet Connectivity”

  1. Before you post “Hey, have you thought about [insert your suggested internet solution here]” the answer is “Yes, and it was too slow/had unusable data caps/was not available in my area/doesn’t exist yet/was otherwise unsuitable.” I’ve been living with shitty Internet for a while now; it’s deeply unlikely you’ll suggest to me something I’ve not already considered and then dismissed for whatever reason.

    I know this won’t stop some of you, because some of you literally will not be able to help yourself from being help-y, but honestly, at this point I don’t need your suggestions. Thank you.

  2. I used to do customer-facing desktop phone support, so I’m very familiar with some of the difficulties that rural America is facing when it comes to broadband – it’s why I really think the console manufacturers who are pushing for an all-digital future are incredibly short-sighted, but that’s a topic for another time.

  3. You can probably go to the public library and use the internet there to download your games while you wait for Elon to loft enough satellites.

  4. Ah, you have actual cell coverage. I not only have the crappy rural internet, I can’t even get consistent 2/3/4G coverage here. ;)

  5. I live in the same world (rural Internet). I use a localized small dish that sends the signal from my house the 10 miles to the local town. It can cut out sometimes (usually when I’m gaming) but is generally OK.

    Be careful of lagginess on cell services. Not as bad as satellite, but can have issues with it still. I really wish the government would step in and give us an Internet Bill of Rights including consistent speeds for rural areas.

  6. As a fellow rural American, I am interested in this experiment. I was so excited when AT&T finally offered wired internet to my house. It kind of sucks but now when it rains hard, we don’t lose both the TV and the internet! (I’ve told my Dad to call me if we need to go huddle in the bathroom.) Cable has never been run to the house and probably never will be, since they were amazingly unconcerned when my next door neighbor’s line was pulled down 3 times in 3 weeks. They went back to satellite TV.

  7. Insert superior EU infrastructure joke here
    Seriously though – get a serious FCC commissioner, change your competition laws to force FTC to help new players in noncompetitive markets and you might catch up.

    Poland was one of the countries rushing to nearly countrywide 4G coverage, because our FTC equivalent took the decision to help jumpstart a 4th non-virtual mobile telephony provider(by forcing all providers to do in-country roaming with no penalty for consumers) when they were taking off ~2008 and now we have good coverage and some of the lowest prices.

    Oh, while you’re fixing your broadband policy, ban zero rating. There is now research proving it increases prices

  8. I appreciate the extra note about not offering any ideas for your service online there…it could be very time consuming for some wordy geek tech genius to send you ideas you are not eager to read…but I am not a tech geek and my comment is about my perspective on what is modern now…You have these abilities to download video games to then play….? wow….imagine all the data involved, I am just saying the old days we
    didn’t even contemplate using the web as it is now….No wonder century was slow eh ? Many companies get into a habit of how they deal with their bizz so they might be a great company in many ways but still practicing their work and skills by 2010 or even 2012 standards…imagine that? It can be older equipment in their bizz…so, since I never try to use the high tech stuff much I am very content to look at books or movies
    ( although Hollywood ruined most of the years since 2000 with social engineering ideas in the movies ) and I do not mean in a good way…I promise I wont elaborate…see what a good email buddy I am ? grins…what my point is….some modern devices and improvements lead to “techno self use creep”.Its never improved enough, there is another makeover, download this etc…its like the problem of “escalation creep”, or in modern lingo, [mission creep] in superpower nations going to “help” some poor undeveloped nation fight its local civil wars. my point is….modern users of everything tech thing want that next thing or invention whatever it is…and it had led to commercials showing smart cars with no drivers being safe when in reality the tech companies are killing people trying to “drive” home a point….DO not let tech run your world….my man, Peace.

  9. It doesn’t always stay great in urban areas. I’ve got what used to be Roadrunner and is now called something else that I forget — It can be subject to weird drops in service that can’t be explained either. The digital infrastructure really needs s major overhaul never matter where we live.

  10. I feel your pain. I couldn’t get internet at my house, except for dial up until 2014. I was so damn happy when I could finally get it.

  11. I worked for a company that sold equipment that probably supports the CenturyLink DSL circuit you are suffering from. I spent a LOT of time in rural Ohio, training techs and troubleshooting DSL circuits.
    Here are my thoughts (for what they’re worth):

    If it is only during certain times, say right after school or 6pm-1am, then the problem is most likely congestion on the common uplink circuit. This happens because everyone within about 3 miles of those gray or beige boxes you see by the side of a road shares one link back to town. So your traffic is mingled with anywhere from 12 to 100+ other people. It’s a lot like everyone trying to get on the freeway at the same time….

    A drop from 6mbps to 2mbps regardless of the time of day means you have a problem with the actual wire pairs. If your neighbors are having the same kind of issue, then most likely it is a CABLE problem, not just a PAIR problem.

    Next question – Is it just slow or are the complete drop outs?

    Drop outs means the problem is likely physical:

    If you have aerial cable (instead of a post coming out of the ground), then the age of the cable can certainly come into play. The insulation dries out and becomes brittle, leading to small cracks. Also, the expansion and contraction of the cable due to heat can cause micro-fractures in the copper wires themselves, injecting a lot of ‘noise’.

    If you have buried cable (those posts that are called ‘pedestals’), then rodent damage, cracked insulation that allows moisture into the cable, and even changes in the ground potential (if you are having a particularly wet or dry time) can wreak havoc.

    If it just slow (but reliable) then it is probably a constant EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference) caused by some steady source, such as a powerful radio broadcast. Or even the phone company running DSL signals against each other (called “Reverse or Back-fed ADSL” – there is a LOT of that out there). This is akin to having a car go the wrong way on a one-way street.

    The problem is that cable fixing is about the most expensive kind of repair you can imagine. Replacing a cable averages from $5 to $18 per foot! Aerial is the cheapest. Buried in an urban area is the most expensive.

    And while you may think Centurylink is bad, Verizon is FAR worse! They have not put a dime into their ‘copper outside plant’ (as it’s known) since Atlantic Bell bought GTE in 1998 to form Verizon.

    The 4G approach maybe your best bet, but it too is subject to congestion and…STORMS! As well as trees and dense buildings….

    And cable companies won’t plow coax/fiber anywhere they can’t pass at least six homes per mile run….

    Best option: Go 4G and root for Elon Musk’s Starlink to actually happen…and soon!

    – A 30 year telecom network engineer….

  12. Superior infrastructure elsewhere jokes aside, allowing a few semi-monopolistic corporations to dominate or even control connectivity just about everywhere (but especially rural areas) is beyond bad for public safety, national security, AND the economy.

    In fact, it’s bad for everyone except those semi-monopolistic corporations and their shareholders.

    DuckDuck search “Rural Electrification Administration”.

    We should be establishing a climate-robust national communications grid that covers urban and rural areas alike, using redundant wireless and fiber-optic connectivity. The grid should be maintained as a public utility with cost allocations from public and private service suppliers.

    It is feasible with current technology. It’s even feasible to make it expandable and upgrade-able as the technology evolves. The process of building it would be an economic development boost on the order of the Interstate Highways initiative in the 1950s, creating large numbers of jobs and boosting rural and urban prosperity.

    The only barrier is that our “democracy” is currently structured so that those same semi-monopolistic corporations have the ability to purchase sufficient state and local legislators to prevent it.

    If rural voters would overcome their fear of change and vote in their own economic interests, we could eliminate that barrier, too.

  13. Superior EU infrastructure? Not in Ireland, where the situation is similar to what this post describes, even though I live in the suburbs of Cork City, not in the countryside.

  14. That sucks! Hope it works. CenturyLink here just brought 1Gb fiber to my neighborhood, so… I’m happy with ’em

  15. You have my sympathies, and my hopes for an improvement in your internet. As others have observed, you are also not alone. Even in a medium-sized city that is a state capitol, it can be a significant challenge just to get phone service, let alone internet.

    We had our phone service and DSL from a local provider that was really good about fifteen years ago, then gradually got less and less responsive with time, as the DSL speeds slowed down. We met someone who works at the company, and they shared an interesting insider tidbit. This local company, which advertises their high-speed service in all areas of the city, is engaged in a quiet strategy to terminate all their customer accounts in parts of the city where they don’t own the copper (i.e. are leasing the infrastructure from another telco in order to provide service). And yup, you guessed it, we are right in the middle of a region where they don’t own the copper.

    The company isn’t outright shutting people down – but if you go one day late on your bill, they’ll shut off your service and refuse to reinstate it. If you have a service outage, you can expect about a two-week wait while the local company and AT&T squabble over who’s going to repair it. If you want faster DSL, too bad, so sad, can’t do it. And guess what, if you switch your ISP to a different provider and want them to end the DSL part of your account, just leaving the land line, nope, they won’t do that, either.

    We wound up switching to a cable provider for internet and “land line” (really cable line) phone service two months ago, and while the internet is a little faster, we have already had one outage on that service. I honestly don’t have high hopes for improvement.

    So all that is to say that while absolutely rural connectivity is the worst-off in the country, I think there is a systemic failure that is really going to bite us all hard in the next couple of decades unless telcos are required by law to upgrade their infrastructure for all parts of the country.

    Again, I sympathize, and I very much hope that your experiment offers enough improvement to allow you to fire the idiots. Best of luck.

  16. If you’re an old fogie like me, you can get unthrottled unlimited from T-mobile. $50 for one phone, $60 for two.

  17. I’m chuckling here because 6 mos. ago I dropped Cox for Century Lnk. W/Cox at 500Mbps I couldn’t watch Netflix before midnight w/o bufferng. I haven’t experienced buffering once with CL at 40Mbps. Different strokes.

  18. CenturyLink is the absolute worst. I was forced to use them in rural Washington (only other option was satellite). What a miserable experience – speeds nowhere near advertised, continual service interruptions, the list goes on. I was able to switch to another big company once I moved to New Mexico and have had a grand total of one service issue in 14 months. Ahhhh….. sooooo much better.

  19. Look at the bright side. You now can spend more than 2 weeks a year writing novels and can be more productive. Since no internet. So we can expect 2 books a year from you now? Its only 4 weeks a year that you have to work right?

  20. My daughter lives in New York City, lower Manhattan. She continually complains about how crappy her cable/fiber internet service is–drop-outs, slow speeds, over-priced, etc. It never ends.

  21. Many moons ago, at the last WorldCon in Melbourne, we had a brief en passant conversation about how terrible Melbourne internet is. Since then we have had the awesome idea of an amazing NBN scheme…that was neutered for political gain (?) by the Friends of Murdoch.
    Now, I have access to an internet service that is measurably worse than what I had 9 years ago, and is the best I can get. So I (and everyone on the Northside of Melbourne) feel your pain.

  22. You might have thought of this already, but check that those 100G at 4g speeds are allowed for tethering, specifically. Not just data, but TETHERED data to other devices.

    I use a cell phone for my main ISP, and they offer unlimited data on the phone only, and I only get 20g “tethered” data to my computer or other devices. So I’m somewhat skeptical that Sprint will actually allow you to tether 100g before slowing you down. Check the fine print about tethering.

    Maybe they’re more lenient in rural areas, but every single cell provider in the Chicago area has a low cap on tethering, and my 20g cap was the most generous I could find, and I blow through it in about 2 weeks with only minimal video streaming. I’ve heard you can use a VPN or something to possibly get around it…but I haven’t tried.

  23. Switching is great. Competition is the harness of capitalism, and even when (especially when!) there’s an oligopoly, customer disloyalty is a goad.

  24. Here in Phoenix, Century Link is unacceptable and doesn’t even offer coverage everywhere. Those that opt for it generally regret it.

    The only option: Cox, who offers great speeds with occasional interruptions…at exorbitant prices. They bundle you into a two year contract with special offers to make it seem reasonable for what you’re getting, but those offers expire in a few months or a year and you roll into full pricing for the duration of contract.

    That pricing accelerates to almost $200 a month for a bunch of channels you didn’t really want just to get hi-speed Internet. After rent, Internet is our highest bill, beating out utilities.

    Cox knows they have infrastructure and can charge us whatever they want. Like a monopoly. America: behind the rest of the world and keeping the money just where they like it.

    Hope your solution helps. We considered it but couldn’t be sure it would work, primarily because we have two computers, two WiFi receivers, two tablets, and two smartphones, all using bandwidth. Even now, if Internet is slow, we put everything on Airplane mode to improve the signal.

    Life doesn’t get easier. It gets more frustrating.

    Wish you well.

  25. Seconding the comment about tethering. It often has a lower limit than direct access on a device.

    Rural broadband sucks. My parents have it a little better than you, but not by much. I’ve been fortunate enough to live in areas with actual competition(as in, choosing between AT&T, Comcast, and RCN, or AT&T, Comcast, and WOW), and it’s much better. Most of the US isn’t so lucky.

  26. I did the same thing a year ago. I’m in a very rural area (by the standards of south-east England, which means I’m eight miles from a world-famous city), and I get 1 Mbps on my ADSL. So when we got 4G coverage, I got 4G Internet, and went from 1Mbps to 60Mbps. Get an external antenna for best signal — the government paid for mine in a rural broadband initiative, but that probably won’t work for you. 100GB per month was not quite enough for two people who are home most of the time, and I have now upgraded to 200GB, which is enough.

  27. This is exactly what my son does in a rural-ish part of Indiana! He got Verizon unlimited, which throttles down after [I forget how many GB], BUT to partly compensate for that, he also got the stand-alone Jetpack hotspot for extra added high-speed GBs. (Dunno if Sprite has those, or what they charge for hotspots/tethering.)

    And even with the lower speeds he can still watch Netflix just fine, if he turns off HD. Signals tend to get choked at busy times of day, but he does okay mostly. He got an outdoor signal booster antenna which seems to help.

  28. I live 12 miles from Paris and a year ago a representative of Orange, my internet provider, knocked on my door and said they were laying optical fiber down my street and would I want to be connected to it.. I asked how much would it cost and he said it will cost the same as I pay now. My wife who is very non-tech wanted to think about it but I told him that we will take it. We now have unlimited internet at 50 Mbps. It’s great.

  29. I use Comcast for internet only, and it is ‘adequate’. $39.95 a month. I don’t watch TV so I don’t need more. But every time someone mentions ‘Netflix’ I find myself giggling. My ‘net accesss sometimes slows to a crawl, and I suspect it’s because my neighbors are sucking up bandwidth. And this is central Massachusetts, not exactly the boondocks.

    When I really want to watch something I buy a new DVD or Blu-Ray and enjoy it. There are a few billion of them out there.

  30. There’s no fixed-wireless Internet option for you, John? I lived off-grid in Nova Scotia for 15 years, and we’d have killed for 6Mbps for most of that. Eventually we got fixed-wireless off a cell-tower 20km away, and got about that speed. These days you can definitely get faster, particularly if your cell towers are closer.

    “CenturyLink: making Comcast look good since 2009”

    Josh, I had CenturyLink in Michigan in 1996. I don’t think they were any better–and I was in an urban location with competition!

  31. P.S. Now I live in a shitty neighbourhood in one of Britain’s finest shitty cities, and I get Virgin Broadband, 100Mbps (claimed, in reality much less but still awesome!), unlimited downloads, for about US$50/month.

  32. This isn’t a suggestion but a question, could you get a t1 line to the house? The cost is beyond what almost anyone could normally pay but as you point out your part or the 1% these days. Though running the lines that far could be way to expensive I don’t know the cost of that part.

  33. No advice per se, but I just want to say best of luck with Sprint. I’ve been a very happy Sprint customer since the 20th century turned into the 21st. We have Frontier for the ‘net (who came into our world when AT&T decided to pull out) and accept for the very occasional signal drop, we’ve been very happy with it. Ours cost about $100 overall (‘net and phone combined) and our area actually has competition (except in the cities where you have either Dish or Direct).

  34. I live in SW Ohio, in a subburban area. A few years ago we still had a wire based landline phone that developed a bad scratchy noise problem. After a few complaints, ATT tracked the problem down to a mouse problem in a box about two miles away where probably hundreds of subscriber lines were concentrated. (I now have a home phone via the IP based Ooma system and pay about $5 per month.) I’d guess that a similar problem with the physical wires is the issue, as others have suggested. The coming 5G deployment may be a solution, though I suspect that it is years away for rural areas, if ever. There are a few ambitious satellite based internet providers in the works .. though I don’t know the details on antennas required, likely speeds, etc. Also probably a year or two off, at best.

  35. pointerstop, if your Virgin Media speed is a lot less than the quoted 100Mbps you need to complain; it should be pretty close to 100 unless something is going wrong. Virgin recently upgraded me to 200Mbps (to thank me for letting them replace my old cable box with the latest version – a bit weird I know) and, whilst speed tests give inconsistent results, the average of the four different ones I’ve just run is 202Mbps for downloads. Uploads are naturally a lot slower at about 12Mbps.

    Of course, Virgin know that if their service is not good enough I can switch to BT or Sky, though plenty of people in rural locations don’t have the same options.

  36. I feel your pain John. My wife and I were disappointed to read in today’s paper that our telephone & Internet provider, Windstream, is filing for Chapter 11 protection. While this doesn’t mean service disruption is imminent, it gives me pause to consider alternatives. We get pretty good VDSL service from Windstream. To get the equivalent, we will need to subscribe to Spectrum Cable. We have lived without cable forever and I am loathe to start now (really don’t want to do business with Comcast).
    Not that I expect anything to come of it but I fired off emails to my Fed and State reps lamenting the lack of alternatives in rural upstate NY. I’m sure it was a futile gesture. Mobile internet services certainly be an alternative but let’s face it they are extremely overpriced.

  37. We have the choice of the one that costs as much as half a month’s groceries, the one you can’t watch videos on (I mean in real time–I suppose you can if you’re patient with the buffering buffering buffering), and all the ones that aren’t available in our area.

    My sympathies, fellow rural dweller.

  38. I have CenturyLink DSL as well, though it was Sprint before CenturyLink bought them out. It’s fast enough to do one streaming tv show, I compared it to the speed I get through Verizon on my cellphone and it’s about 1/10th the speed, but I can’t use it as a hot spot due to throttling. Good luck with your experiment.

  39. I live in the rainforest on a Pacific island, maybe 100km from the nearest real town and I get just barely gigabit internet. Pathetic!

  40. If it makes you feel any better, I don’t live in rural American and my Internet options *still* suck. Here in Silicon Valley I have a choice of DSL from AT&T at a speedy 1.5 Mb/s; cable Internet from Comcast with speeds up to 300 Mb/s, but all sorts of restrictions on how you can use the net (i.e. you can’t run a web server or mail server behind it); or a really fantastic local ISP who can still only provide DSL but at 6 Mb/s if the wind is blowing the right way (but is in the process of deploying gigabit fibre where they can).

    If you live in a few isolated areas in the valley there is actually gigabit fibre available, but they are few and far between.

  41. Paul @4:56

    A T1 line is only 1.544 Mbps, a quarter of John’s contracted DSL speed which is the equivalent of T2 line.

  42. It’s really absurd how bad our internet service is here in the USA. It could be much better but the providers know we’ll pay for the shitty service we have, so they don’t bother.

  43. There is rural and then there is *really* rural., the latter being places where there aren’t any neighbors and there aren’t any choices. I live in one of those places on the cell service map that is blank. My phone company is not interested in expanding DSL to it’s outlying customers. So yeah, satellite is what I get if I want any internet at all. It’s expensive and frustrating. Lotsa talk by legislators about bringing broadband to rural America but very little action.

  44. Sometimes I forget how good most of the UK is (relative to the US, not to S Korea).

    When I moved to my current location in a largeish commuter village, near London, we got around 8Mbps. An upgrade to the village exchange after a couple of years doubled that. About 6 months ago we got FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) and I now get 38Mbps on the cheapest package and impressive reliability, so far at least.

  45. I too live in a rural area and suffer with shitty internet. In my case, it’s in Central Texas. I use my unlimited Verizon to play games, but nothing updates correctly when it’s connected to the hotspot. I still have to use the slow ass satellite internet wi-fi to update. My friend and gaming buddy in Los Angeles updates the same game in 2 minutes that I spend an hour waiting for. Hope this works out better for you!

  46. My only internet choices are AT&T and satellite, so I went with AT&T. Comcast ends a couple of miles in both directions from my house and refuses to run cable through my area, so there are a bunch of teensy satellite dishes all over the neighborhood. I had DSL for years, and U-verse finally made it to my neighborhood (VDSL).

    My service was still crappy; outages, drops in speed, excessive need to restart modem/gateway, unpredictable performance of all types. I stayed after them and put in repair request after request. They rewired my house connection, replaced local line pulls, checked wires and connections between my house and the local service hub over and over. They finally found that many of the connections on the wiring on the two and a half miles of road were not up to standard and had corroded because of water leaks and shoddy work. They found two sections of wire where the cladding had cracked and the cables were full of water. It took several months and some major fit-pitching by supervisors, but they finally got it working reliably.

    The the crappy Pace modem that slowed down or hung up at the drop of a hat finally died, and they brought me an actual ac modem with good specs that has not hung up, slowed down after big uploads, or caused me problems. However, my download speed has slowed down by 2mb/sec. You can’t completely win.

  47. We were looking at a number of equally unappealing options for a vacation home in a tiny place called Castle Valley. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, but in the middle of nowhere in south east Utah. We are surrounded on 3 sides by 1500ft tall clifs and on the 4th by 10k ft mountains. No cell phones. Phone service is a complete kludge. They bounce a microwave signal off a strategically placed billboard sized reflector on top of one of the cliffs down to a receiver in the valley & then through twisted pair copper to our homes. We were resigned to DSL as our best option.

    Then out of nowhere the guy that owns a former Radioshack* nearby came up with a solution. He designed a custom solution based on how the military, faced with similar terrain, got their internet to Afghanistan. It is based on a point to point RF technology. He built a solar powered sub-station across the valley has a line of sight microwave connection to the cell tower on the nearby mountain. That station re-transmits the signal weaving back and forth, point to point down the valley bumping up or down the frequency to deal with trees and other obstacles. These sub-sub-stations in turn broadcast semi-directionally to subscribers homes. We have a disc shaped antenna on the roof pointing to the closest sub-sub-station. There is a box in the utility room that demuxes the signal into our LAN router via ethernet.

    He has patented the system and is putting them in all over the area. It uses off-the-shelf equipment that was developed for the military.

    It’s about the same cost or cheaper that we got from the phone company, but our data rate is comparable to first generation cable modems.

    * he was a franchisee. It still says “Radioshack” on the building, but he gets inventory from China directly now vs China via a warehouse in Ft. Worth

  48. Talk to your neighbors, find out if they want better internet coverage. If enough do, and are willing to pay for the privilege, start your own ISP and learn how to get right of way and begin burying cable. It’s been done in my area: and are two local examples of small firms doing well. There are few ways of making the world better that are as fulfilling as building new infrastructure.

  49. No suggestions, just commiserations because, ugh, CenturyLink BLOWS!!! After years of lousy connectivity, and every excuse known to man as to why CL can’t provide decent internet service in the rural areas they service, my folks have decided to give satellite internet service a try. Since my parents don’t game, and are only interested in faster downloading of pictures of the grandchild they felt it was worth the gamble. Good luck with your solution!

  50. I’m another person living in very rural America. Our DSL was giving us “service” of .5 Mbps (!) towards the end. However, we do have an AT&T cell tower a mile away. We now get internet through a nice, large 4G hotspot (250 GB for $60/month). AT&T threw in landline service as well. So now the local telecom it’s running fiber throughout the town… They haven’t come down our dirt road, though, so tapping into their new service probably isn’t going to be possible for us.

    The hot spot has worked really well and it’s very affordable.

%d bloggers like this: