Rural Areas Struggle To Find Internet Providers

By Kelcie Pegher

HAMPSTEAD, Md. (AP) – Lush hills and cornfields along acres of land mark Carroll County as a haven for people who want to get away from the city life and compact suburban developments – but finding reliable and affordable Internet can be a headache in rural areas.

The problem is that many people live away from cable lines which could provide broadband, said Bruce Hall, the owner of Freedom Wireless Broadband. Comcast and Verizon can offer to build a line in order to provide broadband, but the cost to build the line to provide the service is astronomical, Hall said. The broadband company would likely never recoup the costs, Hall said.

“It costs whatever it does to build that network and (broadband providers are) not ever going to make it back in that monthly charge,” Hall said.

It leaves a few options, Hall said. A wireless air card from AT&T or Verizon can be useful in a home without broadband, which is ideal for a light Internet user.

Heidi Sprinkle, who lives on a farm in Hampstead, is not a light Internet user.

The mother of three does design work on the computer and organizes Girl Scout events and communications for a lacrosse team. Her three daughters like to play games on the computer, and her family enjoys streaming Netflix.

“You just burn through it so quickly and any overage usage is phenomenally expensive,” Sprinkle said of using a wireless air card. “It just didn’t fit our lifestyle.”

She didn’t want dial-up, she said, although dial-up is available in every home because it uses telephone lines. And Sprinkle said she didn’t want DirecTV or any company that tied its television access with Internet access, because she has three young daughters and prefers her daughters to watch public television and Netflix.

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Posted by on Apr 1st, 2013 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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