Broadband in the Boonies


Faced with the ridiculous cost of living in urban tech hubs like San Francisco, Seattle and New York, it’s no surprise that web workers would take advantage of their mobility and move where they’ll get a better value for their dollar. But as they fan across the country into exurban and even rural locales, the further you get from a major metro means the fewer data infrastructure options you’ll find.

Daniel Pentecost pointed this out to us in his recent guide about how to find providers, evaluate your options and account for costs in your budget. For instance, he notes that T1 access is often available even where DSL and cable isn’t, and the price can be mitigated by sharing the connection and costs with your neighbors. And though available almost anywhere, satellite service isn’t recommended unless it’s your only option.

Hopefully WiMax should develop into another last-mile solution for outlying communities, especially where the distance from a switch makes DSL impractical. Connectivity is but one of many tradeoffs when fleeing to the hinterlands, though, but the situation is slowly improving, making the country life look better and better.


Capn Scott

If you think it’s tough in the U.S. … That’s nothing compared to 3rd world countries. Yes, my rent is $200/month for a new 2 bedroom home with a yard and such, breakfast is $1.50 and beer is cheaper than soda. But the cable modem isn’t the most reliable/cheap piece of equipment in town. For a while, I paid $80/mo. for 1.5m, but typically only had 500k, finally got tired of being short changed and switched to 150k… Hopefully, the next country will be better with the internet… Chile or Argentina anyone???

Capn Scott


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Stephen G

I hate the term “last mile” …, comes from telco/utility thinking …, where their network is the center, and the customer is at the far edge. I as a consumer am much more concerned with the “last mile” than the network core.


I just heard from a Scottish friend that the government there had pushed through an initiative to provide broadband to any settlement that had at least 50 homes in it. Quite forward looking!

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