I received an email from a reader outside Sanger who is researching her cord-cutting options. She wants to know how to find out how many options she has for internet providers at her home.
This is a pretty easy question to answer if you live in a city. There are usually two options, the local phone company and the local internet company.
In my area of Dallas, I can choose from AT&T or Spectrum.
But in the suburbs, or rural areas outside the suburbs, it can be a trickier question to answer.
My advice is to start by asking your neighbors whom they use.
You can also check with your city offices if you live in a city. They’ll know what utilities are operating in town.
There are also websites that will help you find out the options available in your ZIP code.
I like to recommend www.broadbandnow.com to search for all the options in your area, but because this is a search via ZIP code, you might not be covered by every provider returned in your search.
For instance, the reader outside Sanger’s ZIP code returned a phone company (CenturyLink) and a cable company (SuddenLink) as well as a fixed wireless provider (Rise Broadband).
BroadbandNow shows that CenturyLink covers 97.7% of the reader’s ZIP code.
SuddenLink covers 53.1%, and Rise Broadband covers 100%.
Fixed wireless is an option most of us city dwellers don’t really consider, but for rural customers, it can be a great option. When you sign up for fixed wireless, the company will come to your home and mount an antenna on your house that makes a wireless connection to one of its broadcast towers.
Remember when you are talking to internet companies to ask about data caps.
It is pretty standard to have caps on how much data is included in your plan.
My AT&T plan in Dallas has a 1 terabyte monthly limit.
You should also find out the speed of the connection. My connection at home is 28 Megabits per second. This is on the slow side, these days, as it is not uncommon to have connections of 300 to 1,000 Mbps.
So how much speed to you need to stream video?
Netflix recommends a speed of 3 Mbps for one stream of standard-definition video and 5 Mbps for one stream of high-definition video.
You might have to do some multiplication if you want to stream on more than one TV at a time.
Of course, in a year or two, we’ll have a slew of new wireless options when wireless companies like AT&T and Verizon light up their 5G wireless networks and start selling home internet plans that will give rural customers more (and faster) options.
- Another shield, a safer Internet for minors – OneNewsNow
- What’s the future of the internet — and society? – Technical.ly
- Astranis raises $90 million for its next-gen satellite broadband internet service – TechCrunch
- ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ proves the internet wrong – Houston Chronicle
- Gov. Mills: high-speed internet is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity – Knox VillageSoup – Courier-Gazette & Camden Herald
- New Report Finds Internet Users Overwhelmed by Identity Theft Worries – Yahoo Finance
- Never Mind the Internet. Here’s What’s Killing Malls. – The New York Times
- China to relax its internet restrictions for 100,000 students hit by Australia’s coronavirus travel ban – The Guardian
- Quarantine and chill? The internet is giving quarantined people a social outlet – Salon