Rural broadband | Living the Country Life

Rural broadband

There's has been a discrepancy between rural and urban broadband speeds, but no more. New technology is increasing Internet capabilities in rural areas

Radio interview source: Lisa Scalpone, Vice President, Via Sat

There was a time not so long ago when computer users outside the city limits were at the end of the line, and doomed to dial-up for their Internet access. If you could get to the net at all, it was a slow connection. 
To bring rural users up to speed, WildBlue has a new service called Exede. Lisa Scalpone is the vice president of parent company Via Sat and says they've launched the world's largest communications satellite, and other Internet providers are following suit. The new satellite offers speeds of up to twelve-megabits-per-second, which is three-times faster than the highest DSL speed available in rural areas. She says all-new ground technology also makes for snappy page loading.
"When we launched our old service, we loaded pages in a way that didn't have software that could make all of the objects pop at the same time, quickly," she says. "So the pages loaded more slowly as it took round trips over the satellite. Now, we've got our own software that makes the pages all pop at the same time, so it feels like a fiber service. It doesn't feel like it's going round trip over a wireless service."
Scalpone says even remote areas of the country don't have to wait an eternity for an Internet page to load. But more importantly, Scalpone says the new high-speed technology levels the rural-urban economic playing field. 
"You really can't work out of your home, you can't be a real estate agent, you can't do graphic design if you don't have a quick and good broadband connection," says Scalpone. "Everybody knows good broadband's an economic driver for rural America, that it enables the job growth and all that kind of stuff."
Scalpone says many providers are coming out with ground-wireless technologies, also known as air cards, to make connections for smartphones and tablets faster.

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