State of Rural Broadband Internet
According to the latest State of the Internet report by Akamai, no country has higher than 20 Mbps average speed for Internet services, except South Korea and Hong Kong.
Countries with significant rural areas are suffering the most, as there is a economic friction for service providers to upgrade services in rural areas where the cost of deployment per subscriber reached is usually higher than for a profitable business concern. This usually initiates government regulations to entice service providers with financial incentives through institutions such as the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in the US and the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission). For example, recently the CRTC rolled out a $500 million Connect to Innovate fund to bring broadband Internet access to 300 rural and remote communities across Canada, including Nova Scotia, where rural business owners have long said that a lack of broadband Internet severely hampers their operations. Last month the CRTC added a $750 million fund to address the 18 percent of Canadians, representing 2 million households, not having access to 50Mbps/10Mbps service, which CRTC describes as the required rates for rural broadband. The CRTC’s goal is to reduce that to 10 percent by 2021 and down to zero in the next 10 to 15 years.
You can find more localized regulatory environments and funding options, although the effectiveness and certainly the efficiency of these funds are debatable. In some cases, the funding in a local area is not big enough to convince the service provider to build-out the necessary infrastructure. This may happen with Pennsylvania’s allotment from the Connect America Fund, $23.3 million a year, which is now in jeopardy because the state’s largest service provider, Verizon, opted not to take it.
When regulations and regulation-based funding efforts come up short, the end-users sometimes take it into their own hands, which sometimes may even include digging a ditch with a tractor, as happened to in rural Lancashire UK. Rural broadband is too important to delay till 2023. It is not just residential rural areas that suffer, it is businesses and schools that also suffer from lack of rural broadband.
High-speed Internet access has essentially become a utility, not too different from the water and electricity that we need to survive. People in rural areas need to get broadband Internet sooner, rather than later.
Cahit Akin, CEO, Mushroom Networks, Inc.
Mushroom Networks is the provider of SD-WAN (Software Defined WAN) and NFV solutions capable of Broadband Bonding that enables self-healing WAN networks that route around network problems such as latency, jitter and packet loss.