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Florida—one of the United States’ economic powerhouses—has experienced rapid growth in terms of both population and economic activity?becoming the 3rd largest state by population, and the 4th largest economy in the US. As this growth has continued to work its way—most rural counties in Florida have not seen the benefits over time.

And that’s the surprising truth?while the state of Florida ranks #5 in terms of broadband access in the U.S., and over 92% of it is covered by terrestrial broadband, it is estimated 460,000 Floridians, mostly in rural counties, have little to no access to high-speed internet services. And, what was previously a minor concern, is now a consequential matter in the more internet-dependent post-pandemic world.

Broadband Services in Rural Florida & the Digital Divide

Around 4% of Florida’s population does not have access to a broadband connection?meaning 25/3 Mbps or higher speeds. While speeds are generally faster in urban areas like Bradenton and Boca Raton, rural parts of Florida such as the Indian Lake Estates in Polk county and Wacissa in Jefferson county, are hard pressed for high-speed internet choices.

The disparity between what people living in the urbanized parts of the state have available to them and what those in rural areas get is disturbing to say the least. In most parts of rural Florida, getting wired access broadband internet is a big challenge. Communities, mostly still unincorporated, lack the economic means and population density which would attract ISPs to invest in their area, without having to lose out on the profit margin.

Is Internet Bad in Florida?

As we said Florida ranks #5 among U.S. states in terms of broadband coverage, but for most people living in rural counties, connecting to high-speed internet means spending a significant amount every month to get only meager speeds in return?quite a hotbed for a litany of complaints.

Students cannot ensure timely completion of school assignments. Adults cannot utilize work from home opportunities, seek virtual trainings to refine their skill set, or set up an online business. Families cannot stream TV at home. And relatives do not want to visit. All  because of lack of decent connectivity.

So, yes. For Floridian rural counties such as Dixie, Gilchrist, and Levy, internet access is poor in Florida. But for counties like Brevard, Pinellas, and Orange, it could not be better.

Why Is Broadband Access Scarce in Rural Florida?

As we hinted at earlier, there are multiple reasons which contribute to lacking broadband access in rural Florida?but the top one remains the slim profit margin which discourages ISPs from investing in these areas. Not to forget concentration of corporate power which is quite often caused by governmental policies, and results in discouraging smaller businesses to find their way forward in the market place, thus perpetuating the monopoly of the long-established ISPs.

Another factor which negatively impacts the expansion and deployment of broadband infrastructure in rural Florida is how the state issues construction permits?the process is bureaucratic to say the least. And, there is no exemption from the zoning review when it comes to replacement of utility poles or the juxtaposition of advanced wireless facilities. These strict zoning regulations hold back internet providers from specific installments of state-of-the-art broadband infrastructure without having to submit a proper application.

Internet Services Available in Rural Florida

Floridians can choose between DSL, cable, satellite, and fiber optic internet, depending on where they live. But for people living in rural counties choices are likely to be limited to satellite, fixed wireless, or traditional DSL?with satellite internet and fixed wireless as the only options in areas that suffer from a total lack of wired infrastructures.

Satellite Internet

Satellite internet in the Sunshine State delivers adequate speeds for streaming music, movies, and more. And its coast-to-coast availability almost always saves the day. But the downside of a satellite internet  service is users may experience a service outage during severe weather conditions like an intense storm and/or heavy rain.

HughesNet Internet

For rural Florida, HughesNet is a reliable satellite internet choice, albeit on the pricier side of the spectrum.   

HughesNet Gen5 offers up to 25 Mbps fast download speeds—which is enough for average household usage in a smaller family. The data cap may leave you cold, but with soft data limits, FREE 50 GB Bonus Zone data every month, and no overage charge, HughesNet plans can prove to be your best bet relative to other available options.

Take a look at what HughesNet has in store for the residents of rural Florida. For more details regarding service offerings call at 1-855-349-9309.

HughesNet Internet Plans

Price

Max Upload Speed

Max Download Speed

10 GB

$59.99/mo.

3 Mbps

25 Mbps

20 GB

$69.99/mo.

3 Mbps

25 Mbps

30 GB

$99.99/mo.

3 Mbps

25 Mbps

50 GB

$149.99/mo.

3 Mbps

25 Mbps

 

Traditional DSL and Fixed Wireless Internet

Another viable choice for people living in rural Florida is traditional DSL and fixed wireless internet. And with providers like AT&T—working to extend high-speed internet services to rural communities?help to bridge the digital gap in rural Florida could be on the way.

AT&T Internet

AT&T has been expanding its Fixed Wireless services to many rural and underserved counties in Florida through its participation in the FCC Connect America Fund. By investing millions in jobs and infrastructure over the past decade, AT&T has made its internet services available to a number of rural communities in Florida.  

In rural Florida, AT&T offers both fixed wireless and wired internet services?Fixed Wireless is however available in areas where AT&T does not provide a wireline service. You can get download speeds up to 25 Mbps with fixed wireless from AT&T?the provider pledges a minimum of 10 Mbps download speed to subscribers. With DSL, speeds are anywhere between 768 Kbps and 100 Mbps, depending on the network capabilities of the AT&T infrastructure in the vicinity, and how far you are located from the AT&T hub.

Largely speaking, rural Florida does get slower speeds compared to what’s available to residents in urban centers?and even the suburbs. But considering the rural internet landscape in Florida, AT&T is great for necessary internet usage. For more details regarding offer availability in your area, call 1-855-925-2541.

There You Are!

There is no debate regarding how fundamental broadband is for the progress and general functioning of rural community in Florida. And now that you have a basic idea about the internet landscape in rural Florida, you can look for a suitable rural internet service available in your area. And once you find a reasonable match for your internet lifestyle, call 1-855-349-9328 and place your order to get your desired service in no time!

FAQs

Does Florida have high-speed Internet?

Well, approximately 96.2% of Floridians have access to 100 Mbps or faster broadband speeds at home. Of those with service, 40.7% can access fiber services, 93.4% have access to DSL, and 94.4% have cable internet available to them. Overall, 98.6% Floridians are connected via wireline services.

Which are the poorly connected cities in Florida?

Parts of Florida with the worst internet connection are Suwannee, Wacissa, Horseshoe Beach, Mc Intosh, and Indian Lake Estates. Call 1-855-349-9328 to find out about rural internet services in Florida.

Which are the most well-connected cities in Florida?

The best connected cities in Florida are Boca Raton, Bradenton, Lake Worth, Hollywood, and Pompano Beach. Call 1-855-349-9328 to find out about rural internet services in Florida.