Monday, April 27, 2009

Yes, There IS Rural Broadband For Businesses

One of the most anticipated provisions in the economic stimulus plan has been funding to build-out rural broadband solutions. But did you know that you can already get the bandwidth you likely need for your rural business location?

Rural areas have long been ignored by most broadband Internet service providers. It's not that a rural office, factory, warehouse or farm is any less important than businesses in the city. It's that the cost of running new coaxial cables or fiber optic bundles can't be amortized over very many users. When providers run the numbers, they wince and then set aside the whole idea of expanding their service footprints. That's why you don't see Cable TV or DSL services promoted out in the countryside. But that doesn't mean there isn't broadband service.

Does your business qualify? Do you have telephone service? It's really that simple. Thanks to 100 and some years of standardized phone lines and a mandate for universal telephone service, most every business location you can imagine can get dial tone over ordinary copper pair wiring. Those same copper pair can be pressed into service to carry digitized T1 line service instead of analog phone service. It's takes two pair per T1 line, but you get either 24 digital phone lines or 1.5 Mbps of Internet access.

In fact, most businesses have "binders" with many pair of copper wires brought in so that they can have multiple phone lines. Every two pair can support a T1 line. Those don't have to be completely separate lines, either. They can be combined or "bonded" to create high bandwidth services. A 2x T1 bonded service gives you 3 Mbps, 4x is good for 6 Mbps and so on, up to a practical limit of 10 or 12 Mbps. Honestly, do you really need more bandwidth than that? If so, you'll probably have to wait for fiber optic service to come your way.

Another way to drop-in broadband Internet to even the most remote of locations is to use two-way satellite broadband. Speeds are similar to T1 and bonded T1 lines, although there is a limit on how much bandwidth you can use in any given period of time. That's due to capacity limitations of the satellites. However, if satellite broadband works for you it can be less expensive than wireline solutions in rural areas.

Wireless line of sight broadband service have also been popping up in rural areas, mostly to serve new subdivisions where there are enough houses and businesses to justify the cost of erecting a tower and feeding it with, you guessed it, bonded T1 line service. There's no national network of these there way there is with wireline and satellite, so it really depends on exactly where you are located as to what service is available.

Do you have a rural or remote business location? Do you have a need for broadband Internet service? Then find out which rural broadband solutions are already available for you.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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