Until recently, living in a rural area and safely browsing the Internet was a problem for many. Fortunately, solutions are currently being offered in order to make it more and more possible. Something people who are deciding to seek a more relaxed life greatly value. What are these options and how are connectivity numbers improving in these scenarios?
Digital gap in rural environments
Reducing inequalities in Internet access between urban and rural settings has been one of the main objectives in terms of connectivity for years. However, the current situation forces all the agents involved to accelerate this process.
In fact, after the pandemic, many people are choosing to move to quieter areas, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The impulse of teleworking has been a decisive incentive to finally decide to take the step. But moving to a rural area shouldn’t mean losing connectivity or bad quality in the connection.
If we take a look at the Broadband Coverage report, published by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, we find figures in this regard that make us aware of the size that this gap currently has:
- 13.4% of rural areas in Spain do not have Internet access of at least 30 Mbps speed through terrestrial networks.
- This means that more than seven million people living in municipalities with a population density of less than 100 inhabitants / km2 enjoy it. Compared to 2018, there are almost three million more people.
- The goal of connecting 90% of the rural population to broadband Internet at the beginning of 2020 was not achieved.
- Regarding the coverage of networks of more than 100 Mbps speed, the increase in rural areas has been 12 points, going from 38% to 49.8%.
- It is expected that, throughout 2021, the coverage of ultra-fast networks will reach 91.24% of the total Spanish population and 75.29% of rural areas. This will halve the gap between the two environments.
Options for having rural Internet
If you have definitely decided to move to a rural area or if you already live in it and do not want to stop being connected, either for work or leisure, you have a series of really useful alternatives. We bring you the ones that are setting the trend today.
1.- Fiber and ADSL
Although there is still a wide room for improvement when connecting rural areas with fiber optic and / or ADSL Internet lines, this does not mean that there are no populations that already have this alternative.
To verify this, you only have to contact the different Internet provider companies and have them inform you in this regard.
Another alternative considered by many users is WiMax technology. What does this consist of? Basically, it is a matter of establishing a connection to the Internet using microwave links.
The connection is made thanks to the reception by specialized hardware of the signal emitted by antennas that can be found tens of kilometers away. Although it is not going through its best moment, WiMax has a download speed of 50 Mbps maximum and a latency of about 60 ms.
Just as 4G technology has been established in society for years through our mobile phones, it has also emerged as an option for the Internet at home.
4G is a possibility that provides great mobility to its users, since it does not require any kind of wired installation by the end user. However, it is common for many distribution companies to offer it with limited data, so it is not recommended if you are going to work with large volumes of these.
4.- Rural Internet via satellite
If it is not possible to establish an Internet connection through the previous channels, you still have the option of doing it by satellite. We have left it as one of the last options due to the inconveniences that it brings.
On the one hand, you will have to count with a satellite dish to connect; In addition, there is the high latency that accompanies this type of connection, which can reach 500-700 ms; Nor should you forget that its speed is not stable and can vary significantly depending on the load or the weather conditions.
Among the many efforts that public entities are making to improve connectivity in rural areas, the WiFi4EU initiative, launched by the European Commission, stands out.
With WiFi4EU, municipalities throughout the European Union can benefit from bonds to finance the installation and improvement of public networks, both in open and closed spaces.
With all these options, it is much easier to make the decision to live in a rural area and always remain connected. At Galgus we work intensely to contribute to this. For example, contributing with our technology for smart WiFi networks to the deployment of public networks according to the requirements of the WiFi4EU program. In this sense, in recent months together with Telefónica we have deployed more than 40 WiFi4EU projects in towns and rural areas of Spain, giving WiFi Internet access to populations and rural areas that number almost 1 million people.
Would you like to know more about how we make it possible? Click here for more information.