Broadband for Rural Regions

Broadband internet access for rural regions.
This story first appeared in the August 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Not every entrepreneur has the luxury of tapping into a DSL, cable or T1 line. There are still places far enough away from the main grid to make getting broadband internet access a real issue. But growing businesses in rural regions aren't doomed to dial-up--they can look to satellite as a broadband option.

Here's an example: WildBlue's satellite broadband service starts at about $50 per month, with initial equipment costs at about $300 and basic installation at $180. WildBlue offers download speeds of up to 1.5Mbps and works through a modem and minidish setup. It's available just about anywhere in the U.S.--check the company's website to find a dealer and special offers in your area.

WildBlue isn't the only provider on the block, but it's one of the most affordable. Skycastershas service plans that start at about $100 per month. StarBandhas a variety of plans that cover residential and office needs. HughesNethas a small-office plan that runs $100 per month, with $1,000 in upfront equipment and installation costs. Despite the cost, broadband satellite can help boost a rural business that has been treading water with dial-up.

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