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Broadband for Rural Regions

Broadband internet access for rural regions.

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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This article was originally published in the August 2006 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Beam Me Up.

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