These days there is no discounting the importance of the Internet to business. This need is in no way diluted for businesses that are located in rural areas. In fact, it could be argued that a rural business is even more in need of a strong Internet presence and a reliable service provider than its urban counterparts.
The problem is that a rural business may find itself facing great difficulty in securing Internet service “out in the country.” This is primarily due to a lack of providers who serve the area and a lack of infrastructure to carry the service to rural areas. If there are providers and an available infrastructure, often the systems are based on old telephone wire or aging cable TV networks that are unreliable and slow at best. For this reason wireless Internet has become a must-have for any rural business who wants to survive and stay competitive.
Two Options in Right Wireless Internet For Businesses
When choosing a wireless Internet option for your rural business, there are factors to consider.
Cell Phone Hot Spot
If the business is located in an area that has reliable, high quality cell phone coverage one option may be to get a cell phone and add a plan that offers the ability for it to act as a wireless hotspot. Such service will also require the use of a wireless router that provides for “repeater on ad-hoc” networking because many cellphones do not have a very strong signal or wide coverage area when in hotspot mode, usually only a few feet. A service that you are using for business needs to be more effective.
Activating this type of wireless Internet simply requires you to plug in the cell phone, turn on the Internet device, and set it to hotspot mode. With the computer or device you are using, connect to the router (which once set up, should happen automatically), and then use the Internet as usual. This is a very effective option for small businesses, both in terms of simplicity and cost.
Another option for wireless Internet for businesses is via satellite Internet service. Most providers now offer wireless Internet via 2-way satellite signal. Using a mini-dish receiver similar to those used for satellite television service, a rural business anywhere in the nation can get high speed wireless Internet, if there is a clear view of the southern sky from your location.
More technology is required for satellite Internet service than for a cell phone hot spot. The wider and more oval shaped satellite Internet dish has more wires than a TV satellite dish, and also has a “signal block” attached. The system is connected to a wireless router inside the building to provide coverage to all of the Internet devices your business relies on. The disadvantage is that such systems can be pricey and are usually bundled with television service which your business may not need. Although streaming music service from the satellite TV plan can be a nice addition to a business that regularly serves outside customers.
While the cost of installing satellite Internet may be higher initially, a consideration is that you may be able to actually save money by dropping your traditional business phone service, and using a Internet phone provider instead. Since your satellite Internet service provider is providing a strong, reliable all digital Internet signal, you will have better phone service than you could have ever dreamed of. Some VoIP providers offer unlimited local, long distance and select international calling for less than 20 dollars a month, while providing premium phone features you may not have available with older analog or hybrid systems in rural areas.
Wireless Internet is a must have for today’s rural business. The world is getting smaller thanks to the Internet. The local supplier who once was able to count on the same 100 locals to keep his doors open may be seeing some of those customers opting for cheaper sources online. Without getting online and becoming more competitive, that supplier may soon find himself going the same way as the rotary phone the wires currently carrying his Internet signal were designed for.
Revolutionize your rural online presence with reliable, wireless Internet for businesses.