Best High-Speed Internet for Rural Areas in 2020

Put dial-up out to pasture—these high-speed internet options will keep you connected in the country.

  • Best satellite internet
    Wide availability
    High latency
    View plans
  • Best DSL internet
    Good speeds
    Lower quality service if you’re far from ISP
    View plans
  • Best LTE home internet
    Unlimited data
    No gigabit speeds
    View plans
  • Best fixed-wireless internet
    Lower latency
    Low data caps
    View plans

 

How do I get high-speed internet in rural areas?

Here are the most common rural internet options, in order of best to worst.

  1. Fixed wireless internet (available in many areas with cell phone reception)
  2. Mobile wireless internet (4G LTE home internet)
  3. DSL internet (available in areas with landline phone service)
  4. Satellite internet (available everywhere)
  5. Dial-up (available in areas with landline phone service)

Check for internet service near you.

An error has occurred. Please try again.

Best high-speed rural internet providers

Swipe left to see all →
ProviderViasatCenturyLinkVerizonRise Broadband
Connection typeSatelliteDSL LTE Home InternetFixed wireless
Price$30.00–$150.00/mo. for 3 mos., then $50.00–$200.00/mo.†$49/mo.*$40–$60/mo.**$39.95–$64.95/mo.
for first 12 mos.
Download speedsUp to 100 MbpsUp to 100 Mbps25–50 MbpsUp to 50 Mbps
Data cap40–150 GB, then reduced speeds 1 TB Unlimited150–250 GB
Learn moreView plansView plansView plansView plans

Data as of 9/10/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. †Data may be slowed after 40, 60, or 100 GB, depending on your plan. *Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply. Speeds may not be available in your area.  **Price for Verizon home internet plan is $40/mo. with a mobile phone plan or $60/mo. without other Verizon services.

Best rural internet options

So which is best—satellite, DSL, fixed wireless, dial-up, or 4G LTE home internet? The answer depends on what you’re looking for in terms of price and speed—and where you live.

If you can get fixed wireless, DSL, or 4G LTE home internet internet service in your area, we often recommend these over satellite since satellite internet usually has a very low data cap. Data caps get really frustrating. But if you don’t have other internet options in your area, satellite internet is a good option because it’s available everywhere.

If you’re not a heavy data consumer, hotspotting off your mobile phone can be another solution (assuming you can get a cell phone signal at your house). If you stream video —like Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube—we wouldn’t recommend hotspotting off your phone as it won’t give you enough data each month.

Another option is LTE home internet, which provides connection through cell phone towers. If you live in an area with good cell service, a 4G LTE internet service from Verizon, T-Mobile, UbiFi, Ladybug Wireless, or a similar provider can give you unlimited data at affordable prices.

Dial-up’s lackluster speeds land it in last place in terms of desirability, and we really don’t recommend it except in cases where extreme thriftiness are prioritized over internet experience.

Best satellite internet

Best Overall: Viasat
viasat satellite internet
  • Prices: $30–$150/mo for first 3 months.
  • Speeds: 12–100 Mbps down, 3–25 Mbps up
  • Data cap: 35–100 GB
  • Availability: Nationwide

Actual speeds may vary and are not guaranteed.

Budget Pricing: HughesNet
hughesnet satellite internet
  • Prices: $49.99–$139.99/mo. for the first 6 mos., then $59.99–$149.99/mo.§
  • Speeds: 25 Mbps down, 3 Mbps up
  • Data cap: 10–50 GB
  • Availability: Nationwide

§Requires 24 month agreement.

Actual speeds may vary and are not guaranteed.

Satellite internet’s biggest advantage is availability. It doesn’t require any hard wiring through neighborhoods and roads to make it work. You just need a dish mounted on your roof and you’re good. So it’s often the only available connection on farms and in remote areas where cable and phone lines haven’t reached yet.

Satellite internet chugs along at a minimum of 12 Mbps, with some Viasat plans reaching up to 100 Mbps. Speeds this fast work well for most online activities (barring multiplayer gaming). So far, so good, right? The drawback with satellite internet is that data is measured—yes, even on the unlimited plans—and your speeds will slow way down once you reach the priority data cap. If you reach your data cap before the end of the month, you can keep using data without penalty, but it’s slowed down to 1 to 3 Mbps—still much faster than dial-up, but a big decline from earlier in the month.

Also, you may experience low performance during storms, as weather can interfere with the satellite connection.

Thumbs Up Pros

  • Wide availability
  • Speeds faster than dial-up or DSL

Thumbs Down Cons

  • High latency
  • Occasional performance issues with weather

We recommend Viasat because it has faster speeds and higher data caps—both HughesNet and Viasat limit your data usage based on the plan you pay for. After you use up all your full-speed data, your speeds slow to 1 to 3 Mbps.

But look out for Viasat’s price hikes after the introductory period ends. Viasat prices go up around 33% after the end of the three month promotional period. If you prefer a lower price overall, check out HughesNet. You get a small discount (around $10 per month) with HughesNet for the first six months of service, but new satellite launches and technology continue to make satellite internet a more-than-viable option for anyone who prefers wide-open spaces.

New LEO (low-Earth orbit) satellite technology from companies like Starlink and OneWeb are changing the standards of satellite internet. But LEO isn’t the only change in satellite internet. In the next few years, HughesNet and Viasat will be launching new satellite systems that deliver increased internet speed and reduced latency to their customers.

As these companies start offering internet service in the next few years, we expect to see higher data caps, less lag, and faster speeds across the board. Hooray!

Best DSL internet

Best overall: CenturyLink
centurylink internet
  • Prices: $49mo.*
  • Speeds: 20–100 Mbps
  • Data cap: 1 TB
  • Availability: 36 states

*Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply. Speeds may not be available in your area.

Budget Pricing: AT&T Internet
Frontier logo
  • Prices: $29.99–$44.99/mo.˚
  • Speeds: 6–45 Mbps

˚Plus $10/mo. Wi-Fi router service fee. Activation, taxes & other fees apply. Services subject to availability and all applicable terms and conditions. Speeds not guaranteed.

While there are only two satellite ISPs, you’ve got a handful of choices when it comes to a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connection. Two standouts in this area are CenturyLink and Frontier, although EarthLink, Verizon, and Windstream also offer DSL.

We chose CenturyLink as your best bet, mostly due to its Price for Life plans. Once you sign up, you pay that same price for as long as you keep your CenturyLink service. Compared to other ISPs that tie you into contracts and then jack up the price, CenturyLink’s approach is a breath of fresh air.

Frontier is another great option for rural internet, offering DSL internet speeds up to 45 Mbps in many areas. That might not be fast enough for high-speed gaming on multiple devices, but luckily we’re not all Fortnite gaming champions. Frontier speeds are ample speed for streaming and everyday internet usage. Like CenturyLink, AT&T gives you oodles of data—1,000 GB (or 1 TB) per month. Compare that with satellite internet data thresholds of 10–150 GB per month and you can see why people often pick DSL over satellite if it’s available, especially if they like video streaming.

Thumbs Up Pros

  • Decent speeds
  • Plenty of data

Thumbs Down Cons

  • Lower quality service if you’re far from ISP

With either CenturyLink or AT&T Internet, you will have a data cap. But it’s huge—it’ll take you some serious streaming, downloading, and uploading to hit that 1 TB limit.

If you don’t want that data cap hanging over your head, both Frontier and Windstream don’t have one. Free at last!

Heads Up: Some DSL providers offer up to 1,000 Mbps speeds.

If you’re browsing CenturyLink’s site and stumble upon its 940 Mbps plan, don’t be shocked.

By augmenting the DSL line with a fiber connection, many ISPs—CenturyLink included—can offer gigabit speeds. Don’t get your hopes up just yet though. If you live in a rural area, it’s quite likely you won’t get these speeds. Bummer, we know. Still, it’s always worth checking.

Best fixed wireless

Best overall: Rise Broadband
rise broadband logo
  • Prices: $39.95–$64.95/mo.*
  • Speeds: Up to 50 Mbps
  • Data cap: 250–unlimited GB
  • Availability: 19 states

*Speeds and prices may vary and are subject to change. Prices are with a 12-mo. agreement, plus taxes & equip fees.

Budget pricing: AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet
att internet
  • Prices: $60/mo.*
  • Speeds: 10 Mbps or faster
  • Data cap: 250 GB*
  • Availability: 18+ states

*Price with one-year contract. Data overage charges apply as follows: $10 for each additional 50 GB of data, not to exceed $50/mo.

Fixed wireless is slowly replacing DSL in rural America, and we can’t wait to see its coverage expand more. If this is the first time you’re hearing about fixed wireless, you should know right now that it’s not Wi-Fi nor is it satellite or mobile internet.

In a nutshell, fixed-wireless providers beam your internet connection from a fixed location to an antenna installed on your roof. This signal then goes to your router, which broadcasts a happy home Wi-Fi network that you use to connect your laptop, Xbox, smart TV, and other devices to the internet.

Fixed-wireless internet in rural areas can give you an affordable internet connection at speeds that clip along fast enough to support online schooling and telecommuting. Fixed-wireless internet might not deliver the racing speeds needed for competitive online gaming, but it delivers much more data for the price than other options can give you. We highly recommend it for folks who can get it. Check out our in-depth review of the best fixed-wireless providers if you’re interested.

Thumbs Up Pros

  • Moderate availability
  • Lower latency

Thumbs Down Cons

  • Unavailable in some areas
  • Low data caps

But if you’ve got a clear view from your roof, fixed wireless can be a huge step up from DSL. Rise Broadband, our top fixed wireless internet pick, offers speeds up to 50 Mbps. That’s not bad, considering we’ve seen DSL speeds of about 2 Mbps while visiting family in rural Wisconsin.

One downside to fixed wireless is that some providers set data caps. Most fixed wireless data caps are not as low or limiting as satellite internet’s standard caps of 10–100 GB per month, but several wireless providers do charge you extra if you hit your max, rather than slowing you down like satellite does.

Currently, Rise Broadband offers you either a less expensive 250 GB limit or a more expensive unlimited plan. AT&T Fixed Wireless gives you 250 GB each month and charges you an additional $10 for every 10 GB of data you use each month, up to a monthly cap of $50 per month. If you’ve got kids who love to stream every single Disney movie, they’ll eat up data fast.

Keep an eye on AT&T’s fixed wireless because the company has big plans to implement 5G technology in the years ahead, which means faster speeds.

Best 4G LTE home internet

Verizon LTE Home Internet
verizon wireless logo
  • Prices: $40–$60/mo.
  • Speed: 25–50 Mbps (typical speeds)
  • Data: Unlimited
  • Coverage: Ranked 1st in two tests
T-Mobile Home Internet
t mobile logo
  • Price: $50/mo.
  • Speed: 25 Mbps (typical speeds)
  • Data: Unlimited
  • Coverage: Ranked 1st and 4th in two tests

You’re likely already familiar with the three big contenders for mobile wireless: AT&T, T-Mobile/Sprint, and Verizon.

If you’ve ever wished you could get unlimited cell phone data and cancel your expensive satellite internet service, then you’re in luck—because Verizon now offers a LTE home internet service. For folks who live away from cable and fiber infrastructure but within cell phone coverage areas, 4G LTE internet is an excellent option. It gives you average download speeds of 25 to 50 Mbps and (oh, happy day!) unlimited data. 

If you bundle Verizon LTE Home Internet with a mobile phone plan, it’s just $40 per month. If you get it alone, it’s $60. Just a heads up, though: you’ll need to buy Verizon’s $240 modem/router upfront. Also, even though the service is provided through mobile data, Verizon LTE Home Internet service is tied to your location, so it isn’t portable.

Verizon might not be available in your area yet since it’s a new service. You can also try Ladybug Wireless or UbiFi, which offer similar services.

Thumbs Up Pros

  • Unlimited data
  • Typical download speeds 25–50 Mbps

Thumbs Down Cons

  • Only available in areas with cellphone service
  • Patchy coverage in rural areas

We chose Verizon as our top pick for home internet from a mobile carrier, mainly due to its high marks for coverage from OpenSignal and RootMetrics. In fact, you won’t find better coverage from any other wireless provider. It also ranks well for speed, though that could dip in rural areas, according to Speedtest’s data.

Verizon and T-Mobile aren’t the only companies to offer home internet using cellular data. LTE providers like Ladybug Wireless and UbiFi are MVNOs and operate on AT&T towers. The cost is higher for these MVNOs, although they are fully portable and you can take them with you in RVs or while traveling.

Pro tip: Save money by signing up for paperless billing and autopay.

Many internet providers offer you monthly discounts if you sign up for paperless billing and autopay. Usually it’s to the tune of $5 per month per line, which adds up fast.

What to look for when buying rural internet

Now that you know more options are out there than just dial-up and satellite, it’s time to start shopping.

Along with your personal needs, what should you keep in mind when shopping for rural internet? Here’s our take.

Price

Price is a huge factor for most of us, and sadly, many of your rural internet options don’t come cheap. But there are a few ways you can keep the cost under control:

  1. Don’t buy more data than you need. Those unlimited data plans are super tempting, but if you use only 50 GB of data each month, you’ll pay more than you should. Monitor your data usage for a month with your current plan and look for a plan with a data cap to match.
  2. Watch out for price hikes. Read the fine print. Companies like Viasat start with competitive rates, but you’ll end up paying more each month after the first few months. For a price that won’t change, try HughesNet—or grab a CenturyLink Price for Life plan.
  3. Compare equipment costs. How much does it cost to rent or buy the equipment you’ll need? And what about installation? Keep these fees in mind when you compare options, and don’t be afraid to ask for a discount or waiver.

Speeds

Speed can be another tempting reason to throw all your money at your internet connection, but you may need less than you think. Here’s what the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends:

  • Social media, email, and browsing the internet: 1 Mbps
  • Streaming video in standard definition (480p): 3–4 Mbps
  • Streaming video in high definition (720p): 5–8 Mbps
  • Streaming video in 4K: 25 Mbps
  • Gaming: 3–4 Mbps

Keep in mind that you’ll want more speed if you have multiple people or devices using your internet connection at the same time.

Data caps

Data caps can be a real killjoy. But if you’re looking for high-speed internet in rural areas, you’ll run into many internet options that have data caps. Verizon LTE Home Internet and T-Mobile Home Internet stand out as being truly unlimited data options in rural areas. The good news is that if you’re mainly using the internet to check stock prices, email your mom, and chat with friends on Facebook, you probably won’t hit your data cap.

For those of us who love to stream shows on Netflix, game, or upload lots of files, data usage is something we should keep an eye on. Or you can play it safe by grabbing a plan with a high or unlimited data cap, like HughesNet’s 50 GB plan or Rise Broadband’s 500 GB plans.

How to save internet data

The majority of data use in American households is from video streaming. You can save a lot on entertainment (and internet data) by getting satellite TV service from DIRECTV or DISH rather than streaming through your internet connection. And if satellite TV costs too much, try a local TV antenna. You can get local stations for free with a good TV antenna for rural areas.

Availability

The lack of internet provider choices in rural areas is a sad reality in our country. In 2020, the FCC reported that 22.3% of rural Americans do not have broadband internet access (which the FCC defines as download speeds of at least 25 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps).

Chances are if you live in a rural area, you know all too well about the lack of affordable internet options. That’s why availability is such a key factor in deciding which ISP to use.

Satellite and DSL are perhaps some of your best options in terms of availability. Satellites can beam down an internet connection to pretty much anywhere, and DSL hooks up to your existing phone lines.

But with the expansion of fixed wireless and mobile wireless networks, you may not have to give up a zippy internet connection just to enjoy some peace and quiet out in the country.

Why is it so hard to get fast internet access in rural areas?

It’s hard to get fast internet access in rural America because the government doesn’t treat internet as a basic utility (like landline phone and electricity service). Countries like Taiwan, Sweden, Spain, Finland, the UK, and many others consider broadband internet access to be an essential service and have invested heavily in building out the infrastructure to deliver broadband universal service.

In the past, the United States government has not taken an active approach in building out broadband internet access. Instead, internet providers have funded infrastructure build-outs themselves, with some government subsidies. This approach has caused a patchwork of internet providers to sprout up across the country, and many rural areas have been overlooked because internet companies view infrastructure build-outs in rural and remote areas as too expensive.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rolled out the Connect America Fund, which has helped build out infrastructure in some rural areas. But many areas still remain unconnected (or hampered by slow dial-up speeds). Currently, satellite internet providers, DSL, 4G home internet, mobile phones, and fixed-wireless service help keep rural America connected, but it’s generally at slower speeds than in metropolitan areas.

The good news is that new technologies for rural communities are emerging. For example, Starlink satellite internet service (coming soon) may deliver the speed and data rural Americans need to access information, work, and learn online at fast speeds that aren’t too expensive.

Looking for rural internet? Now you’ve got choices behind doors one, two, three, and four.

Between satellite internet, DSL, fixed wireless, and 4G LTE home internet, you should be able to find a rural internet option in your area. A steady internet connection will enable you to read the news online, watch Netflix, take classes, and video chat with friends and family from the comfort of your own home. 

Hopefully we’ll see even more internet options make their way to rural areas in the future, such as Starlink and additional LTE home internet providers. But for now, we’re just glad that options are expanding.

FAQ

What is the best internet service for rural areas?

We’d have to say the best internet service for rural areas is 4G LTE home internet, DSL, or satellite internet, based on price, availability, speeds, and data. Satellite internet is available almost everywhere, but the data caps make it a second-choice option for people who like to stream video. That’s why we recommend checking out all your options before you sign up for satellite internet.

Satellite internet has massive availability going for it—you just can’t beat that with any other type of internet. You don’t need to live near a cellphone tower, in a neighborhood with cable lines, or even have landline phone service to get satellite internet. As Viasat and HughesNet continue to upgrade, and providers like Starlink, Project Kuiper, and OneWeb enter the industry, we hope it’s only going to get better.

As HughesNet and Viasat continue to upgrade with new satellite systems, and residential internet providers like Starlink (from SpaceX) and Project Kuiper (funded by Amazon) enter the industry in the next few years, we hope satellite internet is going to get better and better.

We recommend that you check available options and find the best one for your needs.

Best internet service for rural areas:

Should I get fixed-wireless internet service?

If you can get fixed wireless, go for it. Often the prices are quite affordable in comparison to other types of rural internet service, and as long as you don’t need download speeds faster than 50 Mbps, you’re good to go on speed too.

Of course, that data cap could be a huge downer. If you need to use more data than fixed-wireless internet offers, check out 4G LTE home internet, DSL, or satellite internet instead. Verizon’s LTE Home Internet is one of the few unlimited options for rural areas, and if you’ve already got Verizon phone service, adding home internet is just $40 per month.

Is there any unlimited satellite internet?

Technically there are no unlimited satellite internet plans, but both Viasat and HughesNet offer plans that have a limited amount of full-speed data and then unlimited data at reduced speeds. These providers slow your speed once you’ve met your plan’s data threshold, which can mean speeds of 3 Mbps or slower until it resets for the next month.

What internet speed can I get in rural areas?

You can usually get internet speeds of at least 25 Mbps from satellite internet providers HughesNet or Viasat in rural areas, although 12 Mbps or slower is the fastest available speed in some rural locations. The fastest internet speeds of 1 Gbps and higher are from fiber and cable providers, which aren’t available in rural areas.

How can I find fixed-wireless providers where I live?

You can find fixed wireless providers in your area by typing your zip code on our internet search page. We’ll search through thousands of providers to find all services available in your area (including fixed wireless).


 

10 fastest and slowest rural areas for internet

If you’re daydreaming about escaping the city for a farmhouse in New England, you aren’t alone. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many remote workers are selling downtown condos and moving to the country, where social distancing is easier, outdoor recreation opportunities abound, and real estate is more affordable.1,2,3 But not all rural areas have decent internet speeds—and a good internet speed is one thing we know you’ll want wherever you go.  

So, where can you escape the city and still get reliable internet? Let’s look at the data.

Quick stats

  • Hyden, KY (4.2 Mbps): Rural area with the slowest average internet speed in the US
  • Boardman, OR (103.8 Mbps): Rural area with the fastest average internet speed in the US
  • 45.9 Mbps: National average for all rural speed tests completed
  • 592: Number of rural US cities ranked

According to the FCC’s 2020 Broadband Deployment Report, 22.3% of rural Americans don’t have access to internet download speeds of at least 25 Mbps (which is the recommended speed for working from home and online schooling).4,5 And the numbers are even worse on Tribal lands, where 32.1% of Americans don’t have access to internet speeds of 25 Mbps.5 

Yet in metropolitan areas, only 1.5% of Americans lack access to these same speeds.5 Rural America’s lackluster internet speeds contribute to the homework gap and a lower percentage of college graduates when compared to Americans living in metropolitan areas.6,7

The most common reason for slow rural internet is that it’s expensive for internet providers to expand and update infrastructure, so it’s less financially motivating to expand to rural areas with fewer people. 

To counteract this, the US government is trying to incentivize wider broadband rollouts to underserved areas through programs like the Connect America Fund. Satellite internet providers like Viasat and HughesNet help bring internet access to rural areas, and next-generation satellite provider Starlink (by SpaceX) will benefit rural communities with faster speeds and lower latency in the near future. 

Fastest and slowest internet in America’s rural areas

We combed through data from more than one million internet speed tests and found the rural areas in the US with the fastest and slowest internet. All the fastest areas have average download speeds over 100 Mbps. So if you want to telecommute from a rural area, make sure you avoid the slow spots. And if you’re in one of the slower areas—now is a great time to petition for better broadband.

Rural areas with the slowest internet

  1. Hyden, KY (4.2 Mbps)
  2. White Hall, AR (5.4 Mbps)
  3. Yale, MI (5.9 Mbps)
  4. Farmington, ME (6.4 Mbps)
  5. Stevensville, MT (6.6 Mbps)
  6. Stowe, VT (7.3 Mbps)
  7. Blue Hill, ME (7.3 Mbps)
  8. Fairfax, VT (7.5 Mbps)
  9. Caldwell, TX (7.7 Mbps)
  10. Mountain View, AR (7.7 Mbps)
  11. Winnemucca, NV (8.3 Mbps)
  12. Bellville, OH (8.3 Mbps)
  13. Mariposa, CA (8.6 Mbps)
  14. Kingston, WA (9.2 Mbps)
  15. Merrill, WI (10.3 Mbps)
  16. Linden, TN (10.9 Mbps)
  17. Sylva, NC (11 Mbps)
  18. Pecos, TX (11.1 Mbps)
  19. Spring Hill, KS (11.2 Mbps)
  20. Grayson, KY (11.2 Mbps)

America’s slowest rural cities are all over the map, but there are a few trends. For example, the rural area with the slowest internet speeds is a small town in the Appalachian mountains (Hyden, Kentucky). Several other slow internet areas are located near geographical features as well (including lakes, rivers, and mountains) that make it more expensive to install faster internet infrastructure.

Rural areas with the fastest internet

  1. Boardman, OR (103.8 Mbps)
  2. Madisonville, LA (101.7 Mbps)
  3. Rifle, CO (96.7 Mbps)
  4. Pulaski, VA (96.6 Mbps)
  5. Seaford, DE (96.4 Mbps)
  6. Ware, MA (92.0 Mbps)
  7. Barnegat, NJ (90.1 Mbps)
  8. Lock Haven, PA (89.5 Mbps)
  9. Cotati, CA (89.0 Mbps)
  10. Valley, AL (86.6 Mbps)
  11. Winchester, CA (85.9 Mbps)
  12. Avon, CO (83.2 Mbps)
  13. El Cerrito (82.8 Mbps)
  14. Inwood, WV (82.4 Mbps)
  15. Reedsburg, WI (81.3 Mbps)
  16. Mahopac, NY (79.8 Mbps)
  17. Scottsville, KY (79.7 Mbps)
  18. Erwin, TN (78.8 Mbps)
  19. Ruckersville, VA (78.7 Mbps)
  20. Chilhowie, VA (77.9 Mbps)

Like we’ve seen in past years, most of the fastest rural areas are located on the East Coast. But the Western US is getting faster and this year, cities in Colorado, California, and Oregon boasted a place among the fastest. 

If you’re wondering how 2020 results compare to 2019, check out our 2019 map of the fastest and slowest internet in rural areas.

How we got our results

Our data comes from speed tests taken on HighSpeedInternet.com. We examined results from more than one million US speed tests to find the fastest and slowest average rural internet speeds.

We defined a “rural” city as a community with a population of less than 10,000 people that is geographically removed from an urban city, which we qualified as meaning it’s at least an hour drive away from the nearest major city. We also filtered out locations with fewer than 50 speed test results to ensure accurate representation of the city’s average speed. In all, we ranked and researched nearly 600 rural cities in the US.

Because the rural cities are ranked by average speed, it is entirely possible to find much faster- or slower-than-average internet speeds in any given area. These numbers do not represent actual internet speeds but are a reflection of the average tested internet connection in an area.

  1. Haag, Matthew, New York Times, Manhattan Vacancy Rate Climbs, and Rents Drop 10%, August 18, 2020. Accessed September 8, 2020.
  2. Parker, Will, New York Times, Once Booming San Francisco Apartment Market Goes in Reverse, June 2020, Accessed September 8, 2020.
  3. Wong, May, Stanford News, “Stanford research provides a snapshot of a new working-from-home economy,” June 2020. Accessed September 15, 2020
  4. Federal Communications Commission, “Broadband Speed Guide,” February 2020. Accessed September 15, 2020.
  5. Federal Communications Commission, “2020 Broadband Deployment Report,” April 2020. Accessed September 15, 2020.
  6. National Education Administration, “COVID-19 exposes homework gap and digital divide,” April 2020. Accessed September 10, 2020.
  7. USDA, “Rural Education At A Glance,” April 2017. Accessed September 11, 2020. 

 

Back to top