Have you ever wondered about how modern farmers stay connected? In this day and age of information, farmers need to have access to the Internet to be highly competitive at their trade. The Internet is a treasure trove of regularly-updated information that can be used to improve farming operations. From accessing weather and market data to facilitating smart farming and transactions in buying and selling farm goods, the Internet is a powerful tool that enterprising farmers should have in their shed.
Through Mobile Internet
This option is probably the most feasible way to get reliable Internet access while in a rural setting. Check which carriers are providing service in the area and opt-in on their Internet data packages. The costs can pile up quickly through this method, though, but it varies depending on each carrier’s data plans.
As a side note, cell phone reception can be a spotty deal in some rural regions. Aside from the lack of cell sites, certain environmental and geographic features in the area can be a hindrance to mobile signals. Mountains, ridges, and hills block cell phone signals. Even man-made creations like bridges and overpasses can interfere with mobile coverage. It’s important to realize that sometimes, there’s just no practical way out of bad mobile reception.
To deal with cellular dead spots and improve the mobile connectivity of a farm, consider using a signal booster. Typically, these booster kits are designed for use with a specific carrier. For instance, Verizon mobile subscribers can take advantage of a qualified Verizon cell signal booster to improve their homestead’s cell phone reception.
Through Satellite Internet
Satellite-based Internet service is another option for farmers wanting a generally stable online connection. So long as a farm has a clear view of the sky, it’s eligible for a satellite Internet. The service is practically available anywhere in the world – for a steep price.
Right now, satellite Internet is extremely expensive compared to the other options. Setting up the equipment can go up to the thousands, and the costs of data usage are significantly higher than mobile and broadband plans. Satellite Internet is also not viable for areas prone to heavy rains and snow, as it requires clear skies for maximum performance.
HughesNet and Exede Internet are the biggest satellite Internet providers in the U.S. right now. Carefully study these companies’ service plans and select the most suitable option for the farm’s needs. Some plans are limited to certain regions and have varying speeds and data caps.
Right now, there’s not a lot of options for rural farmers to get speedy, reliable Internet service. Aside from waiting for more Internet service providers and mobile carriers to move into the area, there’s really no cheap way to get it done. Satellite Internet, though a viable option, maybe financially impractical for some farmers.6