Internet users that live in rural areas were often left with the choice of satellite internet and dial up internet if they did not have access to DSL or cable internet. Canopy broadband service offers a different high speed broadband alternative for users located in covered rural areas. If canopy broadband service is available in your area, this type of access should be seriously considered.
Canopy systems broadcast internet services from local towers to surrounding areas up to 35 miles from the tower. System users receive the internet service through an antenna located at their house. Internet access is brought from the antenna and into the household via coaxial cable, it then goes through a small power supply box and out to your router or computer. The internet connection is always on and the user is able to upload and download just like with cable or DSL connections.
The speed of the connection varies with the plan that a user may choose with the canopy broadband provider. These systems are capable of offering download speeds of up to 10 Mbps. Actual testing of the medium level plan with Premium Choice Broadband showed a download speed of 3.31 Mbps and an upload speed of 0.71 Mbps. These numbers compare very favorably with satellite ISPs which have been the popular providers for users located in areas outside of cable and DSL access. For example, WildBlue satellite top pro plan offers listed speeds of 1.5 Mbps download and 256 Kbps upload. Canopy broadband does not suffer from the couple of second delay that satellite internet has and is not as susceptible to weather conditions as satellite systems.
The pricing of most canopy broadband providers seems to be very similar to the pricing of satellite providers. Plans tend to vary between $45 a month and $100 a month. Installation costs seem to be very similar as well with an average of around $200.
Canopy system ISPs are not available in all areas but they are becoming increasingly popular. They are relatively inexpensive to install when compared to the cost of bringing cable, DSL lines or fiber optics to sparsely populated areas. With increased government emphasis on broadband access, these types of systems should become more available in the coming years. To see if a company is offering this service in your area, just go to your favorite search engine and search for “canopy broadband (your state). Most company sites will show a coverage map for the areas that they service.
Through personal testing, I have found canopy broadband to be a superior product to other alternatives in rural areas. Canopy broadband seems to be faster, more reliable and similar in price to satellite service. I would recommend canopy broadband as the first choice in ISP service for those that have access to it.