State of Broadband in Rural Iowa

I work full time for AOL, LLC and telecommute to work. Because of this I need to have broadband in my home. We currently live in the smallish town of Indianola, Iowa and we use Mediacom for our broadband access. The current high speed package we have is $50 a month (7MB download, 512KB upload, and no usage cap). I typical average about 300MB up and 2GB down a day. We’ve been in the process of building a new home less than ten miles away, about 5 miles outside of the city limits. I’ve been trying to find out what kind of broadband options are available in the area so I can figure out what carrier we would have for the home office. This has lead me to discover just how abysmal coverage is in rural areas and just how difficult it is to even find out what’s available in my area. Here is what I’ve been able to find out:

  • Mediacom is not available in my area.
  • Qwest dial-up service is the only thing available.
  • Verizon is not available in my area.
  • Verizon mobile broadband is available for $59.99 a month with a maximum 5GB per month.
  • Iowa Telecom needs a phone number to find out if it’s available.
  • Hughes Net costs 7 times as much for a comparable package.
  • Wild Blue offers a package for $79.95 that is 1/5th the speed and has a maximum 17GB per month.

View House Locations in a larger map

An interesting side note: I started working on this post over the weekend. OM Malik has two stories today about the state of broadband in the US.